Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cinemalaya 2015 Brings In Award Winning Asian Filmmakers

Press Update:
AWARD winning filmmakers will be attending the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition on August 7-15, 2015 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Greenbelt 3 Makati.

Reis Celik, director of The Night of Silence (Turkey, 2012) will be present at the screening of his film on August 11, 6:15 at the CCP Main Theater.  Celik’s The Night of Silence tells the story of a child bride who is forced to marry a man more than fifty years older than her and who just returned to his hometown after doing years of jail time. Sitting in the nuptial chamber with horror, she will start to face with realities after grandfather-aged groom steps into the room. The Night of Silence won the NETPAC award in the 2012 Hanoi International Film Festival.  Celik will participate in a Meet the Artist session on August 122:30-3:15p.m. at the CCP Third Floor Hallway.

Li Zhen Hua, producer of Poet on a Business Trip by Ju Anqi (China, 2014) will attend the screening of the film on August 11, 9 p.m. at the CCP Main Theater. Poet on a Business Trip is a documentary shot more than 10 years ago. In this film, a poet sets off on a ‘business trip’ through inhospitable Xinjiang province. The physically exhausting trip provides an existential brothel visit, bumping on bad roads, and a glimpse of a disappearing world. Poet on a Business Trip won the NETPAC Award for the best Asian film at the International Rotterdam Festival 2015. Li Zhen Hua will interact with audiences at the Meet the Artist session on August 12, 5:00-5:45 p.m. at the CCP Third Floor Hallway.

Sotho Kulikar, director of The Last Reel (Cambodia, 2014) will grace the screening of her film on August 12, 6:15 p.m. at the CCP Main Theater. The Last Reel is all about a lost film buried beneath the killing fields that reveals different versions of the truth. The Last Reel is a contemporary story about love, family and ghosts of Cambodia’s past. The Last Reel won The Black Dragon Award, Udine Film Festival, 2015). Kulikar will speak with audiences at the Meet the Artist session on August 132:30-3:15 p.m. at the CCP Third Floor Hallway.

The Maw Naing, director of The Monk (Myanmar/Czech Republic/2014), will be attending the screening of his film on August 12, 9 p.m. at the CCP Main Theater. The Monk is a sensitive coming-of-age tale that revolves around a young monk, Zawana, who had spent most of his life in a monastery in the Burmese countryside. When his superior falls ill, Zawana is faced with the dilemma of deciding if the life of a monk is still his destiny. The Monk was the NETPAC winner in International Festival of Asian Cinema in Vesoul 2015. The Maw Naing will be discussing his film with audiences at the Meet the Artist session on August 13, 5-5:45 p.m. at the CCP Third Floor Hallway.

Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.

To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 118 full feature independent films and 96 short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.

For screening schedules of Cinemalaya, visit and the Cinemalaya facebook page or CCP Film Office at telephone number 832-1125 local 1704-1705 and the CCP Box Office at 832-3704. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Red Turnip Reveals 33 Variations of Creativity in a White Space

Romancing the music, travelling in time and beyond, witty exchanges, and other creative variations presented in a simple white space.  That is the Red Turnip flavor for you as they executed the play 33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman in an imaginative and ethereal way.

Red Turnip Theater kicked off its third season with the opening of its newest offering 33 VARIATIONS at Whitespace, Makati last July 23 for press viewing.  The play focused on music as a theme and as a tool to highlight the emotions of the actors.  The additional choreography of light, set design, and music elevated the experience to another level.  It is like music appreciation in a visual level, at the same time training the audience’s ears to listen to each and every note, as well as sequences of notes.

The story was presented in a time parallel sort of way with minimal props but with efficient, and effective results in progressing the story.  Utilizing the audience imagination to provide the details of an otherwise grand set design is something I always admire when done well.

Just as expected, the acting performance of all was flawless and if there were minor hitches along the way, it didn’t affect the overall experience. I particularly enjoyed the exchanges between Rem Zamora’s character and Paolo O’hara’s character because of how they perform such eccentricities.  Funny scenes have a tendency to be remembered overall. There were some lean moments which gave time for minor distractions among the audience as I noticed some to look away or close their eyes. The “loudness” or strong stage presence of the characters of Rem and Paolo brought them back to the stage. The “cockiness” of Roselyn Perez’s character is another attention-grabber, she can recapture a distracted audience member with her quips and distinctive voice.

