Arts Awake: NCCA Sayaw Pinoy and Fiesta Taliambong

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) headed over to Visayas for a dual celebration: Sayaw Pinoy, its flagship event for dance and Fiesta Taliambong, one of the island’s colorful feasts—both were staged from February 13 to 15 at the peak of the celebration of National Arts Month.

Sayaw Pinoy is the fruitful effort of Ms. Shirley Halili, national committee on dance and Ms. Marichu Tellano, the deputy executive director of NCCA. The event gathered the best dancers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and had showcased award winning grooves, traditional dances and contemporary steps.

While Fiesta Taliambong is a regional event that gathers indigenous and contemporary art groups in Western Visayas to showcase works on visual arts, music, cinema, literary arts, theater arts, and dance. Lead by Alphonsus Tesoro, the commissioner for National Committee for Central Communities of NCCA, and also serving as Capiz’ tourism officer, the festival put up multi-disciplinary exhibits and performances, with highlights for Jovita Fuentes, the first National Artist for music; comprised of a singing competition in February 14 under her name and a vocal concert night as a tribute to her legacy in February 15 which was held in the heart of Roxas city.

The events started on February 14 in Sapian National Highschool Covered Gym, attended by students, teachers and the general public alike, filling every space of the area. The day was welcomed by Ms. Michelle del Rosario, the Provincial Administrator. She graced, “These events are celebrated to instil in us the appreciation of culture and the arts.” Then the audience swayed to the songs of Katchry Jewel Golbin, and even sang along with Dante Beriong and Samuel Cezar Rubido, sangguniang bayan members of Antique. What increased the hype of the event was the Apo ni Inday, Balik—Ati Tribe of Aklan. They came raging on masked with black makeup and dressed in ethnic pieces, they made all corners of the gym upbeat. Then followed was the Padagyaw dance of Bungsuan National Highschool.

Afterwards, Sayaw Pinoy began, that left the audience in awe with the performances of PNU Siklab Sining Dance Troupe, Halili Cruz of Ballet, Sinukwan Kapampangan, Kagayon Dance Troupe, Sayaw ni Antonio of Cuartero National Highschool, Silak and Sarayawan Dance Company. Rondalla performances of Pilar Community, Tapaz Community, Capiz National Highschool and Cañores of Panay also shared their artistry in music.

Furthermore, Capiz also put women in front with LODI: an all women-performances. PPOP: an all women-dance of Capiz National Highschool, the all women-live band of Inzo Arnaldo Village Integrated School, Ati Community of Dumarao, Capiz, and cultural presentations of Panay Bukidnon of Tapaz, Capiz and Capiz Federation of Persons With Disabilities, were proud and loud as they took the stage.

For the fiesta’s take on visual arts, local studentry participated in YESO TALIAMBONG: Chalk Art in Public Spaces. They colored the gymnasium’s entrance with a large chalk art detailing Fiesta Taliambong. Moreover, Pinta Capiz Visual Art Exhibit was showcased in Robinson’s Place, Roxas and was then moved to the gymnasium. Paintings of fishes, fisherman and other shades of humanity were displayed, influenced mostly by the local folks of Capiz, as the province is the country’s seafood capital.

As the fiesta intensified the celebration of National Arts Month, Capiz offered more. In the afternoon, a musical feast was held, titled as Saludo—Capiz honored the Capisnon artists and performing groups. Upbeat performances from CAPSU Main Choral, Dagway Sigmahanon Inc., and Likhawitan were all showcased, with a heart-pumping drum shed intermission of XAMPH.

In the 14th and 15th, Sayaw Pinoy toured Capiz and its performers danced their way from Capiz State University to Ivisan Civic Center, Ivisan—with a rhythm similar to a dance and the province served as a music to every step—a successful synergy of this year’s National Arts Month.