February may be the month for lovers, but it is also National Arts Month (NAM), which the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) celebrates with festivities that began during the last week of January and will spill over into March.
Celebrations include Visayas Regional Celebration and Sayaw Pinoy, Roxas City, Capiz (Feb.15-18); and Mindanao Regional Celebration, Cagayan de Oro City (Feb. 20-22).
NAM is organized by the NCCA Subcommission on the Arts, whose national committees cover the seven classical arts: architecture and allied arts, cinema, dance, literary arts, music, dramatic arts and visual arts. Each national committee will spearhead flagship projects in the three main island groups.
This was announced at a recent press launch at the NCCA office in Intramuros, Manila, led by NCCA chair Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature, and other officials.
A festive atmosphere reigned outside the building, with street dancers in native costumes and drummers stopping traffic and attracting the attention of passersby. Neighborhood children joined the fun, inspired by the TV cameras. Inside, there were performances in song and dance, but the one who stole the show was a ventriloquist, Ony Mercado, who kept up an amusing dialogue with a precocious puppet-mascot whom he introduced as “my student Nonoy.”
Ongoing is a forum cum exhibit to raise awareness and appreciation of Philippine architecture, which went to Bacolod City on the first week of February).
It will be in Baguio City and Davao City (second week of the month), Cabanatuan City (third week) and Batangas (fourth week).