CCP realigns its programs to deal with the pandemic

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IN LIGHT of the COVID-19 outbreak and enhanced community quarantine, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has realigned its artistic programs with the aim of protecting lives and livelihoods, and deliver content to Filipinos on alternative platforms.

In a recent release, the CCP stated the following strategies to achieve its goals: “use alternative modes of engagement so that Filipinos continue to benefit from the educational, inspirational and healing properties of arts and culture”; “protect livelihoods in the arts and culture sector by continuing to employ artists in the alternative production and distribution platforms”; “invest in capabilities that equip artists and cultural workers to innovate on methods of production and distribution during the enhanced community quarantine and the post-COVID recovery period”; and, “collaborate with artists and companies to digitize content in order to create new markets and new job opportunities in the arts.”

Programs will be prioritized under the following categories: Arts and Culture Online, Live Arts on Lockdown, Arts for Therapy, and Capacity Building.

For Arts and Culture Online, this month the CCP began making HD and archival recordings of events from its Cultural Content Digital Archives available online on its YouTube channel.

For its third and fourth week, the following programs will be on CCP Online (all the shows will premiere at 3 p.m.):

Juan Miguel Severo’s Hintayan ng Langit, directed by Raffy Tejada for Virgin Labfest XI, will premiere on April 28.

The Philippine Madrigal Singers’ Tanghalan Naming Tahanan with choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio will premiere on April 30.

The Ramayana-inspired ballet musical Rama Hari, a collaboration between National Artists Alice Reyes (choreography), Ryan Cayabyab (music), and Bienvenido Lumbera (libretto), premieres on May 2.

Ballet Philippines’ Firebird and Other Ballets premieres on May 5.

Carlo Vergara’s Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady, directed by Chris Martinez for Virgin Labfest 9, premieres on May 7.

Triple Threats: Everything in Bituin, featuring actress-singer Bituin Escalante, premieres on May 9.

The shows will be on view for one week before they are replaced. (To watch, visit CCP’s YouTube channel at

In a previous interview with BusinessWorld, CCP Vice-President and Artistic Director Chris B. Millado noted that other CCP events such as the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival have been pushed back to 2021. The Luces: Festival of Light scheduled for September has been canceled. Meanwhile, the 32nd Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video will push through as an online short film competition, and the September Gala Show will be repurposed as a thanksgiving concert for frontliners. The CCP is also working on a time capsule to document the Arts in the Time of COVID-19 and Virtual Reality (VR) galleries and museums.

The Live Arts on Lockdown program will begin in June with the online production of the 2020 Virgin Labfest. The annual festival of new one-act plays will push through as originally scheduled from June 10 to 28, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Arts for Therapy Program will develop and implement modules on arts for mental wellness and pursue arts for healing activities. The Capacity Building program will provide training modules for artists and cultural workers in art therapy and online technology.

For updates, visit or — MAPS