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Art for all as CCP’s ‘Sining Sigla’ kicks off

CCP is making art more accessible to the public with its virtual outreach program

Life without the arts would be empty. We would lose our humanity. While it is true that there are a lot of casualties due to the Covid-19 health crisis, from human lives to precious resources to the essence of our very freedom, the arts and their contribution to our wellbeing are vital now more than ever. The pandemic has also impeded the way we consume or experience art, with museums and galleries still closed and deemed non-essential at present.

The resourceful Cultural Center of the Philippines Office of the President (CCP-OP) is bringing art to the masses via online. The brainchild of the CCP president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, the virtual outreach program “Sining Sigla,” was recently launched.

The campaign pivots to digital and highlights its indefatigable mission of reaching out to the public despite the current ban on communal activities. Pre-pandemic, the CCP-OP outreach program was able to visit a number of cities such as Antique, Baguio, Palawan, Davao, Bulacan and Iloilo, to name a few.

“There is really something very magical when art, artists, and the stories we want to tell become one. It gives us a sense of understanding as a people,” says Nick. “That’s what we celebrate here in ‘Sining Sigla,’ the opportunity to be one with everybody through the arts.”

The season-long campaign features programs that will provide the public culturally relevant content online, which is aimed to make the public fall in love more with the arts. Here’s what’s in store for us.


Renowned actor Xian Lim is directing MALA (Movies Adapted from Literary Arts), a special series of educational, fun short videos that are intended to educate, inculcate good values, and make the young appreciate art using puppetry. The first two installments are adaptations of Ibong Adarna and Florante at Laura. “We’re excited to give new life to local literary classics,” Xian muses. “Even our schools have shifted to iPads and devices, so seeing this classic text online, it will have a different type of engagement, and it will spark interest.”

Joining Xian are scriptwriter Ony Carcamo, one of the country’s premier ventriloquists, and production designer Aina Ramolete, renowned shadowplay and puppet designer.

“MALA also stands for mala(pseudo)-Ibong Adarna, because the story is long, we’re cutting it shorter. So it’s not exactly the epic poem, but it stays faithful and very close to the original,” says Ony.

Jazz Stay At Home

A jazz festival will run from September to October this year. The pre-recorded program will showcase respected jazz artists from various generations vocal trio Baihana composed of Nicole Asensio, Lorna and Pipo Cifra, as well as Simon Tan Trio, and Michael Guevarra.

Pagbabalik-tanaw sa Unang Hari Ng Balagtasan

A special retrospective on Jose Corazon De Jesus’ life and works is also in the works. Billed “Pagbabalik-tanaw sa Unang Hari Ng Balagtasan,” the special show is directed by respected actor-director Ricky Davao, ably supported by top artists Dennis Marasigan as scriptwriter and assistant director, as well as Ohm David as production designer.

“I’m hoping we can give a different perspective on the life of Jose Corazon de Jesus. He was a superstar in his time, when people heard he was performing on a certain stage, they’d really line up to go there to watch and listen to him. In our project, we hope to get that feel, that effect on our audiences through streaming,” explains direk Ricky.

The film is slated this November, starring John Arcilla, Lara Maigue, and Ony Carcamo.

Sining Sigla can be watched for free on the Facebook page of Cultural Center of the Philippines Office of the President. @ccp.officeofthepresident

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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