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The latest issue of Sanghaya: Santaon ng Kultura at mga Sining ng Filipinas (Philippine Culture and the Arts Yearbook) fetes the achievements and features the history of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), which celebrated its golden anniversary from 2019 to 2020.
First published in 2001 by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Sanghaya 2020, titled “Telling the Tale of a Complex Edifice,” contains essays on the country’s first and premier cultural institution, which was inaugurated in 1969.
The yearbook, conceptualized by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario and revived in 2017, is edited by Delfin Tolentino Jr. and designed by Mervin Concepcion Vergara. A groundbreaking project, it chronicles the events, trends and issues on culture and the arts of the country with articles by prominent scholars, writers, artists, researchers, journalists and other authorities in different fields.
Tolentino notes that CCP’s “golden anniversary in 2019 was a truly historic moment that called for a grand celebration, for it is not just an anniversary but a historical juncture, a moment of affirmation, and a marker of a national art repositioning itself in a wider ground of global culture.” He added, “Telling the tale of this complex edifice continues as it is expected to reinvent itself in the years ahead.”
Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, editor-in-chief of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, graced the yearbook with his essay, “Imagining the Nation through its Encyclopedia of Philippine Art,” which was first published in 1994. The encyclopedia was updated with additions in the second edition, launched in 2017 and reprinted two years later. The following year, the digital edition was launched, complete with articles from the second edition and with the addition of music and videos.
Dr. Tiongson’s essay was followed by journalist and cultural researcher Roel Hoang Manipon’s “The CCP and its Golden Year,” which details the events and projects in line with the celebration in 2019. The article had a sidebar of the center’s timeline of important events.
Oscar Campomanes’s “Citadel of Philistine or Home for Artists” talks about the CCP’s programs, events and contributions to the nation and the arts in general, including controversies.
Completing the series of essays on CCP are Pablo Tariman’s “The Best of the Performing Arts at the CCP;” Joelle Jacinto’s “Impressive Spins and Gravity-Defying Leaps: 50 Years of Ballet Philippines;” and Vim Nadera’s “Performatura: Ang Pagtatanghal ng Literatura” on the international performance literature festival.
Also included in Sanghaya 2020 is Shirley Lua’s “Free to Speak in the Tongues of Humans and of Angels” on the 85th PEN International Congress in Manila; Nory Loyd Narvaez-Pernes’ “Saving the Gabaldon Buildings Across the Nation,” a reaction to the Gabaldon School Buildings Act of 2019 mandating the preservation of the American-era educational structures; Chonaisa Simbulan’s “A Recollection of Flavors Celebrating the Filipino Food Festival Month;” and Dr. Hope Sabanpan Yu’s “Cebu as Creative City of Design.”
The 150-page Sanghaya 2020 includes regular features such as lists of culture and arts events; artists, entertainers and cultural workers who passed away; and winners of different awards in the field in 2019.
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