Darren Espanto wants us to “Believe In Christmas”

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The isolating nature of the pandemic has left us yearning for human connection, disrupting our daily lives on an unprecedented scale and forever changing the way we interact with one another. Its uncertainty has not only instilled fear and anxiety, but also forced us to participate in a game of risk roulette, where everyone tries to survive a global health crisis that knows no end or time, and outwit an invisible enemy through strategic measures that align with the new normal. But Darren Espanto wants us to believe that love will always be our guiding light even in the most difficult of times. The accomplished recording star is optimistic about using his voice as a catalyst to spark hope and inspire others to make a positive difference—all in the spirit of Christmas. He wants to keep the Holiday tradition alive by spreading kindness and joy this festive season, but also wants to see it with a renewed perspective: that the cherished holiday traditions are more than just about sumptuous

CCP to hold the first Children's Biennale this November


BELIEVING that arts education and appreciation should begin at a young age, the Cultural Center of the Philippines launches a month-long online creative expression biennale for children this November 2020.

Dubbed “Arts eXpress: CCP Children’s Biennale,” the series of events aims to encourage and develop creativity and artistic expression in children, create new works/activities to focus on children’s appreciation and value for the arts, and engage the participation of the guardians and parents in sustaining the appreciation for the arts.

The biennale will kick off on October 31, 4pm, via the CCP Facebook Page, with a short program led by CCP chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo, VP-artistic director Chris Millado and board member Nikki Junia.

It will be followed by the pre-opening events, starting with Tricks and Musical Treats: A PPO Family Concert at 4:20pm. Dubbed “A Virtual Adventure in Camp Melodia,” the annual orchestra appreciation concert for children and families moves to the online platform. Directed by Liesl Batucan, the concert will feature members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Everyone is encouraged to watch it in their best costume.

At 5:45pm, “MALA: Ibong Adarna” will virtually fly to bring to life the story of the mythical bird through puppetry. Directed by Xian Lim, the show is also part of the outreach project of CCP president Arsenio Lizaso, under the Sining Sigla program.

CCP also launches the CCP Batang Sining Facebook page as a platform for creative expression and collaboration opportunities of arts content for children, parents/guardians and teachers. Originally conceptualized by the late Rene Villanueva and Hermie Beltran, Batang Sining started as a workshop in 1989 primarily focused on introducing the child to the different art forms and discovering for themselves their own creative expressions.

For the whole month of November, children can join the different stations of activities - CURTAINS UP!, ARTS eXPRESS, ARTs PLAYGROUND, PELIKULIT, and ARTS CONNECT.

In CURTAINS UP!, the kids are treated to new and re-purposed ICYMI (in-case-you-missed-it) performances in theater, dance and music every Sunday, at 4pm.

On November 1, Tanghalang Pilipino collaborates with Anino Shadow Play for a series of performances based on children's books, which will be collectively known as Pamanang Pahina. The performances are: “Mga Giyera sa Katawan ni Mark,” written by Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan, illustrated by Ariel Santillan; “Ang Bagong Kaibigan ni Bing Butiki” written by Yna Reyes, illustrated by Jason Moss; and “May Mga Lihim Kami ni Ingkong,” written by Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan, illustrated by Beth Parrocha-Doctolero.

Young soprano Alexa Kaufman and opera performer Gerphil Flores will share their experiences and serenade the young audiences in “Small Voice” happening on November 8. Alexa will share her story when she discovers her small voice and develops it through practice and singing. Gerphil will talk about the challenges she has experienced singing at an opera.

Witness the classic tale of Cinderella comes alive in Philippine Ballet Theater’s Cinderella on November 15. Featuring the choreography of Ron Jaynario, the PBT performance will unravel epic tale of euphoric dreams and timeless love.

Catch “Mga Kuwentong Karapat-Dapat” on November 22. This show features three CANVAS published stories - “Tahan Na, Tahanan,” “Nadia and the Blue Stars,” and “Inang Kalikasan’s Bad Hair Day.” Aimed to communicate value of home, society and environment, the storytelling event is a collaboration of different art forms such as shadow play, dance and music as performed by artist partners Anima Tierra, Daloy Dance Company and Anino Shadowplay Collective, with performance and direction by Abner Delina Jr. a.k.a Kuya Fidel of Batibot.

After every Curtains Up! event, there will be a screening of short animation films for kids through the PELIKULIT.

ARTS eXPRESS is all about arts workshops for children age 8 to 12 years old. Anino Shadow Collective will teach shadow play on November 6, 10am. Children can learn the basics of rondalla playing (banduria) on November 13 (open session) at 10:00 am; follow up classes on zoom will be on November 14, 21, 28, and December 5, 10 am.

Dr. Luis Gatmaitan introduces kids to storybook writing in Batang Sining: Let’s Write and Tell A Story on November 20, 10am, and teach how to make your own book in Batang Sining: Book Making on November 21, 10am.

Visual artist Avie Felix asks kids "What's in a Painting?" on November 13, 11am. Children learn to make books using cut outs in Peek A Book Illustration Workshop on November 14, 10am. Philippine Ambassador of Puppetry Wanlu Lunaria will do a basic puppetry workshop on November 27, 10am.

Parents of babies, toddlers and preschool kids who want to expose their kids to the arts can join the Art for Parents workshop, to be conducted by MusikGarten with CCP board member Nikki Junia, on November 21.

Pre-school kids will have fun time with ARTs PLAYGROUND.


MusikGarten’s Nikki Junia will have various music events targeted for different children demography. Babies will get their first art exposure in Music and Chants for Babies (0-18 months) on November 7; toddlers get to try fun activities in Sing and Groove with Tots (up to 3 years old) on November 14; young children learn the art basics in Art Workshop (6-8 years old) and do snippets of art lesson in Art Bits (6-8 years old) on November 21. All events will be at 9am.

CCP Dance Workshop School teaches basic dance movement for young children in “Dance Play” on November 7 and 28, 10am.

ARTS CONNECT aims to have cultural exchange and appreciation among children from different communities. Performance artists Mae Paner, Kawa, and J.K. Anicoche, with Komunidad X, will exchange stories with street kids in Komunibike on November 24.

Kutitap children from various IP communities will share their culture and traditions, including food, dance and music, to the children participants of Art Trek on November 19 and 26, 4pm.

Other SPECIAL EVENTS of the children's biennale include: a book launch and workshops of “Cely’s Crocodile (Life and art of Araceli Dans Lee)” on November 21, 3pm, and e-book launch and storytelling of “Sa Pagbabasa Hindi Ka Nag-iisa” on November 27, 4pm.

All events engage children age 6 to 12 years old, although there are some activities for infants and toddlers, as well as parents.

The CCP Children's Biennale will culminate on November 29, with a closing program.

For more information, visit the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph). Follow the CCP and Art Education Facebook Pages and social media accounts (PR)

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