Rony Fortich’s online musical theater workshops

MUSICAL director Rony Fortich will be holding online musical theater workshops for children and teens in May. Presented by the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Arts Center, the four-week program includes 10 group sessions (1.5 hours each), and two one-on-one sessions with Mr. Fortich. The program concludes with an online performance for family and friends. Interested applicants may register at Prior to the start of the program proper, an orientation with parents is scheduled on May 8.

‘Mother of all Philippine Maps’ now on postage stamp

THE PHILIPPINE Postal Corporation (PHLPost) unveiled a new postage stamp which features the “Mother of all Philippine Maps” as part of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Philippines’ role in the first circumnavigation of the world. The first scientific map of the Philippines, the Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica de las Yslas Filipinas Manila 1734, also known as the Murillo Velarde 1734 Map, was prepared by Spanish Jesuit cartographer Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde together with two Filipinos, engraver Francisco Suarez and artist Nicolas dela Cruz Bagay. It was acquired by Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication and the NOW Group, at a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2014. Mr. Velarde donated the map to the Philippine government through a deed of donation. The map, which shows the entire Philippine archipelago, was cited as evidence in the maritime case at the UN Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as a visual representation of the country’s sovereign territorial rights. On Mar. 16, PHLPost honored Philippine history and heritage through the launch of a commemorative stamp sheet which includes 12 standard sized stamps featuring scenes which were engraved by the sides of the Murillo Velarde map. The stamp’s denominations range from P12 to P55. The center of the sheet is filled with an oversized stamp featuring the image of the full map, denominated at P150.   

Short film Dante, Our Luck marks Alighieri’s 700th death anniversary

TO MARK the 700th anniversary of the death of author Dante Alighieri, a screening of Massimiliano Finazzer Flory’s short film titled, Dante, Our Luck (Dante, Per Nostra Fortuna) will be held on March 25 at Ravenna, Italy. The date and venue are symbolic as Mar. 25 is considered the beginning of Dante’s journey to the after world in his book The Divine Comedy, and Ravenna is where Dante passed away 700 years ago. It will be screened simultaneously online in Manila at 7 a.m. The Philippine screening was arranged through the Philippine Italian Association, the Dante Alighieri Society in Manila, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines under the auspices of the Embassy of Italy, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and the National Library of the Philippines. The Vimeo link to the film and the password to access it will be posted on the event’s official Facebook page “Dante in the Philippines” ( The film will be accessible for free, without registration. It will be in Italian with English subtitles to better appreciate the music of the stanzas. The film will be accessible for 24 hours on Mar. 25. For more information, visit the Philippine Italian Association at

Chabet exhibit on at Mo_Space

THE EXHIBIT “Four Red Works / Arrival and Departure: The Melancholy Of” featuring works by the late Roberto Chabet opened at MO_Space at Bonifacio High Street on Mar. 20 and will run until Apr. 18. In 1989, Chabet’s Cargo and Decoy marked the end of his first trilogy of works using plywood as the main material and metaphor for the vagrancies of postmodern art and life. Composed of four separate works, the exhibition recalled the cargo cults in the South Pacific as an analogy for the illusions of space in painting. Two works from the Cargo and Destroy series — Four Red Works and Arrival and Departure: The Melancholy Of — have been remade by King Kong Art Projects Unlimited as an homage to Chabet, who would have been 84 this month. More than 30 years since they were first exhibited at the Pinaglabanan Gallery, the reconstruction of the works provides an opportunity to witness and review Chabet’s deconstruction of painting and rigidness of formality. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Place an e-note in the Wailing Wall this Holy Week

FOR FILIPINOS unable to make a trip in Israel this Holy Week due to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the Israel Ministry of Tourism is offering to place notes for them in the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall. The notes will be submitted online, the tourism ministry will then print them and place them personally in the cracks of the historic wall. “While Israel is still closed to international travel, we wanted to create a meaningful way this coming Holy Week for the Filipinos in which they can be inspired and connect with the spiritual sites that are abundant in our country,” Sammy Yahia, Israel Ministry of Tourism director for India and the Philippines. Traditionally, visitors could write a prayer or wishes in a piece of paper and squeeze it between the cracks of the wall. It is said that if a person leaves a note at the Western Wall, the message and wishes will be heard as it is directly taken to God. Around 34,100 Filipinos visited Israel in 2019, according to the data of the Israel Ministry of Tourism. To access the western wall e-note portal,  go to

Rizal in Germany exhibit gets video treatment

THE ORTIGAS Foundation Library is presenting a video series based on its Rizal in Germany exhibit which was held at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bataan in 2019. The exhibit was presented at the ground floor of the “Binan House” named for the town it came from. Rizal’s mother, Teodora Alonso grew up in the house, so the exhibit’s site was perfect. The exhibit gives much credit to Germany for Rizal’s maturation, his direction, and eventually his decision to return home to his country. The videos can be found on the Ortigas Foundation Library YouTube channel. Three videos on the exhibit are currently available to view, with a fourth coming soon. The videos are Rizal in Germany — Part 1: Introduction, Rizal in Germany — Part 2: The Grand Tour, which shows the places Rizal visited during his time in Germany, also known as “The Grand Tour,” and Rizal in Germany — Part 3: The Noli Me Tangere, which marks the anniversary of Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere being published in Germany on Mar. 21, 1887. For more information, visit

Japanese playwright collaborates with Pinoy actors

THE JAPAN Foundation, Manila (JFM) presents TAHANAN, a collaborative online project of Fujita Takahiro, a prominent figure in the world of Japanese contemporary theater, and 24 actors from all over the Philippines. In partnership with Tanghalang Ateneo, Kasing Sining, and Teatro Guindegan, this project aims to explore the possibility of creating a different “shared space” where artists from Japan and the Philippines are connected and united to tell familiar but unique stories. TAHANAN is composed of four segments which will be streamed from Mar. 26 to 28. To kick off the event, an interview with the playwright Mr. Takahiro and Guelan Luarca will be streamed on Mar. 26, 7:30 p.m., to help audiences know about their works, artistic process, and this collaborative project. This event is a good opportunity for audiences to celebrate World Theater Week and witness the fruition of a collaboration between theater makers from Japan and the Philippines. The interview will be followed by TAHANAN sa Maynila on Mar. 27, 7:30 p.m., along with BALAY sa Visayas and Dialogues in Mindanao; and TAHANAN sa Luzon on Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m.  All resources will be made available on the official sites: mum&gypsy’s official website:, JFM’s official website:, and JFM’s FB page:

Benilde students present online interactive play

THE ONLINE interactive play Lying Creatures brings film noir into the digital stage, as it transports its guests to the seedy and surreal 1946 city of Lunan where humans co-exist with the secretive supernatural. Written and produced by Teatro 77, a team of Theater Arts students from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, the adventure follows the quest of a stoic female detective on the work to solve the disappearance of the Mayor’s daughter. With three main suspects in mind but zero leads, the protagonist receives a tip-off from a mysterious caller and soon finds herself in a whirlpool of doubts. In this quirky and innovative digital theater experience, participants may engage with each other through the featured forum facilitated by a live actor. As the plot is affected by the choices of the audience, all decisions are designed to impact the overall narrative and progress of the case. Lying Creatures will premiere on Mar. 25, 8 p.m. It will likewise be available on view on Mar. 26 at 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Mar. 27 at 3 and 8 p.m.; Mar. 28 at 9 a.m.; Apr. 1 at 3 and 8 p.m.; Apr. 2 at 12:3 and 8 p.m.; and Apr. 3 at 3 and 8 p.m. English subtitles will be available. Regular tickets are priced at P120, while a Killer-Diller Deal contains a bundle of five tickets for P77 each. Interested participants may register through The virtual stage will be accessible to official ticket-holders. For inquiries, email

Book focuses on Fearless Filipinas

FILIPINO history has a pantheon of great Filipina leaders, such as Gabriela Silang and Melchora Aquino. In addition to these historical heroes, there are many modern Filipino women that have succeeded spectacularly in their respective fields, broken the glass ceiling, and striven to give back to their communities. These Filipinas are honored in a new book, Fearless Filipinas: 12 Women Who Dared to Be Different. The book opens with a foreword from Vice-President Leni Robredo. The women featured in the book span a broad range of fields, including entertainment, sports, academe, arts, science, and business. Kim Lato and Merlee Jayme were chosen as representatives for business because of their great achievements. Ms. Lato founded gadgets store Kimstore while still a college student at De La Salle University Manila, and Jayme is known as one of the nation’s foremost leaders in advertising and creativity, as chair and chief creative officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu. The other women featured in Fearless Filipinas are: Angel Locsin, TV and film actress and philanthropist; Elda Rotor, the Vice-President and Publisher of Penguin Classics who brought Filipino authors like Nick Joaquin to a global audience; Kaizen Dela Serna, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in the burgeoning sport of obstacle course racing; Erika Legara, a physicist who founded the Asian Institute of Management’s Master of Science in Data Science program; Stella Abrera, the first Filipina American Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre; Jessica Cox, a motivational speaker and the world’s first licensed armless pilot and blackbelt in the American Taekwondo Association; Jessie Sincioco, the President of The Manna Cuisine Corp. and the chef who served Pope Francis on his visit to the Philippines in 2015; Dzi Gervacio, co-founder of the Beach Volleyball Republic and a SEA Games beach volleyball bronze medalist; Asia Jackson, a Filipina American actress in Hollywood who started the #MagandangMorenx movement to combat colorism in the Filipino community; and Dr. Reina Reyes, the Princeton PhD who confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity. Fearless Filipinas was written by Monica Padillo, Pancho Dizon, and Mica Magsanoc, edited by Kyle Nate, and illustrated by Chloe Gaw. Fearless Filipinas is slated for the release at the end of March, and is available for pre-order here: