3 National Artists headline CCP's Performatura Festival

Totel V. de Jesus

Posted at Mar 31 2023 01:50 PM


MANILA -- Two living National Artists for Literature Virgilio Almario and Gimeno Abad and one for Film and Broadcast Arts, Ricardo Lee, will give talk-back sessions in the three-day Performatura Festival, on March 31 to April 2, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez.

Performatura, dubbed as a “festival of written words and performances,” returns on site after the pandemic lockdowns with the theme “Performatura Goes Pop” on Friday to Sunday, starting at 10:30 a.m. 

There will be performances, poetry readings, multi-arts workshops, literary talks, spoken word sessions, poetry contest, film screening, book launches, book and art fair and interviews with renowned writers.

Dr. Vim Nadera Jr. has been the festival director since Performatura started in 2015.

“Ang Performatura 2023 ay first time uli na on-site after pandemic. In 2021, this was done online with the title “P.P.E. Performatura Pandemic Edition," he told ABS-CBN News.

“Even if Performatura is biennial, this has been a celebration not only of orature but literature itself or the reading of literary works. From the very first Performatura, the festival has always been about books, reading of books."

The first day of festival, dubbed “Unbox@Blackbox,” will focus on literature on social media in its morning session. Vlogger entrepreneur Carlo Ople will launch his creative non-fiction book “Suweldo is Not Enough.” There will be a panel of speakers, sneaker shoe auction and a poetry performance by Hannah Leceña.

The afternoon session celebrates the National Women’s Month, with a turnover ceremony of the printed copies of the book “In Certain Seasons: Mothers Write in the Time of COVID” with the PEN Philippines and Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines’ Bureau of the Copyright and Related Rights. It will be followed by the launch of the “Lila Mga Tula,” a poetry book written by women from the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo. Sponsor.ed by the Spark and LILA groups, the launch will offer talks by women writers and literary performances.

Lee will be present for the special screening of “Brutal,” a film directed by the late National Artist for Film Marilou Diaz Abaya. Lee wrote the screenplay way back in the early 1980s. He will do a talk-back session after the screening at 6 p.m. 

Abad will be present in the second day of the festival, dubbed “From Page To Stage”. He will give a lecture on the topic “Why Perform Your Poetry?”

The second day centers on the art of spoken word, headlined by Ampalaya Monologues led by its founder Mark Ghosn. 

Almario will be on the third and final day of the Performatura dubbed “Araw Ni Balagtas”. This day honors the 149th birth anniversary of the greatest Filipino poet, Francisco Baltazar, from whom the tradition of “balagtasan” came from. 

Nadera told ABS-CBN News the morning session will be opened by CCP artistic director Dennis Marasigan. 

Later in the day, a group of performance poets called The Makatas with Ingay Likha will perform. Singaporean literary artist Chris Mooney Singh will talk about “Balagtasan in the World Literature.”

Almario will speak about the significance of Bataan in the life of Balagtas. This will be followed by performances by teachers and students of Bataan High School for the Arts, and multi-arts workshops at 2pm.

Capping the festival will be the KamPerformatura’s offering of poetry and performances by the youth participants, which will kickstart the Tanghal Makata 2023, the Performatura-born competition. 

But technically, the festival doesn’t end this weekend. 

Remote Performatura follows in April. Poesia poetry reading will be held on April 26, 3 p.m., at the Zaguan of Museo de La Salle in Dasmariñas (MDSL), Cavite. MDSL, led by Mary Ann Jimenez Salvador, aims to promote the museum as a creative space for self-expression. The basis of the poetry reading is the works that can be read in the CCP.

An online book discussion will happen on April 15 via Zoom app. The book club flips Flippin’ Pages will share their insights on “The Reddest Rose Unfolds” comics via Milflores Publishing. 

While Performatura is open to the public, everyone is encouraged to donate a book, which will serve as an admission ticket to each segment. 

“If you want to go inside the venue, just bring a book to donate as a ticket. When the CCP Main Building was still open, there is a storage near the CCP Little Theater for these donated books. They were distributed all over the Philippines, especially in the remote towns, as part of the CCP outreach programs," Nadera said.