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Arts & Culture (11/30/22)

Ricky Ambagan exhibit at Salcedo Private View

SALCEDO Private View presents Ricky Ambagan’s solo exhibition titled “no one had foreseen…” to run from Dec. 1 to 17. A sequel to his previous solo exhibit at Salcedo Private View — “From Here andI’m Coming Home” — this collection of oil on canvas works pulls viewers from the realm of the familiar and invites them to see themselves in the place of the pajama-clad boy who takes center stage in these illustrated stories. The general theme explores a child’s journey through an expansive world within his imagination. A graduate of the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Mr. Ambagan started out as an abstract artist who found his voice in figuration. His works have won him numerous awards including the GSIS Painting Competition Grand Prize in 2011, The Juror’s Choice Award for LRT ART 2009, and the Philippine Art Awards Luzon Regional Winner in 2011 and 2012. Salcedo Auctions is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Ave., Makati City. The online catalog will be available starting Dec. 1 at salcedoauctions.com. For inquiries, e-mail info@salcedoauctions.com or call 8823-0956, 0917-591-2191.

Ikebana exhibit opening at SM Aura

“Blossoms of Hope,” an exhibit of Ikenobo Ikebana, will open on Dec. 2, 2 p.m., at the 3rd Floor Atrium, SM AURA Premier in BGC, Taguig. The exhibit is organized by the Manila chapter of Ikenobo, Japan’s oldest and largest school of Ikebana. “Blossoms of Hope” will feature works by Ikebana masters and enthusiasts. This is also Ikenobo’s first exhibit since the pandemic.

BenCab Museum ends year with two exhibits

TWO exhibits will be opening at the BenCab Museum in Baguio on Dec. 3. The first is “Skywatcher II,” featuring photograpsh by National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, to be on view at the museum’s Sepia Gallery until Jan. 29. The second is a group exhibit, “Re:View 2022,” at the museum’s Gallery Indigo. It features the works of 59 artists including Kawayan de Guia, Joy Mallari, Soler Santos, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Mark Justiniani, Antipas Delotavo, Pow Marin, and Lourd de Veyra. The exhibit will also run until Jan. 29. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5:30 p.m.), with limited opening hours — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last entry at 3:30 p.m.) — on Dec. 24 and 31. It will be closed on Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Neuro-diverse adults perform in Christmas concert

OVER the past two months, 30 young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities have been hard at work, rehearsing and video-taping their numbers for their upcoming online musical concert, My True Colors.  Known as the Gentle Giants, the performers are beneficiaries of the Boundless Possibilities Foundation, Inc., (BPFI) a non-profit organization that seeks to provide neuro-diverse adults with venues for community inclusion and productivity. In My True Colors, the performers will use music and art to tell their individual stories. The show premieres on Dec. 3, 8 p.m, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/boundposs. My True Colors is the 3rd virtual concert of the Gentle Giants, and follows last year’s highly successful Pana-panahon which had thousands of views from over the world. Proceeds from the concert will be used for the program offerings of BPFI consisting mainly of community-based activities in music, art and sports while offering opportunities in entrepreneurship and supported employment.  Over the longer term, the Foundation also hopes to put up a one-stop Center which would offer broader services to address the wide-ranging needs of its beneficiaries.

