What World Do WE Want to Create?

By Eric Roxas

A lot of things opened up for me at the Paghilom festival. I am thankful to Bong De La Torre for inviting me to this gathering of fellow artists dreaming for a positive change in our world. I would say it is just the beginning though—the start of a massive healing that society needs today.

Paghilom means “healing,” and it is rightfully called so because it opened up wounds of the past to be examined and mended. I met many interesting and good people who had their own stories of wounding, and the festival helped us wounded souls reflect and gradually heal ourselves.

But beyond personal healing, why did artists come together for Paghilom? I believe we gathered not only to heal ourselves from our wounds, but also to start healing the wounds of the world. The healing begins with the healer-artists themselves; they must be healed first before they can heal the greater community.

Healing art is sustenance for the soul just like how nutritious food is for the body. Just like there are specific medicines for particular illnesses in the body, art is necessary to cure the ailments of society.

Paghilom showed me a rainbow of dreams and visions expressed through art – music, paint, dance, poems, and stories about people’s lives—that can help us heal people and communities. The festival brought an eclectic mix of artists from different parts of the country, all eager to contribute something to the healing of society.

I am honored to have met these fellow disciples in art that weave the culture, the stories, the songs, and the visions of our country. I am now inspired to create as I have met some co-inspirators / conspirators I have long been looking for.

I had a glimpse of the state of local art, and it is all well and good, but I ask – is this all we can do as fellow artists and humans? Our culture is full of consumerism and foreign ideologies that don’t care for the people or nature. Are we, Filipinos and humans, just bound to consume sad love songs, cheesy romantic movies, and foreign TV series?

As artists, we are the ones that push the limits of what is possible. We are the ones that will challenge our fellow people: “Is this all that being Human is?” amidst all of the massive ignorance, socio-economic exploitation, and ecological destruction.

Artists have the power to create meaning. We need to deepen our conception of being “Human” through creating and spreading meaningful art that shares our potential as humans and elevates the consciousness of all.

We, as artists, have that power and responsibility to create a vision for change. But to create widespread and long-lasting change, we need to weave all of our dreams together, just like a tapestry made of the different individual threads of dreams each artist has.

For the moment, artists seem to fly around different places, singing their own songs instead of humming a single beautiful hymn. But artists need to form one Song, one Story, one Spirit to inspire more people. What else is the meaning of all the art we are doing if we are not healing our wounded society and helping to create a better world?

Artists need to unite to know how we will heal the wounded society we live in. We need to come together and form a consensus and common vision as to what is happening, what we want to happen, and how we will deliver this vision.

Disciples of art have to dream and unite to create Paradise. I am sincerely praying for all artists to come together and unite to form a common story that we want to spread and live, for that is what we need to heal our country’s culture full of hollowness and fakeness.

I hope that in the future, artists can once again gather and express through art their own answer to the question: “What world do you want to live in?” Then, we will have a clear vision of what each other wants – the kind of world that WE truly want.

Pamana

The Pamana exhibit opened on January 31 at the Museo De La Salle in De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. The art exhibit showcased 24 artworks by local artists. A musical performance by the group Bobby Balingit and The Atomic Soul and a performance by artist Winston Hernandez capped the Pamana launch.

The success of the Pamana exhibit was indicated by the follow-up events slated for late February and March. There were art talks given by Arch. Richard Buxani, Bobby Balingit, Aiya Balingit and John Marin of Studio 1616, and a student-artist mural interaction activity in partnership with the street art group CVTY Collective.

Pamana Group Art Exhibit

Pamana Artists
From left: Cristy Ancanan, Henry Ancanan, Emmanuel Garibay, Winston Hernandez, Bobby Balingit, Arch. Richard Buxani, Christian Cresencio
From bottom left: Heidi Sarno, Cecile Gelicame, Johannes Dayrit, Alee Garibay, Matthius Garcia

Ribbon Cutting
The opening of Pamana exhibit was led by Emmanuel Garibay, Bobby Balingit, along with other artists with Cecile Gelicame of Museo de la Salle-Dasmarinas.

