Sunday, June 22, 2014

“The Baby Dance” with G Tongi Launches Upstart Soundstage at Century Mall

Media celebrity G Töngi, newly appointed Artistic Director of Upstart Productions, heads the cast of a dramatic reading of the powerful American play The Baby Dance, brought to you by Metrobank Card Corporation. This one-night-only performance held last June 15, 2014 at Century City Mall kicks off an entire series of dramatic readings called Upstart Soundstage. No props, no sets, no costumes—just a different play or musical every other Sunday until September 7 featuring well-known theater personalities and stage directors. 

“Readings like this are very popular in L.A and New York,” declares Töngi, who has timed her birthday celebration to coincide with the first play in the series. Upstart has lined up an impressive array of actors for the project: noted stage and screen personalities Audie Gemora, Noel Trinidad (one of Upstart’s board members), and Töngi herself, along with renowned directors like Anton Juan and Bobby Garcia.  

But will Manila audiences take to the concept of stage shows without any staging? “When you take away the sounds and lights and costumes, you force people to really pay attention,” shares Upstart Productions founder, Joel Trinidad.  Managing Director Onyl Torres, who doubles as the company’s Musical Director and Composer, likens the medium to a radio play. “You get the same emotions, the same human drama,” he says. 

Upstart Soundstage kicks off with Töngi’s birthday celebration: a reading of Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance, an emotionally charged drama about a suburban couple adopting the unborn baby of a poor couple. Other proposed shows in the series—which will run continuously, every two weeks, in three-month blocks—include Pippin by Stephen Schwartz, Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet, The Seagull by Anton Chekov, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton, and many others. “A different show every two weeks, at a fraction of the cost of a regular show,” notes Töngi. “Where else can you experience that?”

Upstart Soundstage: The Dramatic Readings. Starting Sunday, June 15, at 7:00 pm at the event space on the 5th floor of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, and playing continuously every other Sunday from then on. Show schedule may change based on availability of performance rights and other factors. Tickets at P300 each, available at the door. Presented by Metrobank Card Corporation in cooperation with Century City Mall. From Upstart Productions.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective at CCP until July 6

Press Update:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents the Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery).

Hugo Yonzon Jr. (May 24, 1924 - October 17, 1994) is one of the major artists in post-war Philippine modernist painting. His works in this exhibition, spanning from 1948 to 1994, are mostly in oil, his preferred medium. The viewer might be surprised at the variety of styles in this selection of artworks, chosen at random, owing to the artist’s predisposition to explore rendering techniques and realistic interpretation.

In the 40s and 50s, the paintings were distorted figures and environments, in somber, tertiary colors. In his cubistic approach in the 60s, he used textured surfaces which he himself crafted. In Yonzon’s outputs in the 70s, texture was made using thin bristles, with the oil paint applied thinly with linseed oil. In his final decades, the works were mostly realistic, with predominant touches of sunshine colors.

These were not in phases. Yonzon would go back and forth between his different approaches, creating milestone works. What is constant in his works is the subject matter -- the ordinary people: farmers, fishermen, karetela drivers, and the vendors. To complete the story telling, they are presented within the narrative of myths and history. (Hugo Yonzon III)

The Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective will be on view until July 6, 2014 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery). Viewing hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm. For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division, Production and Exhibition Department at telephone numbers (632) 832-1125 to 39 loc. 1504/1505, (632) 832-3702, mobile (63920) 4700690, or email

Flores De Mayo until July 13 at the CCP

Press Update:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents Plata Flora by Jandy A. Carvajal at the Pasilyo Victorio Edades until 13 July 2014. PLATA FLORA re-presents the time-honored art of repoussé, a technique for creating reliefs on metal by pressing or hammering its reverse side. The Philippines has remarkable examples of repoussé in santo accessories and carozas, the decoration on kalesas, and surviving pre-Hispanic gold artifacts. All of these continue to inspire visual artist Jandy A. Carvajal. His medium for showcasing repoussé, however, is salvaged aluminum, a more accessible alternative to the metals traditionally used for this art form.

This collection titled PLATA FLORA succinctly alludes to the color and material Carvajal uses for depicting flowers as subjects and motifs. The salvaged aluminum he has been working on is sometimes mistaken for silver due to its shiny gray appearance. This underscores recycling as a method that can be incorporated and maximized in art making.

Depicting fragrant blossoms, orchids, ornamentals, and even wild flowers, PLATA FLORA practically becomes a shimmering procession of bouquets.

Plata Flora will be on view until 13 July 2014 at the Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery). Viewing hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm. For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division, Production and Exhibition Department at telephone numbers (632) 832-1125 to 39 loc. 1504/1505, (632) 8323702, mobile (63920) 4700690, or email

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Singapore Airlines Celebrates Philippine Independence Day at the Airport

Philippine Independence Day did not pass by quietly at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as departing passengers were treated to a surprise program by Singapore Airlines.  Song and dance numbers filled up the quiet, dead air, as Singapore Airlines prepared their surprise at the stroke of 12 noon of June 12, 2014.  Even for just a few minutes, the sorrow of departing was forgotten by some.

Filipino songs were serenaded after a muslim and tinikling dance numbers were performed to the delight of the crowd.  Fans commemorating the Philippine Independence day were distributed by young girls in Singapore Airlines iconic attire to everyone watching.  This is just one of several planned moments of thoughtful gestures by Singapore Airlines on occasions where cheering up and a celebratory mood is needed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CCP Orchestra and Band Festival 2014 Set for July 1 to 6

Press Release:
Orchestras and symphonic bands were presented at the press conference of the 2014 Orchestra and Band Festival held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Little Theater Lobby recently. CCP vice president & artistic director Chris Millado gave the opening remarks followed by performances by the UST Wind Orchestra.

The Orchestra and Band Festival will be held on July 1-6, 2014 at the CCP Main and Little Theaters featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, UP Symphony Orchestra, Bulacan State University Symphonic Band, Malindig Institute Band of Marinduque, UST Wind Orchestra, Bukidnon State University Band, St. Louis University Band of Baguio, De la Salle Santiago Zobel Symphonic Band, Kapisanan Banda II of Pulong Buhangin (Sta. Maria, Bulacan), Cardona 5, Banda Kabyaw of Nueva Ecija, Banda 88 Sta. Maria Bulacan, Philbanda Wind Orchestra, Philippine Army Band, Philippine Navy Band, Philippine Air Force Band, Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band, and the Presidential Security Group Band. It seeks to provide opportunities for the many performing groups that are deserving of the proper exposure, and at the same time treat the local audiences to a rich variety of symphonic sounds emanating from the various groups around the country. (Photo by Kiko Cabuena)


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