Arts and culture, some say, define the identity and development of a community of human beings. More importantly, it connects us to the divine. The late Corazon Aquino saw the arts as an integral part of nation-building and promoting cultural pride and through Proclamation No. 683 declared February of every year as National Arts Month.
In 2008, a group of artists, media practitioners, and young people passionate about arts and culture met and resolved to give Proclamation No. 683 its rightful recognition by celebrating it and bringing the arts into public spaces where people from all walks of life are given a glimpse into the creative wealth that our local artists and our cultural heritage can offer.
Thus, Kisaw: Mag-Mugna Ta! was organized in February 2009 and 2010 that brought arts into the park, boulevard, Sidlakang Negros, tempurahan, market place, the kampanaryo, and the mall.
This year, the province of Negros Oriental, the city of Dumaguete, the Provincial Tourism Office, the Dumaguete City Tourism Office, Sky Cable, and the Youth Advocates through Theater Arts, in cooperation with Department of Education Negros Oriental and City Divisions, Foundation University, Negros Oriental State University, Silliman University, and St. Paul University Dumaguete, feature the following Kisaw events:
1. Parada para sa Sining, Sunday, Feb. 6 at 2 pm – School bands, student organizations, and cultural groups will fill the streets of Dumaguete City with color, spectacle and rhythm.
2. Tayada sa Parke, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 28 (5:30 pm, Quezon Park) —Musical and dance groups from various universities salute the sunset at the Quezon Park with odes through performance.
3. Balak, Balitaw ug Uban pa sa Tempurahan, Feb. 11 (7 pm, Tempurahan at Rizal Boulevard) Balitaw queen Enriquita Alcaide, with YATTA members as well as students of the Dumaguete Science High School, perform their own brand of the traditional form of balitaw. Balak winners from last year’s provincial festivities will be featured as well as a sprinkling of Visayan and Tagalog song. Select images of celebrated photographers Hersley Ven Casero and Alma Alcoran will fuse with contemporary poetry in a multi-media presentation.
4. Kulay at Hugis, Feb. 19-26, (Robinsons Place Dumaguete) Some of the best visual artists in the region come together for a public art exhibition at the Robinsons Place Dumaguete. On its last day, a Collaborative Painting Competition designed for children will be spearheaded by the Oriental Negros Children Advocacy Network.
5. Hinabi NegOr, Feb. 24 (2 pm, Negros Oriental Convention Center) Renowned artists, leaders and scholars speak and reflect on “how the arts have sustained the life of our communities”, with a keynote address by Malou Jacob, an accomplished playwright and executive director of the National Commission for Culture & the Arts.
This year’s Kisaw shall carry the theme Buhing Mugna (Arts Sustaining Life). As Ian Casocot aptly expounds, “Art sustains life. It is its beautiful gravity and soul, the creative manifestation of everything that we are as a people–our aspirations, our goodness and our frailties, our experiences and histories through the prism of the beautiful and the provocative. Art enriches the human, and becomes the portal for creative expression, whether one is an artist or an art lover. Without art, we do not have a mirror of our humanity.”
For more information, text or call 0917-794-9901. (Dessa Quesada-Palm)