THE ARTISTIC programs of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) continue to reinforce arts education and appreciation even while its Main Building undergoes extensive rehabilitation.

After over 50 years of existence, the structure’s rehabilitation commenced in January 2023. A full year later, it is about 30% complete.

“CCP is the work of National Artist Leandro Locsin. We can’t just overhaul the whole building,” said CCP president ad interim Michelle Nikki Junia at a Feb. 1 press conference in the Bamboo Pavilion at Liwasang Kalikhasan at the CCP Complex in Pasay City.

“It has been a delicate balancing act of preserving the design and modernizing the building to keep up with the time,” she said.

The rehabilitation project emanated from an audit done from 2018 to 2019. Findings revealed that, while the 55-year-old building’s foundation remains strong, there has been considerable wear and tear beneath the surface.

Work on the building is being done in phases, starting with structural retrofitting following 2015 building code standards, and modernizing structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical features.

“The next phase will strengthen the mechanical and technical capacities of the theaters themselves, to be at par with global standards,” Ms. Junia said.

The project is expected to be complete by 2025, with the Main Building and its theaters “definitely open by 2026.”

CCP vice-chair Margie Moran-Floirendo said at the press conference that the institution will improve its arts advocacy to the best of its capabilities.

“This year, the CCP heralds another year of firsts and of good old reliable programming, celebrating and advancing the unique creativity of our people and culture,” she said.

Because of the work being done on the main building, its artistic programs and projects are spread out across the regions and online instead. Popular festivals such as the Pasinaya in February, the Virgin Labfest in June, and Cinemalaya in August will be going beyond Metro Manila.

CCP artistic director Dennis Marasigan said that their target is “to produce 765 events, ranging from performances, screenings, exhibits and workshops both onsite, off-site, and online,” this year.

“We hope to reach over 200,000 onsite viewers and engage over 6,000 artists. For our workshops, we hope they can benefit 16,000 participants,” said Mr. Marasigan.

He invited everyone to stay tuned for details on the productions of resident companies like the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Philippine Ballet Theater, Bayanihan National Dance Company, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ballet Philippines, and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, among others.

Meanwhile, popular film programs will continue being held, such as CCP’s The Met Live in HD, National Theater Live, Cine Icons, Cinema Under the Stars, and Lakbay Sine. The CCP Out-of-the-Box Series will have its second edition, while the Triple Threats program — which focuses on performers who can act, sing, and dance — returns with Leading Ladies concerts.

After a two-year hiatus, the CCP is also bringing back the Children’s Biennale, which will have colorful “edu-tainment” offerings about the diversity of Philippine arts, indigenous cultures, and the natural environment. This will be done for free through interactive art installations, educational film and play screenings, creative workshops, children’s book fairs, and other activities.

The Baraptasan, a modern take on the Balagtasan, is one of the CCP’s flagship programs, celebrating the centenary of poet Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar. It will feature literary jousting in Filipino, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Ilokano, slated to happen on April 6.

Finally, the CCP will roll out the National Performing Companies (NPAC), for which it is now accepting applications until March 15. Its goal is to find and fund the best national performing companies in Dance, Theater, Orchestra, Choral, and Indigenous Performing Ensemble.

“This year, we are intensifying our presence in the regions, creating new partners with LGUs and cultural organizations, collaborating with as many artists as we can, and producing shows in alternative performing spaces and venues across the country,” Mr. Marasigan said.

For inquiries about the productions and ticketing concerns, contact 8832-3706, 8832-1125 loc. 1803, 1806. E-mail or  For details follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. — Brontë H. Lacsamana