DANCE performance at CCP Eskinita.

Fifteen years ago, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) launched what has become the largest multi-arts festival in the country. As it celebrated a milestone this year, Pasinaya got supersized with an extra day of festivity and more shows.

When it was first launched, the festival became the first foray into the arts for those who had not yet made it to the CCP, a debut of sorts into the Philippine art scene

Following the theme “Karapatan, Kalayaan, Kultura,” the Center decided to make it a three-day affair to accommodate the growing audience, as well as put the spotlight on regional performing groups and artists.

Pasinaya through the years
When it was first launched, the festival became the first foray into the arts for those who had not yet made it to the CCP, a debut of sorts into the Philippine art scene. It introduced the “pay what you can, see all you can” donation scheme (suggested donation of P50) which would give everyone access to all the shows at the different CCP venues. However, it attracted just a trickling.

In next few years, the Pasinaya allowed the people to experience CCP in the most fun way.

Soon, the buzz about the open house festival caught on, and the audience count swelled and the number of participating artists and performing groups grew. Soon, it spurred creative conversations and ignited strong art appreciation among the audiences.

As the festival grew by leaps and bounds, the CCP went the extra mile and extended the festivities beyond the complex. On its 10th year, it partnered with surrounding museums and galleries in Pasay and Manila, in cooperation with Jeepney Tours, a group of jeepney operators that reinvented the iconic Pinoy vehicle.

In 2017, it introduced the two-part program, dubbed “Palihan at Palabas.” It became a two-day event, with the first day focused on workshops, and second day, different shows, productions and presentations. For a donation, participants may go in and out of the different CCP venues to attend the 30-minute workshops in various art disciplines conducted by leading artists, resource persons and teachers.

MODERN dance group.

Last year, Pasinaya presented 161 shows, performed by 4,351 artists and watched by 14,915 people. About 3,500 went to the different museums to see a total of 33 exhibits. No less than 80 films were screened. The total viewership reached 74,857. For the Palihan, 9,213 people participated in 73 workshops, facilitated by 165 mentors and teachers.

Let the fun begin
This year, the country’s leading art institution opened its doors again and offered unique artistic experiences. The first day kicked off with the opening ceremony featuring STC Siglayaw Dance Troupe, Marikina Dance Guild, UST Legazpi SPA Quartet, Arts and Design Track Senior HS students from Dagupan and Pagsanjan national high schools and UST Legazpi High School Department.

The workshops were simultaneously conducted starting from 9 a.m. There were basic puppet making, basic ventriloquism, Indak Bayanihan folk dance workshop, Learn to Sing with the Madz, playwriting workshop and film appreciation orientation, acting workshops, ballet classes, and basic animation.

This year, the Palihan introduced the Kids Zone, where children joined various interactive activities such as storytelling, musical instrument zoo and music workshops. The Kids Zone, a designated area where parents can leave their young children while they enjoy and participate in the Palabas and Palihan. Parents could participate in various workshops without worries.

The festival also conducted activities that pursued gender and development and promoted inclusivity and equality including a sign language workshop and the Kawomenan Writing by Katrina Stuart Santiago.

Over 3,000 artists from different art fields such as music, theater, dance, spoken word and visual arts participated in the Palabas. The second day of the festival featured performing groups and artists from the different regions in the Philippines.

BALLET performance at the Main Theater.

A parade commenced the third day of the festival, followed by “patikim (a taste of)” from the center’s resident companies — namely Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Tanghalang Pilipino, UST Symphony Orchestra and National Music Competitions for Young Artists.

Another highlight of the festival was museum-hopping. Several shuttle vans ferried the revelers to the partner museums around the metro, including Casa Manila, Museo Pambata, National Museum, Met Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Bahay Tsinoy, UP Manila Museum of A History of Ideas, 98B Collaboratory and Hub Make Lab, FDCP Cinematheque, Museo Marino, Galleria Duemilla, Avellana Art Gallery and NCCA Gallery.

The festival featured performing groups and artists from the different regions in the Philippines.

The festival culminated with the People’s Gala, which featured the best of the best in the art community and performances of the CCP resident companies and other guest artists.

Through the Pasinaya, the CCP aims to provide a platform for the artists to showcase their talents, nurture the public and create new audiences through interactions and performances.

Through the festival, CCP makes art matter in the life of every Filipino.

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