Paskong Pinoy at the CCP

THIS Yuletide season, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) offers a variety of performances and programs, ranging from a classical concert to a contemporary dance production, and traditional Filipino Christmas activities, throughout December. The celebration kicks off with Puso ng Pasko, an all-Filipino Christmas ballet, on Dec. 2 to 4, 8 p.m., with matinee shows at 3 p.m., at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). The production is an expansion of the dance film production Tuloy Ang Pasko which premiered in 2020. Puso ng Pasko puts the spotlight on the Yuletide festivities and traditions from the different regions of the Philippines, and features a ground-breaking work by Ronelson Yadao, artistic director of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines — the Filipino version of Nutcracker, with musical arrangements by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab. Live opera returns at the CCP Main Theater after more than two years with Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. Directed by Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, and set in ancient China, Turandot is known for “Nessun Dorma,” arguably the world’s most famous tenor aria. The opera stars Korean singers soprano Lilla Lee and bass Jinsu Lee, Filipino soprano Rachelle Gerodias, Byeong In Park, tenors Ivan Nery  and Nomher Nival, and baritone Greg de Leon. Mr. Favoino conducts the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), along with the choral ensembles of the Viva Voce Voice Lab. Family-oriented films will be shown in Cinema Under the Stars (CUTS) on Dec. 14 to 16, at the CCP Front Lawn. CUTS is an open-air, hybrid outdoor cinema to encourage moviegoers to walk-in, bike-in or drive-in. This is free to the public. The annual CCP Light and Sound show returns on a grander scale, featuring the Christmas façade décor dubbed Binurda, starting Dec. 15, 7 p.m., at the CCP Façade and Front Lawn. During the launch, the Bayanihan National Dance Company, The Nightingales, Male Ensemble of the Philippines (MEP), and surprise guests will perform. On Dec. 16, 8 p.m., the PPO presents Handel’s Messiah, under the baton of conductor Mark Anthony Carpio. The PPO will perform alongside a 200-member chorus, composed of current members and alumni of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Sing Philippines Youth Choir, Male Ensemble Philippines, and Musika Filipina, Coro Cantabile, the DLSU Chorale, the Lighter Side Movement, Novo Concertante Manila, the Pansol Choir, the Philippine Vocal Ensemble, and Song Weavers Philippines. Featured soloists are soprano Stefanie Quintin, tenor Ervin Lumauag, bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca, and mezzo-soprano Michelle Mariel Mariposa. Ballet Philippines brings back the Christmas classic ballet, The Nutcracker, on Dec. 17, 8 p.m., and Dec. 18, 2 and 6 p.m., at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. The CCP Arts Education Department will launch Vamos A Belen: Sama Samang Paggunita and Pagdiriwang, a Pastores dance competition, on Dec. 21. This event is a platform for dancers and dance groups to showcase their skills in interpreting dance literature focusing on Pastores piece. This is in preparation for the 50th anniversary production of the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group in September 2023. The CCP continues its tradition of hosting the Simbang Gabi, in partnership with Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and other hermanas, with on-site masses from Dec. 16 to 24, 5 a.m., at the CCP Main Ramp. The Misa de Aguinaldo will be held on Dec. 24, 8 p.m., at the CCP Main Theater, with a pre-mass program featuring the Panunuluyan. For the third year, the CCP will also have a virtual Simbang Gabi, in partnership with various parishes from the different regions of the country to celebrate anticipated masses. The Anticipated Mass from the Regions runs from Dec. 15 to 23, 9 p.m., and will be streamed simultaneously on the CCP Facebook Page. Follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok for the latest happenings this December.

Christmas Concert at The Pen returns with the MSO

THE PENINSULA Manila ushers in the holiday season with the return of Christmas Concert at The Pen, featuring the talents of soprano Jade Rubis Riccio, The Voice Philippines alumnus Poppert Bernadas, visiting French children’s choir Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois, theater stalwart Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo who will host, and the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the baton of National Artist for Music Maestro Ryan Cayabyab. After a hiatus of two years, one of Metro Manila’s most enduring holiday traditions returns on Dec. 4, 5-7 p.m., at The Lobby of The Peninsula Manila in Makati. This year, the hotel has put together a memorable musical repertoire (one with many firsts). Wielding the baton and directing the concert for the very first time in its 37-year history is Mr. Cayabyab who will conduct the MSO. The concert will open with the MSO accompanying Riccio and Bernadas in “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Mr. Cayabyab says this year’s concert will be “a love song to music and musicians” after years of lockdown, and will feature Christmas carols, Broadway love songs, and Gershwin classics. For The Lobby patrons, confirmed seating will be provided at P20,000 for a table of four (with a deluxe set festive merienda) or P50,000 for a table of 10 (with a deluxe set festive merienda and two bottles of Champagne). Seating at The Upper Lobby will be on first-come, first serve basis with a P3,000 consumable fee per person (with a set festive merienda). For inquiries or reservations, please call +63 (2) 887-2888, extensions 6691 or 6694 (Restaurant Reservations) or e-mail DiningPMN@peninsula.com.

Exhibit of vintage Cordillera photos in Bacolod

“PEOPLE and Places: A Cordillera Legacy,” an exhibition of reproductions of vintage photographs, many of them rarely seen, highlighting the peoples of the Cordillera, their culture, and their past, is now on view at The Negros Museum in Bacolod City. The exhibit is sponsored by the Ortigas Foundation Library and Water Dragon, Inc., and features images from the Jonathan Best Collection and the Ortigas Library Image Bank, as well as private collectors. The exhibit threads visually through the remote Cordilleras at the beginning of the 20th century. It is on view until Jan. 15, 2023.

Exhibition on Philippine komiks 

THE VISUAL Arts and Museum Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) presents an exhibition on the Philippine komiks industry titled “Komiks: Sining Biswal,” curated by writer and illustrator Randy Valiente. Original works and illustrations by select comic artists and illustrators, and pieces from private collections are on display. “Komiks: Sining Biswal” is on view at the CCP Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (the 2nd floor hallway gallery) until Dec. 15. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/ccpkomiks.

2-part Norberto Roldan show at Museo Iloilo

SILVERLENS presents “Viva España” and “Long Live América”by Norberto Roldan, an exhibition in two parts that straddles between two locations in Metropolitan Iloilo chosen for their historical, cultural, and political affinities. “Viva España/Long Live América” are on view until Dec. 31at Museo Iloilo and Kri8 Art Space in Bacolod. “Viva España” is on view at Museo Iloilo (built 1971), the first government-sponsored museum outside Metro Manila. Museo Iloilo’s collection includes around 300 religious artefacts and figures from home altars of old, prominent, and devout Catholic families in the province. The Ilonggos’ donations of Catholic material culture firmly attest to the influence of 400 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines on the Visayan region and its people. Meanwhile, “Long Live América”is presented at Kri8 Art Space at Balay Sueño Annex, a 1940s ancestral house located at the corner of Benedicto and Washington Sts., Jaro, Iloilo. This section of the diptych exhibition reflects the country’s American colonial history with snippets of Hollywood, cinema, American fashion, and America as a super power, and at the same time attempts at self-reflexivity on the Filipinos’ love-hate relationship with America.

CCP Met Opera presents Dialogues Des Carmélites

THE DEVASTATING tragedy about a young woman who joins the Carmelite nuns to escape the terrors of the French Revolution closes the 2022 offering of CCP Met Opera in HD, slated on Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m., at Greenbelt 3, Ayala Malls Cinemas in Makati City. Composed by French composer Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, Dialogues des Carmelites follows the aristocratic Blanche de la Force who joins the Order of Carmelite to escape the reign of terror. The opera is a quasi-historical opera based on the martyrdom of 16 Carmelite nuns and lay sisters from Compiegne who sacrificed themselves for peace during the revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799. Poulenc’s three-act opera has become a favorite among the Metropolitan Theater’s audiences because of its striking production values and timeless staging, complemented with a remarkable cast. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the music director of The Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, leads an ensemble in Poulenc’s devastating modern piece. It stars mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard opposite Met legend Karita Mattila. Now on its 7th season, the CCP Met Opera in HD is a special program of the CCP Film, Broadcast and New Media Division, under the Production and Exhibition Department, in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., and Ayala Malls Cinemas. The series showcases operatic productions through the high-definition (HD) digital video technology and Dolby sound, recreating the experience of watching an opera production at the Met “live.” For tickets and other inquiries, call the CCP Box Office at 8832-3704 and 8832-1125 local 1409. Visit the CCP website www.culturalcenter.gov.ph for more information.

Ballet Philippines presents The Nutcracker 

BALLET Philippines will perform the Christmas classic The Nutcracker at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Dec. 17 and 18. The story follows the adventures and misadventures of a young girl who is transported to a magical land on Christmas Eve. For tickets and more information, visit https://www.ballet.ph/the-nutcracker/.

Melissa Yeung-Yap exhibit at ArtistSpace

ARTISTSPACE presents “10 10 10,” Melissa Yeung-Yap’s showcase of works that contemplate the past, the present, and the future, woven together by the engagement with some of the most enduring products of Philippine culture. The title-as-a-number-series signifies her 10th anniversary in the art world, her 10th solo exhibition, as well as her collaboration with over 10 Philippine indigenous and artisan communities as an artist, a field researcher, and a social entrepreneur. Melissa (Ruivivar) Yeung-Yap is a Filipina visual artist who uses art not just as a medium for self-expression but as a means for empowerment, and for bringing her advocacies to the fore. The exhibit is on view until Dec. 7 at the ArtistSpace, located at Ground Level, Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa St., Greenbelt Park, Makati City. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Zaballero exhibit at Instituto Cervantes

INSTITUTO Cervantes presents “Fondly Remembering Spain,” an exhibition of Phyllis Zaballero’s “Spanish paintings.” The exhibit is on view at the Instituto Cervantes’ Intramuros branch until Jan. 22, 2023. This collection of paintings, including those from private collections and those from the artist, was inspired by Ms. Zaballero’s years spent in Barcelona and memories of her trips around the Iberian Peninsula from 1957 to 1960 which had a strong impact on her as an artist. Zaballero was one of the Thirteen Artists Awardees in 1978.

Fernando Zóbel’s work in Madrid exhibit

A RETROSPECTIVE of works by Filipino-Spanish artist Fernando Zóbel (Manila, 1924-Rome, 1984) is currently on view in Madrid, Spain until March 5. Museo Nacional del Prado opened the exhibition Zóbel featuring 42 paintings, 51 sketchbooks, and 85 drawings and graphic works loaned from international collections make up the survey. The exhibition is curated by Felipe Pereda, Fernando Zóbel de Ayala Professor of Spanish Art at the University of Harvard, and Manuel Fontán del Junco, director of Museums and Exhibitions at Fundación Juan March. It was organized with the collaboration of the Comunidad de Madrid, and the support of the Ayala Foundation and Fundación Juan March. Zóbel spent countless hours drawing and studying the paintings in the Prado and also generously donated to it a number of important drawings by 16th-to 18th-century Spanish masters. Structured into five sections, the exhibition reconstructs Zóbel’s poetic and artistic journey, which was bounded by the two ends of a single principle: leaning to look in order to understand the art of the great masters, and applying what he learned to his own work in order to share that knowledge. For more information, visit https://www.museodelprado.es/en/.

Children’s book on mental well-being launched

WITH the support of Unilab Foundation, Mind You, and LFX Multimedia Studio, the Austrian Embassy Manila partnered with Kwago Bookstore and Publishing Lab to launch a children’s book with a 3D interface entitled Sala Sa Init, Sala Sa Lamig for the Austrian Literary Society’s International Literature Dialogues on Nov. 26. Co-created by Filipino author Czyka Tumaliuan and Austrian illustrator Amir Abou-Roumié, this book project is an intercultural literary initiative that aims to promote mental health for kids and families through arts and literature. The story revolves around a child that sees her mother as an octopus. The child thinks her mother as quite wonderful, but her mother doesn’t see herself as how her child sees her, feeling that she is a monster to her child and to everyone, which is a symptom of mental divergence (delusion and feeling of worthlessness). It’s now up to the child to coax her mother to accept who she is, love herself and go back to society. “This story book for children seeks to raise awareness about the experiences of parents with disabilities in a very positive and hope-based manner from someone who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder myself. I am no expert. I shared it based on my experience hoping to connect with parents who are going through the same battle,” book author Czyka Tumaliuan said.

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