By: Sarah Jane Delizo and Joann Forcado
Scholars of the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA), a specialized public high school in the Philippines offering arts-focused education located at the foot of Mt. Makiling, displayed their talents in a benefit concert hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at DL Umali Hall on 3 December. Bayanihandog (from the Tagalog words for “spirit of communal unity and cooperation” and “offering”) was planned by the IRRI Partnerships Office to raise funds to help PHSA repair the electric power lines destroyed by Typhoon Rammasun in July.
The performances include a neo-folk dance depicting the heritage of rice culture and the traditional processes of producing rice by Sanghiyas Pangkat Mananayaw. Aninong Makiling performed Unang Sibol (first sprouts), a shadow play about an Ifugao rice myth. Maquiling Ballet performed a dance about bambanti, the Ilokano term for scarecrow.
Dulaang Sipat Lawin enacted an excerpt from Paloob, Palabas—a tribute by Tim Dacanay to the Philippine national hero Andres Bonifacio and his works as an artist. Musika Ibarang and Himig Ibarang, the instrumental and choral groups of PHSA, respectively, serenaded the audience with songs and music. A poetry reading was also presented by Kuwit.
In addition to the performances of the various PHSA groups, Antonio Lambino, IRRI’s head of communication and a former member of the famous Philippine pop music group Smokey Mountain, had a special participation. Mr. Lambino performed popular songs Tagalog songs from the 1990’s including Da Coconut Nut, Harana and Araw-Gabi.
In his welcome remark, Bruce Tolentino, IRRI deputy director for Communication and Partnerships, highlighted the close link between the arts and the sciences. “The creative process is at the heart of scientific discoveries,” Dr. Tolentino.
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