“Earth without Art is just Eh! – The Philippines through the Arts”

“Earth without Art is just Eh! – The Philippines through the Arts”

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“When you experience looking into the local arts, you can find out different viewpoints from local artists, young and old. When you meet them, you can get more insights at how they see the world, how they think about various issues: politics, society, environment, culture and personal struggles.”

Marrz Capanang is a visual artist from Molo, Iloilo City. When asked why travel should include the local arts he further answered that our city is a small area filled with various Creatives. Here, a lot of artists are still non-commercial, we romantically call them “struggling”.

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When in our city, you can have a feel of the art scene at the Museo Iloilo, University of the Philippines in the Visayas art gallery and Cinematheque Iloilo. This month, these avenues are showcasing works of Ilonggo artists.

• Museo Iloilo

Anton Chan’s Neophyte Collection – until July 19th
“Vision” (Works of Ilonggo artists) – July 19th – August 19th

• UPV Alumni Lounge

PG Zoluaga’s Sojourn 3 – July 12th- July 26th

• Cinematheque Iloilo

Works of Marrz Capanang, Kristoffer Brasileno, Noel Epalan, Liby Limoso and Edgar Ferraris

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All around the Philippines, you can have a unique art experience through the following:

Visiting locations where products are made

I have visited the terracotta pot-making abode in Sagada Mountain Province and from that time on, grew a greater appreciation for everything handmade. The patience, gracefulness and creativity of makers make me admire them for producing all these beautiful pots, vases and other decorative and functional art.

In Miag-ao, Iloilo, I have experienced how the local women weave cloth for
wrap-around skirts and bags. In such a world of machines, it is very enriching to marvel at how plant fiber turn into the most beautiful clothing and accessories. This is the same case for most aeta communities. They create bags of different sizes, hats as well as bracelets from nito leaves.

In most beach destinations, you can find lots of shell accessories and home décors. I think, it’s best to visit households where they are made rather than buying stuff from all these costly shops.

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Going to venues for local music and cultural performances

Castaway Shack in Puerto Princesa Palawan was serendipity for me. I was walking around with my buddies when someone approached us and invited us in. The little bar had this charm that hits you home – carefree feel, random native design and local bands, that summary of the island life. Their drinks are very creative too!

We met the roots band Kawangis ng Tribu there. We jammed and danced with their music – of djembes, didgeridoos, rain makers and all indigenous musical instruments you craftily made by hands.

Here are some of the best music and arts festivals you can catch while in the Philippines:

• Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival – March 1st (Malasimbo Ampitheater, Mount Malasimbo, Puerto Galera, Mindoro)

Link

• Sunrise Festival – usually held in November in a Philippine province/island.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maharlika-Sunrise-Festival-2013-in-Cebu-Isang-Dekada-na/

• Various festivals in cities, provinces and towns – all year round, you can join the colourful fiestas where you can experience the natural gaiety, creativity and vibrancy of the locals.

Link

There are countless of art venues and artists to see and experience. It is always up to you how to take it and how to definitely have a blast. Let those expectations go, live in the moment and instead of fancy souvenir shops of all sorts, I am encouraging you to take with you a local item or a pure experience of colors and creations from our magnificent archipelago.

Just bask – it does not matter whether you walk away feeling more artsy and profound. In most times, it’s just this joy of creating and not buying, of pouring out one’s time and energy to add another hue in the daily spin of things.

/// Written by Kristine Buenavista, The Philippines