NCCA launches projects celebrating National Arts Month 2023

Performers for Sayaw Pinoy, the flagship project of the National Committee on Dance for National Arts Month. This year’s celebrations will kick off on Sunday, February 12, at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium.

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) lays out its plans and programs nationwide in celebration of the 33rd edition of National Arts Month this February.

With the theme Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing, this year’s festivities hope to capture new audiences through a combination of in-person and online activities. The theme relates as well to the bountiful artistic harvest the Commission aims to showcase, as the arts community continues to recover from the past couple of pandemic-ridden years.

“Art is an important inspiration for values formation, nationalism, critical thinking and problem-solving, and I believe in its important role in harnessing creativity to further the greater good,” NCCA chairman Victorino Mapa Manalo said during last week’s press conference at the Manila Metropolitan Theater. “Tunay nga po na buhay ang sining sa ating lahi.”

Promulgated by then President Corazon Aquino in 1991, Presidential Proclamation 683 declared February as National Arts Month to celebrate the artistic excellence and pay tribute to the uniqueness and diversity of the Filipino heritage and culture. Bannering this year’s festivities are flagship projects for each of the seven art forms, headed by the Subcommission on the Arts, and listed as follows:

Architecture and Allied Arts: “Saan Ka Lulugar (SKL) 2023: Resiliency in the Built and Designed Environment” serves as the flagship project of the National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts (NCAAA) and the United Architects of the Philippines. SKL 2023 will be composed of hybrid webinars, an exhibition, and walking tours that highlight the history and significance of selected sites in the context of its community and how they have stood the test of time. The hybrid-webinar series will be held on February 27 at the Metropolitan Theater and March 3 in Cebu City.

Cinema: The 15th edition of Cinema Rehiyon, the flagship project of the NCCA-National Committee on Cinema, aims to promote films that tell stories rooted in the culture of the regions. The project will provide an opportunity for all levels of regional filmmakers to exhibit their works to a wider audience, and to provide an opportunity for regional filmmakers to build networks. Cinema Rehiyon 15 will be held in various venues in Baguio City in March through different onsite and online activities, including film talks with online component, screenings, roundtable discussions and more.

Dance: Sayaw Pinoy, founded by its artistic director, Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz, is a touring dance concert and the longest-running flagship project for NAM of the National Committee on Dance. This year, the project was held from February 2 to 4 in Zamboanga, and will run on February 19 at the Rizal Park, February 23 to 24 in Kalibo, Aklan, February 27 in San Fernando and Mabalacat, Pampanga, and March 29 to 30 in Bacolod.

Dramatic Arts: 17th Tanghal is a gathering of theater artists and cultural workers in celebration of the National Arts Month 2023. It will consist of two components: the regional live theater performances that will conduct their in-person festival in each island cluster, and the national online festival, wherein the performances at the regional festival will be edited, uploaded, and disseminated through online platforms.

Literary Arts: The National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA) will conduct “Panitikan ng Panumduman,” an on-site conference that will delve into the Literature of Memory within and along the strands of Klima (Climate), Kuwerpo (Body), and Kronika (Chronicle). The two-day public plenary event will feature select resource persons, scholars and practitioners. National Artists Resil Mojares and Jimmy Abad will be the keynote speakers. There will be a tribute to the literary stalwarts of Pangasinan such as the late National Artist F. Sionil Jose, Carlos Bulosan, and Maria Magsano. There will be a grand launch of four literary publications by the NCLA, as well.

Music: “Musikapuluan: Mga Bagong Tugtugin Natin” is the project of the National Committee on Music. The project aims to provide a venue for different music forms and genre from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region to showcase their works. This year, to provide more space for artistic expressions, newly created works and music will be showcased through a four-weekend program.

Visual Arts: For visual arts, the project titled “Bagong Biswal” is designed to celebrate Filipino art and highlight the relentless tenacity and evolving creativity of the Filipino visual artist community. It also hopes to promote new outstanding creations and community engagements in the visual arts in the present new normal. “Bagong Biswal” is composed of three programs: “Sineng Sining,” which features videos from artists/groups from the Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and NCR regions; “Sining Sinag,” a physical art exhibition of selected participants to be mounted in spaces set by the NCVA and conduit organization; and “Sining Biswal,” an introduction of artists and their works, with discussion on current challenges such as copyright, production and praxis, return to the native, ageless artmaking, street art now, new media, and exploration of possible solutions.

Kicking off the celebrations for National Arts Month 2023 is the opening ceremony slated on Sunday, February 12, at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium. To be showcased are walking tours and workshops for the seven art forms at 2 pm. These will be followed by performances from 6 pm, featuring Joey Ayala, Kalinga Music and more.

Also present at the press conference was NCCA Arts Ambassador Catriona Gray. It is the third year that the 2018 Miss Universe celebrates the National Arts Month with the NCCA, after being named as its art ambassador in 2020.

“[As we observe National Arts Month every February, also known as love month], celebrating Philippine arts and culture is like a love letter to our own country,” she said. “The love affair with Philippine arts and culture is something that we should really fan the flames of throughout the years and for all the years to come.”

More information about the National Arts Month 2023 projects is available at


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