Arts & Leisure

CASA San Miguel: 24 years and still going strong

Posted on August 05, 2015

FOR THE PAST 24 years since it was transformed from a farm into a nurturing space for young artists exploring their craft, CASA San Miguel has been a place of refuge for the creative young people of Zambales, cultivating generations of musicians, painters, poets and writers.

Led by violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata (of Zambales’ prominent Corpus-Bolipata clan), CASA -- which stands for the Center for The Arts in San Antonio -- has taught and inspired young artists in the area, most of them children of fishermen, farmers, fresh produce traders and overseas workers.

With its mission and core belief -- Enlightenment, Empowerment and Excellence -- CASA San Miguel has prepared promising young talents for the Philippine High School for The Arts and some of the country’s leading conservatories, including the UST Conservatory of Music, UP College of Music, Santa Isabel College to name a few.

Through the years its residents, alumni and students have received several awards including the National Music Competition for Young Artists, TOYM Award, and Gawad ng Maynila Award. CASA San Miguel itself has earned recognitions and citations including the NCCA Gawad ng Hiraya Award.

CASA’s first term on its upcoming 24th Season will have instruction in strings/winds and piano culminating in a chamber music performance and a visual arts exhibit. The first term runs from July 5 to Oct. 5, with a culminating recital/exhibit on Oct. 18. The second term runs from Nov. 8, to March 6, with a culminating recital/exhibit on March 19.

There will also be a weekly “Ambassadorship Hour” in Zambales and an extension program every Friday for the children in Tondo. Topics to be discussed include promotion of Filipino identity through culture, environmental awareness, children’s right and anti-bullying campaigns.

For the Ambassadorship Program, the Pundaquit Virtuosi Ambassadors will hold a “Starbucks Outlet Tour” every Saturday until December.

The Ambassadorship Program includes community development through the arts -- concerts, exhibits and video showings, as well as interaction with other rural and urban communities, addressing social and political issues.

Next year, CASA is set to launch a children’s book and plans to hold a Summer Camp in April and May.

CASA San Miguel will be recording for two albums: Songs of War, a Heritage album of the 1896 war, World War II, and EDSA Revolution which will be launched in November, and a Christmas Album .

There are guided tours available every day for the ongoing art exhibits in both the Anita Magsaysay-Ho Gallery and Museum and the Don Salubayba Community Gallery. For scheduled exhibits, visit the CASA San Miguel or Cuerdas Cuadros Facebook page.

To raise funds CASA San Miguel will be holding a screening of the film Boses on Dec. 7-13 at the Subic Convention Center. It will also host a Christmas Bazaar showcasing CASA’s processed products as well as produce from nearby communities, among other items.