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Arts&Culture (05/10/23)

PPO recreates its first concert for 50th anniversary

ESTABLISHED in 1973, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) looks back at its beginnings through the PPO 50th Anniversary Gala, slated on May 12, 8 p.m., at the Metropolitan Theater, Manila. For this milestone, the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) resident orchestra recreates in part its very first concert, which happened on May 15, 1973. That debut concert, under the baton of Luis C. Valencia, its first music director, with Julian Quirit as concertmaster, featured Alfredo S. Buenaventura’s Bathaluman and National Artist Lucrecia Kasilag’s Divertissement for Piano and Orchestra. The concert also featured Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España and G. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with guest performer pianist Benjamin Tupas. Under the baton of Rodel Colmenar, the PPO will once again relive the first concert, performing the Buenventura and Kasilag masterpieces, with young pianist Aidan Ezra Baracol as guest performer. In addition, Filipino tenor Arthur Espiritu will perform “Salut! Demeure e Chaste et Pure!” from Faust (Charles Gounod), “Che gelida manina” from La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini), and “Kundiman ng Langit” (Augusto Espino). The anniversary concert will culminate with a performance by renowned pianist Dr. Raul Sunico, playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue under the baton of PPO resident conductor Herminigildo Ranera. Tickets to the concert are available at the CCP Box Office, located at Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, Vicente Sotto St., CCP Complex, Pasay City from Tuesday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and at TicketWorld via Tickets range in price from P800 to P3,000.

Philippine folk dance concert at The Met

INDAK PILIPINAS: Mga Tradisyon at Interpretasyon, the biggest folkloric dance showcase this year gathers the best Filipino folk dance groups for performances on May 19 and 2, 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, at Metropolitan Theater Manila. The bi-annual dance event puts the spotlight on the best folkloric groups and their best dance pieces choreographed and staged by Philippine National Artists for Dance and other respected personalities in the dance community to celebrate the spirit of the Filipino culture through dance. Performing are Bayanihan, The National Folk Dance Company, the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, the Philippine Barangay Folk Dance Troupe, the Kaloob, Music and Dance Ministry, and the SINDAW Philippines Performing Arts Guild. Some of the best regional dance groups will also join the festival, including the Kalilayan Folkloric Group, Sining Palawan Dance Troupe, and the Irong-Irong Dance Company, while school and university-based dance groups are also participating: the Bulacan State University Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Troupe, the Centro Escolar University Folk Dance Troupe, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe, the Philippine High School for the Arts Sanghiyas Pangkat Mananayaw, the Philippine Normal University Kislap Sining Dance Troupe, the Rizal Technological University Kultura Rizalia Dance Troupe, the Technological University of the Philippines Kalinangan Dance Troupe, the University of the East Silangan Dance Troupe, and the University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe. Led by overall director Generoso Caringal, with artistic consultant Dr. Larry Gabao, Indak Pilipinas is being held in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Philippine Folk Dance Society. Tickets range in price from P300 to P500, with discounts for students, senior citizens, PWDs, and government employees. There is a 50% group discount for a minimum of 100 tickets. For tickets and other inquiries, call the CCP Box Office: 8832-3704/8832-1125 local 1409, or check out Ticketworld. Visit the CCP website ( for more information.

PHL fiction focus of new publisher

EXPLODING Galaxies, a new publishing house focused on republishing out-of-print works of contemporary Philippine fiction, debuts with the first Philippine edition of Wilfrido D. Nolledo’s lost classic But for the Lovers. With this series, Exploding Galaxies will bring lost classics of Filipino writing back into print and in active circulation, as well as into conversations in and around Philippine literature. It will publish two to four books each year, with a focus on novels and short story collections, in English, Tagalog, or regional languages. Considered a long-lost Filipino classic, Nolledo’s novel But for the Lovers finally comes home to the Philippines more than 50 years after its initial publication in the United States in 1970. In Lovers, Hidalgo de Anuncio, a jaded vaudevillian besotted with Hispanic nostalgia, brings home to Ojos Verdes a girl lost in the streets of Japanese-occupied Manila. With his attendant Molave Amoran — wistful guitarist and cunning thief — the payaso fondly guides his ingenue through a war-torn universe as perplexing as it is marvelous. This novel marries delirious lyricism and startling grotesqueries as it commemorates those who had once dared to love in a dying city. For more information, visit

Philippine Academic Book Fair returns this May

GIVING the education market the opportunity to update their library collections after emerging from the global pandemic, the Philippine Academic Book Fair returns to Megatrade Hall 2, 5th level Mega B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City on May 10-12 with the theme “Global Educational Readiness in an Era of Print and Digital Technology in the Now Normal.” Organized by the Academic Booksellers Association of the Philippines (ABAP), the 24th Philippine Academic Book Fair is the only book fair in the country that gives sole focus to the education market, attracting school officials, librarians, teachers, professionals, reviewers, tutors, trainers and consultants, students and other members of the academe. The fair will feature the latest academic books, magazines, journals, educational video and audio materials, publishing aids, electronic references and computers. Exhibitors include Ateneo de Manila University Press, Bookquick Marketing, Book Trends Enterprises, C&E Adaptive Learning Solutions, CD Books International, Inc., Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd., F & J De Jesus, Inc., Fastbooks Educational Supply, Inc., Felnor General Merchandise Services, Forefront Book Co., Inc., and GALE, a Cengage company. Also joining the book fair are Golden Books Services, Inc., IBC Book Consolidators, Inc., Linar International Book Resources, Inc., Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., Megatexts Phil., Inc., Mind Mover Publishing House, Inc., Reader’s Knowledge Bookstore, Rex Education, Treasure’s and Learning Book Store, University of the Philippines Press, and Vibal Group, Inc. The fair offers deals for cash buyers, with lower than internet prices. Remaindered stocks will also be on sale at the event. For more details call 8896-0682 or e-mail

Artist mounts 3rd exhibit honoring Amorsolo

VISUAL artist Celeste Lecaroz pays tribute again to National Artist Fernando Amorsolo with her exhibit entitled “Redux,” at the Galerie Anna from May 13 to 25. “Redux” is Ms. Lecaroz’s 10th solo show since 2018, and her third featuring derivative paintings of Amorsolo that she creates in spontaneous realism style. All of the works are officially licensed by the Fernando C. Amorsolo Art Foundation. Aside from paintings, the “Redux” also features functional artworks such as furniture. Galerie Anna is at the 4th floor, SM Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong. For more information visit the Facebook page

ArtistSpace presents group exhibit

“RESTART: A Celebration of Hope” is a group exhibition of 25 Filipino visual artists, currently on view until May 14 at ArtistSpace, at the Ground Level of the Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Ave. corner De La Rosa St., Greenbelt Park, Makati City. The ARTitude Group of Artists was created out of a desire to showcase the artistic talents of a diverse mix of individuals, which include professionals, retirees, homemakers, hobbyists, as well as professional and aspiring artists. As the COVID-19 pandemic heads to its longed-for end, they wish to express their desire for brighter days ahead with an exhibition which is a celebration of hope. The artists are: Anara Noelle Chiongbian, Angela Amor, Annabella Wisniewski, Annette Aguado, Arianna Quintal, Audrey Sin, Isabel Campa, Chiqui Lizada, Clara Mortensen, Daisy Carlos, Esther Leynes, Gigit Sales, Joanna Hirsch, Kathy Garrido, Lourdes Delgado, Marinette Ortigas, Maryrose Gisbert, Mildred Garrido, Nida Cranbourne, Ottilia Taus, Patricia Tan, Pit Montinola, Rene V. Canlas, Rhea Jai Fernandez, and Ysa Gernale. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Palanca winning script staged in UP

NAWAWALANG Gabi, Ninakaw na Araw is a live performance adaptation of Joshua Lim So’s Palanca award-winning script Araw-Araw, Gabi-Gabi. The story revolves around two men — one in his mid 40s and a younger man in his early 20s — imprisoned in a tiny windowless cell with a light bulb that is perpetually switched on after being abducted by paramilitary units on trumped up charges of rebellion. How long can they hold on before they break themselves due to the torture they face from their sadistic captors? Will they ever break free from this and live normal lives again? Directed by Banaue Miclat and starring Janno Castillo and Johnny Maglinao, the play will have 7 p.m. performances on May 19 and 20, and 3 p.m. matinees on May 20 and 21 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, Pavilion 3, Palma Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets are available on a “pay what you can” basis. The play is open to those over the age of 16.

Instituto Cervantes holds online film series

THIS month, Instituto Cervantes de Manila is presenting an online film series on its Vimeo channel, which explores contemporary rural life of Spain and the new migration trends between cities and rural spaces. Entitled “Geolocalizations and New Ruralities,” this series of four documentaries proposes new ways of understanding rural communities, and the challenges and opportunities brought by socioeconomic change. The series kicked off last Saturday, with the screening of Soñando un lugar (2018), by Alfonso Kint; and continues on May 13 and 14 with Os fillos da vide (2017), by Ana Domínguez, in which the director shows a piece of her childhood through the grape harvest and festivities of her hometown in Galicia. The film will be freely available for 48 hours on The third film of the cycle, 150 i una Grossa (2020), by Aurora Sulli and Núria Deulofeu, goes to Ametlla de Merola, one of the smallest towns in Catalonia with just over 150 inhabitants. The town’s central core is its theater, but due to lack of resources, it must close down. Everything changes when the town wins the Christmas lottery and the residents decide to use the winnings to refurbish the theater and prevent it from disappearing. The film will be freely available for 48 hours on May 20 and 21 through the link The film cycle will come to an end on May 27 and 28 with Los saldos (2022) by Raúl Capdevila. The film tells the story of his return home and how he and his father face the forced industrialization of their town in the form of a Western-style tale. The film will be freely available for 48 hours on The films, presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, will have English subtitles. Admission is free.  For further information and updates, visit Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook site ( or the event page:

Ballet Manila performs Don Quixote

BALLET Manila re-stages the classical ballet Don Quixote on May 27, 8 p.m. and May 28, 5 p.m. at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City. American danseur and a rising star of San Francisco Ballet Esteban Hernandez will fly into Manila to perform as Basilio, Kitri’s love interest. The iconic role of Kitri, on the other hand, will be performed by Ballet Manila’s principal dancer, Jasmine Pia Dames, who is also a Gawad Buhay 2015 awardee as Best Featured Female in Classical Ballet for her role in Romeo and Juliet. Don Quixote is part of Ballet Manila’s 25th season performance on its 27th year which was kicked off by Martin Lawrance’s Filipino and contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet in February. To purchase tickets, visit, or call 8891-9999. For more information about Ballet Manila and its upcoming shows, visit

Big Bad Wolf Books returns to Manila

THE BIG Bad Wolf book sale returns from June 24 to July 3, with its large and unique selection of literary works. The upcoming sale will feature over two million books up to 95% off, spanning different authors, genres, and writing styles. From bestsellers to cookbooks, and more for all age groups. The sale will be held daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. at the PICC Forum Tent, Pasay City. Big Bad Wolf’s book sales have toured 15 countries and 37 cities.

PHLPost marks National Heritage Month with stamps

TO MARK National Heritage Month (NHM), the Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) has unveiled a new set of commemorative stamps featuring eight heritage structures and historic sites associated with the birth of the Filipino nation, the first democracy and constitutional republic in the whole of Asia. These historic structures are the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; the Sideco House in San Isidro Nueva Ecija; the Cabanatuan Cathedral Convent in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; the Pamintuan Mansion in Angeles City, Pampanga; the Tarlac Cathedral, Tarlac City, Tarlac; the Cuenca House in Bacoor, Cavite; the Malolos Cathedral Convent and Barasoain Church, both in Malolos City, Bulacan. For the series, entitled Kalayaan ay Pamana, PHLPost partnered with the Filipino Heritage Festival, Inc., the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and FUNtastic Philippines, Inc., a group of amateur and professional photographers. PHLPost has printed 80,000 copies of the Stamps in eight different designs with a P16 denomination, and souvenir sheets with a P55 denomination. PHLPost in-house graphic designer Ryman Dominic Albuladora did the layout of the stamps, with photos credited to Rolino Bucao, Jr., Rosemarie de Guzman, Godwin Hernaez, Bobby Taron, and Ruwen Verdaguer of FUNtastic Philippines, Inc. Stamps and official first-day covers are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio and Iloilo City Post Office. For inquiries on the stamps, call 8527-0108 or 8527-0132 and follow its Facebook page updates.

All-Filipino cast in Here Lies Love

THE PRODUCERS of Here Lies Love, the groundbreaking musical from David Byrne (concept, music and lyrics) and Fatboy Slim (music), have announced full casting for the show, marking the first all-Filipino cast to perform on Broadway. The 23-member company, which has begun rehearsals for the musical includes Melody Butiu, Moses Villarama, Jasmine Forsberg, Reanne Acasio, Jaygee Macapugay, Julia Abueva, Renée Albulario, Aaron Alcaraz, Carol Angeli, Nathan Angelo, Kristina Doucette, Roy Flores, Timothy Matthew Flores, Sarah Kay, Jeigh Madjus, Aaron “AJ” Mercado, Geena Quintos, Shea Renne, and Angelo Soriano. They join the previously announced Arielle Jacobs (who plays Imelda Marcos), Jose Llana (who plays the dictator Ferdinand Marcos), and Conrad Ricamora (who plays his nemesis Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino”). Tony Award winner Lea Salonga also joins the cast in a special five-week-only guest engagement from July 11 to Aug. 13. Here Lies Love tells the story of Imelda Marcos’ rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power Revolution. Developed and directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers, with choreography by Olivier Award nominee Annie-B Parson, Here Lies Love will transform the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway at 53rd St., New York City) into a dance club where the audience is immersed in the story on the dance floor or in traditional theater seating. The musical begins performances on June 17 ahead of an official opening night on July 20. Tickets are on sale now at or by phone at 212-239-6200. The Broadway Theatre box office will open on May 20.

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