The dying scene and “cross-over” scene of Shamaine Buencamino and Teroy Guzman is another memorable part of the play that hit a high note for me.

33 VARIATIONS tells the story of a renowned musicologist, Katherine Brandt, who is on a mission to discover why Beethoven composed the Diabelli variations, considered as one of his greatest masterpieces. Her daughter, Clara, is on a mission to find her place in her mother's world. Together, they maneuver through Beethoven's colorful life, their own challenging relationship, and somehow find their answers within his music. Shifting between periods and places, 33 VARIATIONS is the story of mothers and daughters and the legacies we long to leave behind.  

33 VARIATIONS also marks Red Turnip’s first show to incorporate live music: critical moments in the play are underscored by the Diabelli Variations themselves, played live and on stage by Ejay Yatco (“Sa Wakas”, “Dani Girl”, “The Boy in the Bathroom”). Although he is mostly known as a composer and musical director, the 24 year-old has also competed at the 2013 World Championship of Performing Arts under the Classical Piano category, where he made it to the final 3 instrumentalists of the world and took home one gold and three silver medals. Yatco will be playing the Variations on a baby grand piano, provided by LYRIC.

33 VARIATIONS opens July 24 and runs weekends until August 23 at Whitespace, Makati.

Tickets are available through TicketWorld (891-9999 or or Red Turnip Theater ( or

Friday, July 3, 2015

4th Harana sa Dapit Hapon on July 8

Press Update:

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tribung Pilipino Foundation headed by Danny Dolor, presents the fourth performance of Harana sa Dapit Hapon on July 8, 2015 at the Bulwagang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater Lobby) at 4:30pm.

Miguel Castro is one of the featured performing artists in the event.

Harana sa Dapit Hapon is an afternoon musicale featuring immortal kundimans, harana, balitaw, danza and unforgettable love songs by great Filipino composers. Noted classical singers and performers have been invited.

Succeeding shows of the said event will be held on September 9, October 7, and December 9 this year.

The event is free to the public. Senior citizens, students and the general public are cordially invited.

For details, contact the CCP at 832-1125 local 1600 or 832-2314.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Search For New PPO Music Director Extended until July 15

Press Announcment:
THE deadline for applications for a music director and principal conductor for the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ resident orchestra, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) has been extended until July 15, 2015.

The new conductor will take over from Maestro Olivier Ochanine who will be concluding his tenure by April 30, 2016

A Search Committee will be formed by CCP management to screen candidates for the position.

The CCP will announce the PPO’s new music director in January 2016. 

The new director will hold the post for the next 3 years, starting in June 2016.

The new PPO director must exemplify solid musicianship, strong sense of leadership, artistic discipline and respect of peers, extensive program repertoire and orchestral rapport.

He will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the PPO’s thrusts, programs, concert season, training of musicians and other related activities. He is expected to conduct at least twenty performances per year, including the regular PPO season, Outreach tours, Young People’s concert and other special events of CCP.  He will also be in charge of a Development Program for members of the PPO and ensure that the level of musicianship and artistic quality meet the highest standards.

CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado said: “As we conduct this search for the new music director, we are also thankful for the contribution of outgoing conductor Maestro Olivier Ochanine. Through the five years he has been with the orchestra, he has taken the effort to make the orchestra and its music closer to its audiences especially the young people. He has made time to listen and immerse himself in the local music scene and this has made his tenure with the PPO a special one. This is a quality that I hope the next music director shall also possess --- a commitment to excellence and the desire to share this excellence with the broadest publics.”

Interested conductors are requested to submit their application packet by July 15, 2015.  Required documents are the following: curriculum vitae with photo, letter of intent stating the applicant’s vision for the PPO, symphonic repertoire, sample souvenir program of performances, press releases, link to performances on YouTube, referrals from other orchestras, photocopy of the first page of passport (for foreigners only) and letter of endorsement.

The application packet may be emailed to or mailed to the PPO Search Committee, PPO, Lower Basement, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, 1300 Philippines.

