IN THE run-up to Heritage Month this May, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held on April 27-29 Dance Xchange: The 3rd Philippine International Dance Festival at St. Pedro Poveda College and Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mandaluyong City.
Dancers from over 12 countries came to the Philippines to show their own dance styles and techniques and, at the same time, learn from others through the workshops and performances. The festival had the theme “Cultural Connectivity through Dance.”
April and May are “crucial months” for Philippine heritage, NCCA officials say. For the past two years, the last week of April has been slated for the international dance festival as an opportunity for local and international dancers to share and learn traditional and contemporary dances.
The festival was a good prelude to the National Heritage Month.
During a press conference for Dance Xchange, Jaime C. Laya, head of the NCCA National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS), stressed the importance of “preserving the tangible heritage” of the Philippines. He expressed concern indigenous designs seemed to have been abandoned for modernity in Filipino structures.
“Buildings are now being remodeled beyond recognition,” he said. “Heritage Month is an occasion to remind Filipinos to take care and be proud of our structures… We are supposed to know our past, our present, Philippine culture in general. Our culture provides inspiration to artists.”
To further inform the Filipinos about culture and to tap their innate love for art, the 2011 National Heritage Month, with the theme, “Taoid: Weaving Our Stories, Threading Our Paths.”
The month-long celebration will feature town fiestas, folk crafts and delicacies, traditional music, theater, dances and art.
To better raise awareness about the celebration, NCCA has named singer Ogie Alcasid its 2011 heritage ambassador.
The word Taoid, says Ma. Nydia Cabrera, Heritage Month project director, is an Ilocano-Pangasinense word that means pamana or “heritage.”
Call the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office head Rene Sanchez Napeñas at 5275529, 5272192, loc. 612 to 615, or 0928-5081057; or Nydia Cabrera at 523-5382, 527-2192 loc. 512, or 0919-2519553. Visit www.ncca.gov.ph