Exhibit Opening
People gathered at the exhibit to look at art works by 24 participating artists from Cavite.

Pamana Exhibit Opening
Students, artists, and guests gathered at Museo de la Salle-Dasmarinas.

Fragility Art Installation by Arch Richard Buxani
Fragility Art Installation by Arch Richard Buxani

Ang Sining Bilang Isang Karakter, an Art Talk by Bobby Balingit
Ang Sining Bilang Isang Karakter, an Art Talk by Bobby Balingit

Sintomas

More than 50 artists joined the traveling exhibit Sintomas. Artworks in this exhibit gave the viewing public differing perspectives on the theme of symptoms of social and spiritual decay.

The Sintomas opening on February 7 in SM Dasmariñas was successful launch that showcased the unity of artists and the diversity of talent in the province. SM Mall executives and Provincial Tourism Director Liberty Herrera attended the opening, while the music of Bobby Balingit and The Atomic Soul lent a festive vibe to the event.

After spending a week at SM Dasmariñas, the Sintomas exhibit then moved to SM Trece Martires on February 13, and SM Rosario on February 20. On February 27, it was exhibited at SM Bacoor and the last leg of the traveling exhibit was held at SM Molino on March 6.

Sintomas Group Exhibit

Sintomas artists group photo
Sintomas artists group photo

Sintomas Exhibit Ribbon Cutting
Sintomas Exhibit ribbon cutting at SM Dasmarinas, Cavite.

Opening remarks by Banni Ambion, representing co-convenor Henry Ancanan
Opening remarks by Banni Ambion, representing co-convenor Henry Ancanan

Sintomas Exhibit Opening
Editha Tayco, SM Malls representative, gave the welcome remarks for Sintomas Exhibit Opening.

Audience and guests at the exhibit opening at SM Dasmarinas, Cavite
Audience and guests at the exhibit opening at SM Dasmarinas, Cavite

Bobby Balingit and the Atomic Soul
Bobby Balingit and the Atomic Soul
The Atomic Soul identify their music as ‘Ekstatik’, a product of ancient and modern instruments. Weave in their music is a live storytelling and reminiscing the history and folk tales from different cultures from the East.

Nina Garibay with SM personnel
Nina Garibay with SM personnel

Installation by Arch Richard Buxani, sculpture by Lito Modejar and Matthius Garcia
Installation by Arch Richard Buxani, sculpture by Lito Modejar and Matthius Garcia

Espasyo Siningdikato

Since its establishment in 2009, Espasyo Siningdikato has organized visual art exhibitions, an international symposium and music festival, a city-wide children’s art workshops, several art lectures and hands-on workshops, and three (3) theme-based national art and environmental festivals. It has also forged membership and linkages with several educational institutions as well as government and non-governmental organizations.

Through its founder Lirio Salvador, an avant garde artist/musician, the Espasyo aims to inspire other artists to continuously develop their artistry by creating innovative art works, exploring other artistic possibilities and sharing knowledge and creativity.

Artletics

Artletics is an artists’ initiative that promotes a healthy and holistic lifestyle among artists. It started in 2009 as a sports festival, and has since evolved to annual sports and wellness event that includes lectures and workshops on art, health and other social issues.  

In the spirit of holistic living, Artletics extends the promotion of individual physical wellness to the well-being of the artist’s community and the environment. Artletics enjoins artists to flex their creative muscles and engage in relevant issues and ideas in Philippine society, by sponsoring and organizing art exhibits, events, and other venues for this cause.  
Artletics was a major proponent of the Project Bakawan Arts Festival 2015 in UP Diliman, a month-long festival that tackled environmental concerns; Body+Art, a traveling visual arts exhibit on  HIV awareness; and Daloy, a visual arts exhibit with the Jose B. Vargas Museum inspired and challenged by the concept of  flow/movement.

