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An arts buffet online

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)’s open house festival,Pasinaya,” was the first event canceled last year following the outbreak of COVID-19 in February. This year, the open house arts festival has been revived and, in a way, expanded as it is being held in virtual theaters and galleries, making it open to a much wider audience than just those who could visit the CCP’s various performance and exhibit spaces over one weekend.

The festival has been renamed for the year as “Tuloy Po Kayo: Palihan. Palabas. Palitan.” Kicked off last weekend, it is ongoing on the online platforms of the CCP, its second batch of activities and shows to be held from Mar. 26 to 28.

The festival’s concept comes “from the tenet of Philippine psychology that touches on the Filipino’s desire to welcome his kapwa or fellow man into his home,” said a CCP press release. It “embraces the idea that no pandemic can stop artists from creating great works, finding new means of expressions, and sharing their ingenuity with others…”

“We felt that it’s time to reinvent ourselves according to the available platform using the same formula asPasinaya” but growing bigger virtually, and engaging the other regions,”

“Tuloy Po Kayo’s” deputy festival director Ariel Yonzon told BusinessWorld in a Zoom interview on Mar. 18.

The artists and groups welcome the audience into their homes, ateliers, salons, performance spaces, and venues virtually, to be part of the creative process. For the first time this year, the festival includes artist groups from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The online multi-arts festival consists of a three-part program — “Palihan,” “Palabas,” and “Palitan.” On Mar. 26, “Palihan” will feature workshops; on Mar. 27 and 28, “Palabas” focuses on performances by the CCP resident companies, regional groups, and other participants. “Palitan” focuses on talks with international and local festival organizers, art programmers, and creative stakeholders.

The festival website ( brings the participant to the CCP lobby and there they can choose the venue to explore — from the virtual Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo to Bulwagang Juan Luna.

Once inside the venue, they can choose which activity to participate in or which show to watch. Each workshop, performance, or artistic activity is 15 minutes long. The activities run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are also film screenings via the CCP Vimeo Channel (

This weekend, one can watch winning films from the 16th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival; attend a meet-and-greet with the screenwriter/director and actors of the award-winning Cinemalaya film John Denver Trending in live sessions on Mar. 27 after the film’s 11:30 a.m. screening; watch Kolab Co’s Mourning Gurlz, a reinterpretation of  Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero’s play Eye of A Needle  on Mar. 28, 1 p.m., at virtual Little Theater, and a performance of Artist Playground’s Geegee at Waterina, a play about the friendship between a gay town councilor and an aging drag queen and former “comfort gay,” on Mar. 28, 5:30 p.m., at the virtual CCP Main Theater.

Among the events on Mar. 26 at the online Palihan are: a talk about choral singing from the Philippine Madrigal Singers with Madz artistic director Mark Anthony Carpio at 11 a.m. and noon; playwright, actor and director Dennis Marasigan talking about Theater Elements, live at noon; a workshop on Dagit-Dagit with the Samahang Tagapagtaguyod ng Katutubong Sayaw ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Folk Dance Society at 2 p.m.; Young at Art Exclusive Preview with Karl Jingco at 2 p.m.; and a PumaPodcast talk about the Power of the Audio Experience on film at 3 p.m.

On Mar. 27, experience the rich culture of Mindanao through the 15-minute taste of Popong Landero and Kuntaw Mindanaw, highlighting folk and neo-ethnic music from Davao, at 10 a.m.; attend Xavier Stage of Cagayan de Oro’s latest production, Nang Lumuha Ang Tala, 9:30 a.m., at the virtual Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage; visit the dance studio of Gawad CCP Awardee Agnes Locsin and watch performances of Dasal and Bathala at 2 p.m., at the virtual Tanghalang Huseng Batute.

On Mar. 28, Lea Salonga talks about her Broadway theater experiences and sings Broadway songs from the musicals she starred in at 4:30 p.m.; opera singers Arthur Espiritu and Camille Lopez Molina will annotate excerpts from the opera Lucia Di Lammermoor at 4 p.m., preceded by the opening of Act III of the opera classic; a Behind-the-Scenes cut video of Jerrold Tarog’s short film Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw, will be shown at 5 p.m.

Over at Museum Mile (,, guests can also go on Virtual Tours of more than 40 museums and galleries from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. There are also more than 50 online art exhibits featuring Filipino artists in their studios and creative spaces.

“More than any other time in history, we’re now reaching numbers, unimaginable in a physical space, because the physical space can only give you maximum occupancy loads, but the virtual space, that’s limitless,” said Mr. Yonzon, who is the Associate Artistic Director of the Production and Exhibition Department of the CCP.

In a “better” normal and post-pandemic situation, Mr. Yonzon said that the return of live events will coexist with the virtual content.

“If there’s anything that we learned from last year, we now realize that even when we get back to the new and better normal, we now must have, as part of our programming,  virtual iterations of our live content,” Mr. Yonzon said. “That means, many of our programs will now be built for a live audience, and one that’s developed for online and broadcast streaming.”

For the full schedule activities, visit the CCP official social media accounts on Facebook (, Twitter, and Instagram, and the CCP website ( — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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