The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), through its Performing Arts Department, holds an array of arts workshops from April 13 to May 8, 2004 at the CCP. Registration is ongoing.

CCP features courses on the various artistic disciplines to be conducted by leading art professionals in the country. These include the following: Theater Arts – Creative Dramatics for Children (Paolo O’Hara, Mayen Estañero, Mailes Kanapi and Marjorie Lorico), Acting in Musical Theater (Mia Bolaños and Roy Rolloda), Teen Theater (Chynna Roxas), Beginning Acting (Tess Jamias); Events, Production and Stage Management (Ed Murillo); Creating a New Musical: Book, Lyrics and Song (Rody Vera and Lucien Letaba); and Production Design – Set Design and Techniques (Bobot Lota), Costume Design and Techniques (Gino Gonzales), and Lighting Design and Techniques (Joey Nombres).

Art enthusiasts are likewise encouraged to learn various topics in the Center’s Lecture Series consisting of Acting in Musical Theater (Isay Alvarez), Directing a Musical Theater (Bobby Garcia), Producing and Marketing Musical Theater (Audie Gemora), and Designing a Musical (Salvador Bernal).

For information, schedule and registration, contact Ms. Nikki Torres or Ms. Sandie Javier at 832-1125 locals 1606 / 1607 / 1611 or Ms. Rocky Salvador at 832-1125 local 1221.


The 5th CCP Filipino Full-length Indie Feature Festival & Workshop or FREEFEST 5 is now open.

Freefest 5 will be held in three phases. The first phase is the workshop proper beginning April 3 until May 26, 2004. The workshop is a series of 10 intensive meetings and will focus on Story Development and Pre-Production. Participants will also have the opportunity to view films such as Festen by Thomas Vinterberg, one of the first digital videos, Blue by Kristopher Kieslowski, Happy Together by Wong Karwai, The Bicycle Thief by Vittorio de Sica, Raise the Red Lantern by Zhange Yimou, Insiang by Lino Brocka, Swimming Pool, Lost in Translation, Mi Vida Sin Mi and City of God. The main output of the workshop will be a fully-developed script or detailed sequence guide with storyboards of major scenes and a comprehensive production plan.

Phase 2 or the production period will be held from June to September 2004. During this period, production work such as shooting and post will be done. Meetings will be held once a month for group updating (viewing of rushes, additional production techniques, sharing etc.).

Phase 3 or the fine-tuning and Festival period will be held from October to November 2004. Final outputs will be a full-length indie feature which will be entered into the FREEFEST 5 Festival slated on November 23-27 at the CCP Dream Theater.

Thirty to thirty-five slots will be opened for FREEFEST 5. Applicants will be subject to screening and will be judged on visual knack, storytelling ability and some technical know-how. Applicants must also have access to basic equipment (digital videocam etc.), access to the internet and must commit to attending ALL sessions and to complete a full-length work by mid-October. Applicants are required to submit a sample or excerpt of one’ recent works in VHS format, biodata, and a line or two answering the questions "Why I want to join FREEFEST 5?" and "What would your full-length indie be about?" Fees: P2,500 for non-students and P1,000 for students with valid IDs.

Deadline for submission of application requirements is March 23, Tuesday, 6 PM, at the CCP Media (Film & Broadcast Arts) Division, 4F CCP Main Building, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

For more information, please call CCP Media Arts Division at tel. no. 832-1125 local 1705 or email


Neil Daza mounts his 2nd solo exhibit of photographs, entitled, "Ala Una sa Simbahan," at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from March 11 to April 10. ‘Ala Una Sa Simbahan’ captures moments and experiences inside churches where the mortal and the deity converge to meet daily life’s hardships head-on.

Primarily known as an award-winning filmmaker, Neil Daza this time around trails his eyes from the moving visual skyline of filmmaking to the captured stillness of photography. Eighty black and white photographs of religious icons, church interiors, and the pious merge against a vast red wall of the CCP’s fourth floor hallway gallery.

