CCP’s ‘Pasinaya’ breaks away from old notions and pandemic isolation

Poster of Pasinaya 2023

A wristband worth P50 allows a person to experience all the performances, workshops, art exhibits, and film showings being offered on Feb. 3-5 at the “Pasinaya 2023 Open House Festival” of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). 

The festival, now on its 18th year, has “Piglas Sining” as its theme—a breaking free from the confinement and isolation imposed by pandemic restrictions. How audiences will respond to this year’s events will be interesting to observe as the CCP management expects “14,000 warm bodies.”

“We are breaking away from the notion that the CCP is just the building. We are emphasizing that CCP can be anywhere,” CCP artistic director Dennis N. Marasigan said in a media statement.

In prepandemic times, about 80,000 people thronged the Pasinaya traditionally held at the CCP Main Building on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. But because the 53-year-old structure has been closed since January for renovation and retrofitting, festival activities are being held at the CCP Front Lawn, Liwasang Kalikasan, Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (Black Box) and its surroundings, and the parade ground of Vicente Sotto Street, as well as in 13 museums in the city.

On Feb. 5, the basement of Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez will come alive with booths of arts organizations as part of the festival’s “Palitan” or Arts Market component. Various groups will also perform there. 


In dance, the AlunAlun Dance Circle collaborates with the Marikina Dance Guild and multiawarded theater playwright and actor Rody Vera. Using the indigenous “pangalay” in traditional and innovative choreography, AlunAlun will demonstrate the versatility of this Filipino dance form. 

This is the first time AlunAlun will perform in the Pasinaya to present the meditative pangalay movements based on breathing, which are known to aid in wellness and healing from adversity or disease.

“Pangalay” dancers perform with the song “Mambozart” in Hong Kong —PHOTO COURTESY OF ALUNALUN DANCE CIRCLE

The pangalay’s rich movement vocabulary is exhibited in “Pangalay Medley,” a dance composition exhibiting male and female movements using various props and traditional costumes. The choreography accompanied by traditional kulintangan music will be performed by the two dance groups whose members have been training under the guidance of pangalay guru and AlunAlun artistic director Ligaya Amilbangsa. 

AlunAlun dancers in “A la juventud filipina” show in the United States last September. —PHOTO COURTESY OF MALAYA FILIPINO AMERICAN DANCE ARTS

Vera recites “Sa Kabataang Pilipino,” a translation of Jose Rizal’s poem “A la juventud filipina,” during the performances. This piece was performed by AlunAlun at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California, last September. 

The pangalay offering for the Pasinaya is a collaborative participation, joining hands with the rest of the art community to bring back the eagerness and fervor for Philippine art and culture, and continuing the CCP’s tradition as a free and creative space for artists and audiences.  

Donation price

The CCP has announced that for the donation price of P50, Pasinaya attendees may go in and out of the festival venues to attend the 30-minute workshops in various art disciplines conducted by leading artists, resource persons and teachers, or watch as many shows, screenings, and activities as they choose.

Registration starts today, Feb. 3, at the Bukaneg side of the Front Lawn and at Vicente Sotto Street. A “Pagtitipon,” an invitational gathering of the Kaisa sa Sining (KSS) regional partners, will be held. There are 59 regional partners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the KSS network, with three new partners joining. 

The KSS, a program of the CCP’s Cultural Exchange Department, aims to further strengthen CCP linkages and cooperations with local organizations nationwide.

“Palihan” and “Palabas” will be held on Feb. 4 and 5 at the CCP Front Lawn. Attendees may join the workshops and watch the shows featuring more than 3,000 artists from different fields.

Festival programmers and art groups will meet in Palitan on Feb. 4 and 5 onsite at Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez and online via Zoom. 

The Pasinaya is partnering with galleries, museums and art spaces in Metro Manila “to put the spotlight on communal artistic spirit and collaborations,” says the CCP. Shuttle vans from the Paseo Museo will go around the arts spaces to provide free rides on Feb. 4 and 5.

With the Pasinaya, the CCP seeks to “provide a platform for the artists and cultural groups to showcase their talents while nurturing the broadest public and creating new audiences through interactions and performances.”

Follow the official Cultural Center of the Philippines’ social media accounts of Pasinaya 2023 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for the latest updates.

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