Information on the PPO may be obtained from the CCP website at

Monday, June 15, 2015

Enjoy Afternoon Serenades with Harana Sa Dapit Hapon At CCP

Press Update:
THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tribung Pilipino Foundation headed by Danny Dolor, presents the third performance of Harana sa Dapit Hapon on June 10, 2015 at the Bulwagang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater Lobby) at 4:30pm.

Featured performing artists are sopranos Sweet Samaniego-Buchanan and Margarita Roco, tenors Juan Paulo Azul and Andrei Reyes, violinist Jimmy Tagala Jr., pianist Corazon Pineda Kabayao and pianist Kim Dominik Sarmiento.

Harana sa Dapit Hapon is an afternoon musicale featuring immortal kundimans, harana, balitaw, danza and unforgettable love songs by great Filipino composers. Noted classical singers and performers have been invited.

Succeeding shows of the said event will be held on July 8, September 9, October 7, and December 9 this year.

The event is free to the public. Senior citizens, students and the general public are cordially invited.

For details, contact the CCP at 832-1125 local 1600.

International Choral Fest Set in July at the CCP

Press Announcement:
THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts presents the 2nd Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival on July 22-25, 2015. The Festival, which follows the huge success of the first Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival held in August 2013 will witness 16 foreign and local choirs compete in three categories: Folk Song, Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Choir.

The competing Filipino choirs are as follows: Boscorale, De La Salle University Chorale - Dasmariñas, Koro Ilustrado, Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society, The Voices of Davao, Philippine Vocal Ensemble, University of Baguio Voices Chorale, University of Los Baños Choral Ensemble (Philippines), and the University of Visayas Chorale. They will be joined by the foreign choirs Gioventù in Cantata (Italy), Inggou Victory Children Voice GKPS (Indonesia), Svaditra-Bandung Chamber Choir (Indonesia), The Archipelago Singers (Indonesia), Túumben Paax (Mexico), Universitas Pelita Harapan Choir (Indonesia). The Festival’s guest Choir is Youth Choir Kamēr… from Latvia, conducted by Janis Liepins. A two-time winner of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, Youth Choir Kamēr… will give a special performance on Sunday, July 26 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

The Competition will premiere the obligatory piece commissioned by the CCP for the Chamber Choir competition entitled “Ang Tren”. The choral work is a setting of Filipino literary giant Jose Corazon de Jesus’ poem about Philippine commuter culture, composed by young award-winning composer Saunder Choi. 

The five members of the jury are composed of internationally renowned choral conductors coming from different continents. They are the following: Brady Allred (United States), Janis Liepins (Latvia), Silvana Vallesi (Argentina), Andre van der Merwe (South Africa), and Mark Anthony Carpio (Philippines).

The Festival schedule is as follows: Wednesday, July 22, 2015: 5:00 PM – Opening Ceremonies; 7:00 PM- Folk Song Competition; Thursday, July 23, 2015: 7:00 PM – Vocal Ensemble Competition; Friday, July 24, 2015: 7:00 PM – Chamber Choir Competition; Saturday, July 25, 2015: 4:00 PM – Madrigal Singers Gala Concert; 7:00 PM – Closing Ceremonies. 

For ticket reservations, please call the CCP Marketing Department at 832-3704 and 832-3706.

Monday, March 23, 2015

ASEAN Festival and Performing Arts Exchange launched at the CCP

Press Update:
THE first ASEAN Performing Arts Market was held recently in Manila, offering opportunities for networking, showcasing of performance samplers and business matching of ASEAN performances within the ASEAN region and with the world.

Contemporary, traditional, as well as innovative works by emerging and seasoned ASEAN artists in music, dance and theatre were featured.

The three-day event was designed for ASEAN performing arts and cultural centers, festivals and performing arts professionals and groups to network, showcase, pitch performances and seasons, engage in business matching, and to enrich the ASEAN creative industry. As the region aims to establish an ASEAN Community in 2015, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) emphasizes on activities such as this program to promote ASEAN awareness and a sense of community, among other aspects.

The ASEAN Performing Arts Market was implemented initially in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the Annual Pasinaya: Open House Festival at the CCP, and with the implementation of the first Fringe Manila.

Succeeding ASEAN Performing Arts Markets are seen to follow this launch in different ASEAN countries performing arts festivals. (Photo by Orly Daquipil)


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