The ivory hand of the Nazarene in repose as cradled by a devout’s hand, the exposed heart of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the huddled women holding candles lit in fervent prayer, the broken ivory fingers of St. Francis--- these are just some of the images on icons and religiosity that, as captured in this exhibit, convey meanings hidden beneath the sheath of religion to comment on life itself.

Photographic Art in the Philippines has traversed the fringes of fashion, nudes, travel landscapes and still subject studies. Iconography and documentation, though explored in the past, are still quite a rarity in the local photographic scene. The ‘Ala Una Sa Simbahan’ photographic exhibit hopes to address this void and share with the viewer the experience and information this art form brings.

The CCP is located along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Gallery hours are from 10 am to 6 pm daily, except Mondays. Admission is free. For particulars, call 8323702.  View his work... (please refresh if you can't view it the first time.)


The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Gustave Mahler’s "Symphony No. 8", also known as "Symphony of a Thousand" under the baton of conductor Ruggero Barbieri on April 16, 8 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. The concert marks the premiere of this Mahler work in the Philippines.

Mahler’s "Symphony No. 8" was premiered in Munich, Germany in 1910. A vocal symphony, this work is Mahler’s most massive, in terms of number of performers required, calling for 8 soloists, a boys’ chorus and large mixed chorus, hence the nickname "Symphony of a Thousand."

The Symphony’s first movement is built around the text of the medieval hymn Veni Creator Spiritus ("Come, Creator Spirit") in a modified sonata form. Movement two takes its text from the mystical last scene of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust: Part II. Music historian and author Egon Gartenberg described this work as "vast, a structural marvel, surprisingly compact and integrated. Aspects of three pronounced musical periods are evident: the structure of the Viennese Classics; the color and glow of the Romantic Age; and at the high point of symphonic drama Mahler reaches back to Bruckner and even further back to the splendor and spirit of the Baroque. It is the interplay among these diverse influences that makes Mahler’s Eight Symphony a milestone in its time and a highlight of his creative life…All are integrated in one musical masterpiece and heightened in intensity by Mahler’s grandiose vision."

The PPO concert will feature soloists Maria Katrina Saporsantos, soprano; Aileen Espinosa-Cura, soprano; Karina Balajadia, soprano; Agnes Barredo, alto; Janet Sabas-Aracama, alto; Nolyn Cabahug, tenor; Lionel Guico, baritone; Lawrence Jatayna, bass; with UP Concert Chorus, UE Chorale and the San Beda Children’s Choir.

For tickets and more information, please call the CCP MArketing Department at 832-1125 local 1801-1806; CCP Box Office at tel. no. 832-3704; TicketWorld at 891-5610 and 891-5743 or visit the CCP website at


The CCP Outreach & Exchange Division in cooperation with the Foundation for Communication Initiatives (FOCI), Transparency & Accountability Network (TAN) and Asia Foundation will bring the local versions of Malou Jacob’s Anatomiya ng Korupsyon in Naga, Baguio, Bacolod, Davao and Ateneo de Manila University from April to May, 2004. The special tour is aimed at educating the voting public in preparation for the forthcoming National Elections.

Featured in the said tour are three local theater groups: Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation, Inc. (Bulacan version); Maskara Theater Ensemble (Ilonggo version); and Kaliwat Theater Collective (Cebuano version). After each performance, a forum-discussion will be facilitated by Marge Lamberte, FOCI Executive Director.

A 30 minute video documentary will be made and broadcast over Isla Channel. Simultaneously, a radio program is being produced based on the said play which is slated for airing over DZRH every Saturdays, 2pm- 2:30pm beginning April 24.

For more inquiries, please call the CCP Outreach & Exchange Division at telephone no. 833-0267 and telefax no. 832-3674.


The International Singing Week "Alpe Adria Cantat" invites all choirs, choir directors, individual choir members, and choral music enthusiasts to come, even with their families, and participate in 6 ateliers to be held in Lido di Jesolo, Venice, from August 29 to September 5, 2004. The ateliers are Music for Children’s Choirs and Director’s Course, Contemporary Music, Spiritual and Gospel Music, Venetian School of Music, Romantic Music and Vocal Pop Jazz. Each atelier will have daily rehearsals of approximately six hours. At the end of the week a concert will feature all the participants of each atelier performing the music they have prepared.

Interested parties must send application forms to the "Alpe Adria Cantat" Association and pay the registration and matriculation fees. A downpayment of Euro 90,00 should be sent by May 31, 2004.

For additional information and a copy of the application form, please contact the CCP Music Division at 832-2314 (direct line) or 832-1125 local 1605.


The 3rd International Competition for Young Choir Directors will take place on September 29 to October 3, 2004 in Vienna, Austria. The Competition is open to young musicians born after September 30, 1974 and before October 1, 1996. It is divided into three parts: the Qualification round, the Semi-finals and the Finals. For the Qualification Round, each conductor shall conduct and rehearse a given composition with the designated Viennese choir. The conductors who pass the Qualification Round shall conduct a 25-minute piece drawn from 12 given compositions for the Semi-finals. The conductors who pass the Semi-finals shall qualify for the Finals and conduct two given pieces in a concert.

Interested choir directors must complete the application form and submit curriculum vitae, two color photographs, a video of a concert conducted or a tape of rehearsal, both not older than one year or not shorter than 15 minutes. Applicants also may send an audiotape or CD.

Deadline for registration is April 15, 2004. For additional information and a copy of the application form, please contact the CCP Music Division at 832-2314 (direct line) or 832-1125 local 1605. Visit the Competition website at


Barcelona will once again host Jornades Internacional De Cant Coral on July 5-11, 2004. The 39th International Choral Days Singing Week in Barcelona is an important festival which has been organized by the Federacio Catalana d’Entitats Coral since 1993. The festival takes place in Barcelona and lasts for a week. During this time, participants have free mornings and may go sightseeing and touring. Afternoons are reserved for workshop rehearsals gathering foreign choirs and Catalan singers. The participating choirs will perform in the gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi and one or two concerts in different villages surrounding Barcelona. The final concert will be held in the beautiful modernist style hall, "Palau de la Musica Catalana."

The registration fee is 285 euros and it is inclusive of accommodation, meals, and workshop fees from July 5-11 only and it does not include the fees for the workshop scores.

Application deadline is March 25, 2004. For more information and for a copy of the application form, contact the CCP Music Division at 8321125 local 1605.


The 53rd ARD International Music Competition to be held in Munich in 2004 invites applications for the following categories—viola, flute, harp and string quartet.

Over 150,000€ in prizes will be given to different places in the different categories aside from 7 special prizes to be given by various groups and foundations. Aside from the monetary prizes, winners and placers will receive invitations to perform in concerts and festivals.

The competition will be held from August 30 to September 17, 2004 and is open to all musicians of all nations born between 1976 and 1987 and for the String Quartet category, between 1974 and 1987.

Application deadline is April 30, 2004. For more information and for a copy of the application form, visit, email or contact the CCP Music Division at tel. no. 832-1125 local 1605.

The 2005 edition of the Montreal International Musical Competition: Voice 2005 will take place on May 9-20, 2005. The Competition is open to young singers from all countries who intend to pursue a professional career in music and who, on January 1, 2005, are 33 years old or less.

All candidates must submit a duly-completed entry form and a high-quality sound recording (preferably CD, DAT or Mini Disc; standard cassette tapes will not be accepted). The recording must be unedited and with piano accompaniment only.

The recording, with piano accompaniment must include: one oratorio or cantata aria, one French song, one German lied or one song in a language other than French or German and one operatic aria.

The selection committee appointed by Competition officials will select the semi-finalists on the basis of the duly-completed applications and a blind audition process of the sound recordings submitted by the candidates. The Competition will assume the travel expenses of the candidates selected for the semi-final round in Montreal, on the conditions it determines.

