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AS the main building of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) shuts down for the first of a multi-year renovation, the CCP’s programs will be traveling to a variety of performances spaces.
The CCP’s program lineup this year aims to be more accessible and diverse, with live performances, productions, exhibits, as well as training and education programs.
“We hope that through our increased geographical presence and more outreach activities, the public will know that we are relentless in offering arts and cultural experiences for people from all walks of life,” CCP president Margarita “Margie” Moran-Floirendo said in a statement. “While we are temporarily closing our home, our commitment to fulfill our duties will even be intensified.”
CHALLENGESThe program announced during the press conference was not complete as more performances and programs by resident companies will be announced as schedules are firmed up.
CCP Vice-President and Artistic Director Dennis Marasigan said that the chosen titles will depend on how the final venue will measure to their requirements.
“Because of the transfer of the CCP, we are really behind in terms of the fulfillment of the contracts. Because also of the changes of schedule with the transfer of venues we are finalizing those things,” Mr. Marasigan said in a press conference on Feb. 2 at the CCP Black Box Theater.
“One of the problems we are encountering because of the changes in the CCP is that we also lack rehearsal venues. There are certain companies that are having second thoughts about their own seasons,” he added.
THE PROGRAMThe Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will present the sixth and seventh concerts of its 38th season on Feb. 24 and March 17 at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila.
Tanghalang Pilipino’s Ang Pag-uusig, the Filipino adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, will open on Feb. 17 and run until March 12. The play won six Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards (including Outstanding Translation and Outstanding Play) after its first run in April 2018. The Crucible used the setting of the Salem witch trials in the 1690s to comment on the United States government’s persecution in the 1950s of people accused of being communist. Ang Pag-uusig in turn, uses The Crucible to comment on the Philippine situation.
There will also be a three-day festival called Performatura slated on March 31 to April 2 at the CCP’s new black box theater, the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez. Performatura is the country’s biggest performance literature festival celebrating the written word, performance, and the rich history of Philippine literature.
On March 28 to April 1, Ballet Philippines will hold a week-long dance celebration featuring characters of Carlo Calma’s Diyosa. To be performed at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater at Circuit Makati, this story is set in a dreamy mythical world depicting Filipino culture and heritage, fusing fashion, art, music, and architecture.
The CCP will also conduct workshops and training programs for young musicians in different regions to upgrade their skills and prepare them for professional careers with the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA).
WEBSITE MAINTENANCEMeanwhile, the CCP’s official website is undergoing maintenance and will soon be active within the year.
“Our website, once its fully up, will really have a good connection to the archives,” Mr. Marasigan said. “We have not digitized all the collections… we are making sure that the library is going to be up [and running] again as soon as possible.
The digitized collections are accessible at https://collections.culturalcenter.gov.ph/ while the CCP time capsule, which includes text and photos of events and programs, is accessible at https://timecapsule.culturalcenter.gov.ph/.
THE RENOVATIONS HAVE BEGUNAfter the National Artist Leondro Locsin-designed main building of the CCP was the named an important cultural property in 2019, it closed this January for the first year of a major three-year renovation.
The redevelopment of the building, which opened in 1969, will retain its architectural design and focus on structural improvements including upgrading its fire, drainage, electrical and environmental protection systems and other changes needed to conform to modern building codes. The project will include climate change adaptation measures to improve energy and water efficiency. The improved facilities will be gender-responsive and inclusive for persons with disabilities and senior citizens.
An initial budget of P900 million was allocated for the rehabilitation of the CCP Main Building, which came from an earlier proposed budget for an Artist Center.
The second phase will cover the repair of facilities such as the hydraulic lift, freight elevator, LED lights, rigging system, and acoustics. But given the scale and ambitions for the project, more funds may be needed.
The allotted P900 million will only cover the structural renovations such as plumbing, electrical, and drainage. Additional money will be needed for interior renovations and architectural design.
“We are approximating that it will cost an additional amount of about P200 million, but that is a very conservative amount,” CCP trustee Junie del Mundo said. “X-rays are being taken of the structure [for structural defects] because… we do not want to damage the integrity of the building,” he said.
“We are going to go back to congress for additional appropriation and [will] also tap sponsors to help us with the renovations,” he added.
For more inquiries and information on this year’s programs, visit the CCP website at www.culturalcenter.gov.ph or like and subscribe to their Facebook Page, Twitter or Instagram accounts. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman