A large platform for spotlighting artists and performers


The Pasinaya: The CCP Open House Festival, which took place from 3 to 4 February, brought together a total of 4,093 artists and performers from different fields and disciplines. For these artists, being a part of one of the biggest arts events in the Philippines, organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is more than just a validation of their crafts. It is also a proof that artmaking contributes to personal, societal and national development.

The Kids Act Philippines, Marikina Dance Guild, and the Lipa Actors Company were just three of the many cultural groups who have been joining Pasinaya Festival for more than 10 years.

For Marikina Dance Guild, a community-based group composed of students, teachers and professionals, Pasinaya Festival has provided them with a great opportunity and inspiration to deepen their appreciation of Philippine arts and culture, especially for their young members.

Mayroon kaming mga dancers who started with us since Grade 3 and now graduating na as future teachers. Sila na ang nagtuturo at nag-pa-pass on ng mga natutuhan nila. Na-inspire sila dahil sa Pasinaya. Mas lumalim ang pagmamahal nila sa sining at kultura ng Filipino (We have dancers who started with us since Grade 3 and are now graduating as future teachers. They teach and pass on what they have learned. They are inspired because of Pasinaya. Their love for Filipino culture and the arts became deeper),” said Marikina Dance Guild artistic director Elenita Cruz.

She noticed that the participants of the Pasinaya Festival have gained a sense of individuality that extended to all members of the group, making it easy to mentor them — a goal that the guild strives to achieve.

“Joining the CCP Pasinaya really gives a positive effect, not just as a group, but also to the individual members. Pride nila ‘yon na nakapag-perform kami with other artists. Tapos iyong individuality na iyon na nararamdaman nila ay nagta-transcend sa buong grupo at mas madali silang makapagbahagi ng craft nila. Kapag maraming gumagawa ng kanilang craft, mas buhay ang ating sining at kultura (It is a source of pride that we get to perform with other artists. The individuality that they feel transcends to the whole group and it is easier to share their craft. If theere are more people involved in the craft, our culture and the arts are more alive),” Cruz added.

In addition to performing in Pasinaya Festival, Marikina Dance Guild has been participating in Palitan, one of the festival’s major components where festival programmers and art groups get together for business-to-business meetings and exchange ideas with other art organizations.

Like the Marikina Dance Guild, Kids Act Philippines has been joining the CCP Pasinaya for more than 10 years now. It is a non-profit, professional theater company whose goal is to hone children’s and young people’s artistic abilities through interactive activities that include theater, music, literature, and visual arts. It presents original and adapted plays for young audiences such as The Emperor’s New Clothes, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast, among others.

Their Pasinaya Festival participation aims to encourage youngsters to appreciate theater. Since Luigi Nacario, the artistic director of the company, began being involved in art later in life, he knows that his foundation wasn’t very strong. He believes that art must be ingrained in a person from an early age to strengthen it.

They realized that taking part in the Pasinaya Festival provides kids with self-assurance, making them more motivated and confident in their capabilities.

Nagkakaroon ng confidence iyong mga kids to perform on a bigger space, so naging pride nila na nag-perform sila sa CCP. Tapos nagkakaroon kami ng standard of performing na dapat at par sa CCP (The kids gain confidence to perform on a bigger space, so it becomes their pride that they have performed at CCP. Then, we are developing a standard of performing that is at par with CCP),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Lipa Actors Company has been joining Pasinaya since 2012, with the aim of providing local and regional artists a safe stage for performing. The majority of their productions are musical adaptations and plays with historical themes and subjects.

Artistic director Luisito Nario said that the group’s first performance at the Pasinaya Festival was remarkable. In the same year, they produced Ang Pag-ibig ni Kumintang, their first musical play based on a local folktale about Taal Volcano.

“Back then, it was like a baptism of fire for the company which was still navigating the local theater scene in Lipa City. Na-invite kami sa (we were invited to) Pasinaya that year when we premiered the musical. After Pasinaya, the reception of the local audience became much more exciting. The CCP is a prestigious platform. If you were able to perform at the CCP, with that kind of branding, you could gain a certain reputation among your peers and the audience,” Nario said.

For him, the Pasinaya Festival’s greatest contribution to community-based performing groups is the recognition it bestows upon its artists.

“It is important for artists to be encouraged because many artists want to create and perform but there are few people who encourage and support them. Community support is important for all artists and because of this their commitment to art is strengthened,” he commented.

On its twentieth year, Pasinaya Festival featured 131 groups and attracting an impressive audience of 44,115 at the CCP Complex in Pasay City, even with the main building undergoing rehabilitation. The events were held at the CCP Front Lawn, Liwasang Kalikasan, Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez and its surroundings, and parade ground of Vicente Sotto Street, and in partner museums and galleries.

With the theme “Sulong,” the festival went beyond the CCP Complex for the first time with events at the Circuit Makati in Makati City, which attracted 1,232 people; at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts in Iloilo City, Iloilo, where 656 people attended; and in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which enjoyed 4,629 attendees. A total of 50,632 people attended the festival this year, a big jump from the previous year’s audience count of 36,696.

Since 2005, the Pasinaya Festival has been held during the first week of February to jumpstart the celebration of National Arts Month. It was initially intended to provide a sneak peek of the CCP’s artistic programing for the year. As the festival expands over the years, it now serves as a platform for networking, collaborations, and the appreciation of art.

The festival features different components — Palihan, where audiences can join the different workshops; Palabas where they can watch unlimited shows; Palitan, in which festival programmers and cultural groups meet for business-to-business meetings; Paseo Museo, a tour of various galleries, museums, and art spaces around the metro through a hop-on-hop-off scheme; Pagtitipon, which gathers the Kaisa sa Sining partners from different regions of the countries to participate in the festival; and Pamilihan, a market of products from all over the country.

This year, CCP has collaborated with 26 embassies, 17 museums and galleries, six partners and 10 sponsors. There were 44 booths in Pamilihan, 65 workshops, 63 online and on-site business networking meetings, 107 performances and eight special events in 30 venues.