Entry form and all required documentation must be postmarked by the deadline date January 21, 2005.


"Magnificat" and "Magsimula Ka", two of Philippine theater’s most popular and critically-acclaimed musicals, will be mounted anew and performed in an Outreach tour to raise funds for the important artistic projects of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

"Magsimula Ka" is written by Gines Tan and Nestor U. Torre, with music and lyrics by Tan, and direction by Torre. It has been described by some reviewers as "the first Filipino musical that works."

"Magnificat", with music by Ryan Cayabyab, and written and directed by Torre, is the country’s longest-running religious musical.

The sung-through production has been a popular choice of parishes and schools, which uses its performances as opportunities to raise funds for their respective projects. This time, the production will also raise funds for the CCP.

Cayabyab and Torre’s acclaimed religious musical is about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, within the context of her son Jesus Christ’s mission to save mankind.

It will go on Outreach tour for the CCP from Dec. 9 to 22, and will enthrall and move audiences everywhere with its beautiful music, affecting and insightful themes, and gifted cast of singers and actors.

Schools, parishes, organizations and other groups interested in having "Magnificat" performed in their locality from Dec. 9 to 22 are invited to get in touch with CCP Outreach Tour’s Sonny Cristobal at 833-0267 and 832-3674.

Meanwhile, the new production of "Magsimula Ka" will begin its Metro Manila and national outreach tours for the CCP early next year. Tan and Torre’s musical has become popular with audiences because of its entertaining and creative combination of songs, dances, drama and comedy, and its affecting story of young college graduates who pursue and achieve their dreams, despite many setbacks.

It has also helped launch the flourishing entertainment and musical theater careers of exceptional talents like Robert Seña, Isay Alvarez, Jograd dela Torre and Gigi Posadas, some of whomhave gone on to play lead roles in musicals in London and other parts of Europe.

The musical’s reputation for training and showcasing young talents has attracted a new crop of singers, actors and dancers to make their bid to be a part of the new production of "Magsimula Ka."

They auditioned for the show last Nov. 25, and are currently being given more intensive exercises and challenges to further test and hone their abilities, so potential lead players can be spotted, and given a chance to stand out during the rehearsal process.

The young talents are strongly motivated to support the Outreach show’s intention of raising funds for the CCP’s key cultural programs to help keep the arts in the Philippines flourishing and dynamic.

Groups interested in sponsoring performances of "Magsimula Ka" are similarly invited to call CCP Outreach’s Mr. Cristobal.

Not only will they have the chance to enjoy superlative musicals that have been acclaimed by reviewers and audiences alike, but they can also raise funds for the CCP and for their own projects.

MAGNIFICAT     :    March 26 - Cavite City
                                   April 3 - Rosales, Pangasinan



Acoustics, the science of sound and one of the oldest branches of physics, which began with Pythagoras’s studies of music, 2,500 years ago, is one alien subject few Filipinos know about. Thus, when the CCP Main Theater was being built in the 1960s, one of the main priorities then was to look for the best consulting firm to plan the acoustics of the theater and to ensure a structurally innovative, and visually inspiring design with perfect acoustics. The builders decided to hire no less than the American acoustical consulting firm of Richard Bolt, Leo Beranek and Robert Newman (BBN), who blazed the trail in the field of the emerging science of sound design. Incidentally, it was the same company that co-invented the internet!

"The CCP Main Theater has a state-of-the-art acoustics," says Ray Sison, a noted flutist and an acoustics aficionado. "They (BBN) built a state-of-the-art variable acoustics concert hall and put everything to give our country a world class venue with perfect acoustics". Since 1948, the BBN is one of the leading companies in the field of sound, which includes among others, the design of the acoustics of the UN General Assembly Hall, pioneered education in noise control for practicing engineers, as well as the development of sound-stream mufflers for jet engines and building ventilation systems. