WMSU, ACPAZ Spearhead Arts Month Celebration
February 21, 2010

The Western Mindanao State University Office of Culture and the Arts (WMSU-OCTA) under the Office of the President, in collaboration with the Association of Creative Performing Artists of Zamboanga, (ACPAZ) Inc. led in the celebration of the Philippine International Arts Festival in Zamboanga City in February with the theme “Ani ng Sining.”

According to Dr. Roberto B. Torres, WMSU-OCTA director, the Arts Festival is an annual month-long celebration every February which is decreed under Presidential Proclamation No. 683. It is being spearheaded at the national level by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd).

A grand parade along Zamboanga’s major streets kicked off the event which included as highlights, a dance contest held at the Dr. Juanito Bruno gymnasium on February 20; and a literary contest among the pupils of the Integrated Laboratory School, among others.

Meanwhile, WMSU President Dr. Grace J. Rebollos told primary, secondary and tertiary public and private school teachers to help shape the lives of young people and bring them to another dimension where they will be able to live gracefully; see beyond the ordinary; and become leaders who have art in their heart that will help them appreciate the true, the good and the beautiful. Dr. Rebollos posed this challenge during a Seminar-Workshop on Arts Management Skills Enhancement and on Dance, held on February 15-16 in WMSU, also in connection with the Arts Month celebration.

At the end of the arts management skills training, the teachers produced their respective comprehensive, authentic and sustainable cultural development programs which are geared towards enhancing the cultural awareness and deepening appreciation, among students and pupils, of what is intrinsically Filipino, as well as honing their innate artistic resources.

The dance clinic, on the other hand, provided arts and physical education teachers with a strong foundation on dances like rumba, cha-cha-cha, jive and samba, emphasizing on aesthetics as well as appropriate movements that help preserve a strong and healthy body structure needed in dance.

Mr. Jaime B. Antonio, an expert in local governance, cultural development and social artistry and is currently consulting and training for the United Nations as well as a member of the NCCA speakers bureau, was the lead facilitator who gave the arts management skills training. On the other hand, Mr. Doraldy Caballero and Ms. Belinda Balmedina who are both professional dance teachers, international dance adjudicators and choreographers were handled the dance clinic.

On the other hand, the WMSU College of Architecture (WMSU CArch), under the leadership of Dean Architect Domingo A. Abarro III, and the United Architects of the Philippines – Zamboanga City Chapter, participated in a photo exhibit depicting rustic Zamboanga City during the American era. The exhibit, which runs from February 23 to May at the National Museum in Fort Pilar, this city, is being mounted by the NCCA through the Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts (NCAAA) together with the UP College of Architecture Foundation for the Built Environment, Inc. and the National Museum of the Philippines.

The WMSU University Theater Guild likewise participated actively in the festival by mounting on stage the play “Karaoke Dreams,” upon the invitation of NCCA, at the N. Fajardo Gonzales Auditorium, De La Salle University (DLSU), Manila before an audience composed of no less than 500 students coming from DLSU, College of St. Benilde and UP-Diliman who gave the performers a standing ovation. (Evelyn C. LuceƱo, WMSU-PAO)