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MANILA in 2019 is a bustling concrete jungle where the middle class and urban poor strive to have decent life, but in reality its streets are riddled with victims of extrajudicial killings, nine-year-old street urchins used by drug peddlers, inefficient public transport, and other inequalities and injustices.
RESORTS WORLD MANILA’s musical Ang Huling El Bimbo will return in March and this does not only mean giving a chance to those who missed it the first time around, more than this it is an opportunity to tweak the script and some songs, and to improve character development.
CELEBRITIES, thanks to their clout among their fans, make good endorsers. But beyond influencing us to buy and consume more T-shirts and face creams, four Filipino stars are now the ambassadors of far more important things, our arts and culture, with the goal of bringing them closer and making them more relevant to more people.
JOEL LAMANGAN’s Rainbow’s Sunset is a convoluted story of a rich troubled clan, whose main conflict revolves around the family members’ having to deal with grandfather Ramon (played by Eddie Garcia), who comes out as gay and wants to live with his best friend and lover Fredo (Tony Mabesa) who is dying from cancer. But Ramon’s outing himself at the age of 84 (“It’s already 2018!”) should be the least of this family’s — and the audience’s — concerns because Rainbow Sunset doesn’t only feature a conflicted clan, but its storyline is problematic too.
THE YEAR’S about to draw to a close, and it’s but safe to assume that the Philippine theater scene has been vibrant and prolific. The theater lovers have welcomed international presentations as well as local productions. To keep the ball rolling this 2019, here are some of the shows we can all look forward to next year.
ABSTRACT paintings hold a multitude of meanings depending on the beholder, so instead of looking for meaning, one way to connect to the art work is to look at and appreciate the labor behind the creation.
FILIPINO film historian and award-winning movie maker Nick Deocampo will be giving a series of free lectures from Dec. 12-14 at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza’s newly opened Red Carpet cinema as part of the Cine Europa film festival which is ongoing until Dec. 16 at the mall.
FORMERLY THE Diplomat Hotel, the Dominican Hill and Nature Park in Baguio City was recently repurposed to serve as an art gallery. Outside the building were installations by National Artist Kidlat Tahimik, while inside was a showcase of other installations, sculptures, and paintings by local artists like Maela Jose, whose huge mandala-inspired canvas that hung at the ground floor of the once grand hotel.
IF IMELDA MARCOS is still not behind bars next year, she will probably be attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), a project she initiated.
THE PHILIPPINES and Italy share the same dilemma when it comes to art: their governments doesn’t care much about it. But our shared problem stops here, because as an Italian art critic and curator who recently visited the county said, Italian politicians are only apprehensive to fully embrace contemporary art because they don’t understand it. Here, meanwhile, politicians aren’t very keen in prioritizing arts and culture at all.
THE WINNERS of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 13 Artists awards this year demonstrated that they’re not only concerned with their aesthetics, but also with what is happening in reality. The recipients have responded to the problems of our times: extrajudicial killings, social injustices, the oppressed’s endless plight, and fake news.
ATLANTIS Theatrical Entertainment Group this week will open a sweet musical — literally and figuratively — about the bitter realities of abusive relationships and the stresses of the everyday life. The Broadway musical Waitress will feature lots of pies, singing, and a whole lot of positive attitude.
FRANK SINATRA made us believe that New York is the center of the world when he sang “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you New York, New York.” Filipino fans, then, including visual artists and the patrons behind them (if they have any), have always aspired to break into and make it in the Big Apple art scene.
FROM SIMULATED SNOW to new rides and shows, Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) is upgrading and refreshing its offerings in time for the holidays -- and beyond.
WHO WEARS the barong Tagalog most often? Presidents and other political figures. Using the national men’s shirt as her metaphor and metonymy for politicians, artist Ninel Constantino unpacks the meanings and messages of the garment in her solo exhibition, Facade.
ART HEALS, literature enriches vocabularies and our sense of empathy, and theater helps children develop their imagination and creativity. But these truths aren’t quantifiable — or not quantified yet — which makes it hard for the government to see the positive impact and contributions of art and culture to economic development.
A TELEVISION reporter, a father and daughter, and a former entertainment reporter were among the winners in this year’s Palanca Awards, the annual award that recognizes outstanding Filipino literary writers.
HOW DO you keep yourself restrained when there’s a party on stage and iconic ABBA songs are playing? This can be the biggest challenge one encounters when watching the ongoing run of Mamma Mia! at The Theatre at Solaire: controlling your desire to stand up and dance and sing along with the cast.
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