Proponents

Artletics

Artletics is an artists’ initiative that promotes a healthy and holistic lifestyle among artists. It started in 2009 as a sports festival, and has since evolved to an annual sports and wellness event that includes lectures and workshops on art, health and other social issues.  

In the spirit of holistic living, Artletics extends the promotion of individual physical wellness to the well-being of the artist’s community and the environment. Artletics enjoins artists to flex their creative muscles and engage in relevant issues and ideas in Philippine society, by sponsoring and organizing art exhibits, events, and other venues for this cause.

Artletics was a major proponent of the Project Bakawan Arts Festival 2015 in UP Diliman, a month-long festival that tackled environmental concerns; Body+Art, a traveling visual arts exhibit on  HIV awareness; and Daloy, a visual arts exhibit with the Jose B. Vargas Museum inspired and challenged by the concept of  flow/movement.

Cavite Studies Center

The Cavite Studies Center (CSC)  focuses on researching on Cavite’s history and culture. It is committed to contributing and making an impact on local historical scholarship, its relevance and meaning as well as to keep track of the exciting developments in Cavite. Its activities include promoting awareness and interest in Cavite history and culture by sponsoring events; planning programs involving faculty and students in conducting researches on Cavite; and establishing and maintaining linkages with local, national and foreign agencies and institutions

Cavite Young Writers Association Inc.

The Cavite Young Writers Association (CYWA),  holds caravan-like seminars or seminar-workshops covering several towns in Cavite. It reaches out to high school students (Tagaytay, Magallanes, Bacoor, Silang) and other youth sectors (Tanza, Naic, Imus). They also collaborate with educational institutions like the University of Sto. Tomas and the University of Perpetual Help (seminar for young prisoners-writers). They are currently working on Cavite’s first anthology of literature, including some prize-winning pieces from national literary contests.

Espasyo Siningdikato

Since its establishment in 2009, Espasyo Siningdikato has organized visual art exhibitions, an international symposium and music festival, a city-wide children’s art workshops, and three theme-based national art and environmental festivals. It has also forged membership and linkages with several educational institutions as well as government and non-governmental organizations.
Through its founder Lirio Salvador, an avant garde artist/musician, the Espasyo aims to inspire other artists to continuously develop their artistry by creating innovative art works, exploring other artistic possibilities and sharing knowledge and creativity.

Museo De La Salle

Museo De La Salle is a lifestyle museum dedicated to the preservation of certain aspects and material culture of the 19th century Philippine ilustrado lifestyle. The Museo has been realized to encourage its own use in cross disciplinary learning and growth in an academic environment, and to provide a living space illustrating Philippine culture that is linked to its immediate community, and that reaches out to the outside.

Pito-pito Art Group

The Pito-pito Art Group is composed of artists from different parts of Cavite. They are united by the common goal of propagating and promoting art in the community. Individually, these artists are established in their own fields. They have held several exhibitions around the country including Baguio, Antipolo, Manila and Cavite.

The group’s name is  derived from the medicinal brew- “pito-pito”. This combination of seven different herbs is a remedy for a number of ailments. Each one of these herbs has its own unique property, like the group, each member  has his/her own unique ability. The Pito-pito Art Group believes that art is therapeutic both to the physical and spiritual aspect of existence.  

Santahanan

Santahanan is an artist residency program that aims to facilitate conversations among theologians, liturgists, community workers, social activists, and artists. It creates spaces for creative arts and liturgical renewal workshops. It offers  arts appreciation courses, mentoring programs for educational institutions, and production of materials for creative and transformative worship. Santahanan is a project by the Center for Arts Liturgy and Music (CALM) of the Union Theological Seminary.

Center for the Arts, Liturgy and Music (CALM)

The Center for the Arts, Liturgy and Music is one of the six centres of Theological studies being offered under the graduate degree program of the Union Theological Seminary Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Cavite Filmmakers Association