Books and food can be ordered through GrabMart and other apps. That’s a good thing to know for April, which is simultaneously Literature Month and Food Month as promoted nationwide by the government agency National Commission for Culture and the Arts. But whether it’s books or food that you want or need, some riders can do the going-out and braving the traffic for you.
Television host Jolina Magdangal has known for almost two years now that she doesn’t have to go out to buy the ingredients for anything she needs to cook for her two kids. Whether it’s toyo and patis or broccoli and cauliflower that she needs, she can just press some keys on her mobile phone to order them from Grab Mart.
Magdangal hosts (with Regine Velasquez and Melai Cantiveros) the weekday ABS-CBN morning show Magandang Buhay; she’s been with the show since 2016. She has also been renewed as a GrabMart endorser, after having been signed up in the second half of 2022 with the launch of #MeronSaGrabMart, a campaign highlighting the wide selection of essential goods and items found in the technology platform. GrabMart is the online grocery delivery service of Grab Philippines.
“GrabMart is honored to partner once again with Ms. Jolina Magdangal. We salute her and every parent who pours in extraordinary efforts to provide for their families without missing the opportunity to create special moments together,” said Grab’s director for deliveries Greg Camacho.
Said Magdangal in response: “With GrabMart, wala akong worries kasi alam ko na pwede akong magpa-deliver ng home needs namin instead of me or my husband Mark (Escueta, the famous pop band drummer) running to the grocery store — especially whenever we need things in an instant. We just get our items delivered conveniently to our doorstep, completely hassle-free.”
Magdangal has two kids with Escueta. They have been married since 2011. Their kids are both of school age now: Pele Iñigo, 9, and Vika Anaya, who’s turning 5 on 18 May. The kids became home-schooled when the pandemic set in, and the couple decided not to have a household help or a nanny for the kids.
When asked if they plan to keep the family that small, Magdangal said she actually wants to have at least one more kid.
Magdangal got married in her early 30s. She’s now a vibrant 44.
As part of National Literature Month, “Performatura,” a festival of written words and performances, will be held 31 March to 2 April with live on-site activities from 10:30 a.m. onwards at the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Black Box Theater).
Under the theme “Performatura Goes Pop,” the festival presents performances, poetry readings, multi-arts workshops, literary talks, spoken word sessions, a poetry contest, film screenings, book launches, a book and art fair and interviews with renowned writers.
Award-winning writer Vim Nadera Jr. is the festival director. On the morning of the first day, vlogger-entrepreneur Carlo Ople will launch his non-fiction book Suweldo is Not Enough. There will also will be a sneaker shoe auction and a poetry performance by Hannah Leceña.
The afternoon session will celebrate National Women’s Month, with a turnover ceremony of the print edition of the book In Certain Seasons: Mothers Write in the Time of COVID to the CCP and to representatives of the Intellectual Property Rights office.
The turnover will be followed by the launch of Lila, Mga Tula, an anthology of poems written by women from the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo. Sponsored by the Spark and LILA groups, the event will offer talks and literary performances by women writers.
A retrospective screening of Brutal (1980) will cap the first day of the festival. The film was directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya, who was posthumously named last year National Artist for Film. Its script was written by Ricky Lee, who will hold a talkback session after the screening. Lee was also named last year as National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts.
The Gen Zs who may have heard that Amy Austria, Gina Alajar and Charo Santos were remarkable actors in their 20s ought to watch Brutal, because this is among the handful of films that showed them at their toughest and most sensitive as thespians.
Austria portrays a murderer of three persons, including her husband (the late Jay Ilagan) with whom she had been married for only a few months. She seems more willing to go to jail than talk about the violence (not only physical but also emotional and mental). But a persistent, cigarette-smoking though fitness-conscious and patriarchy-hating woman journalist portrayed by Santos succeeds in making her talk. Alajar plays a sex-seeking woman who seems to have no sense of morality and respect for herself and others.
All three are still very visible these days. Santos is in ABS-CBN’s Batang Quiapo. Austria is in GMA 7’s Hearts on Ice as an apathetic mother to a handicapped daughter who wants to be a figure-skating champ, and Alajar is doing a film with Nora Aunor, who was also named National Artist for Film last year. The film is titled Pieta.
Brutal is a pro-women film, of course.
Day 2 of Performatura will highlight the art of the spoken word. Members of Ampalaya Monologues will perform, as well as facilitate other spoken-word events. Founded by Mark Ghosn, the group is the Philippines’ premier spoken word collective.
Spoken Camp, meanwhile, is a page-to-stage writing workshop that will give participants the chance to improve both their writing and speaking skills.
A talk on performing written poetry by the National Artist for Literature Gemino Abad will also take place.
There will be a Spoken Fest featuring the hottest spoken word artists backed by indie music. The day will be capped by Spoken Night, an open mic session where aspiring poets can share their voices and stories.
The festival’s third day is dubbed Araw ni Balagtas. It will pay tribute to the late great Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas Baltazar, whose 235th birth anniversary is on 2 April.
A rapping battle (called “balagtasan” in Tagalog) will be held, with rap artists Tulala, Zantasa and D.O.C. performing. Singaporean literary artist Chris Mooney Singh will also talk about “Balagtasan in World Literature.”
Perfomatura will have other events outside the CCP and the festival proper. The NCCA is seeing to it this year that as many genres of literature from various regions of the country are highlighted — literally from Batanes in the north to Tawi-Tawi in the south.
Many events are being organized by schools and held in their campuses. Some events are coordinated with local government units.
Other NCCA events also involve government departments, including non-cultural ones such as the Department of Agriculture, the lead agency in this year’s Buwan ng Pagkain.
The NCCA’ s new chairman is National Archives of the Philippines Director Victorino Manalo. He took his oath of office in December last year.
Manalo has permanently replaced Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, who retired both as NCCA chairman and CCP president last year and was tentatively replaced by historian Dr. Rene Escalante of the Philippine Historical Commission.
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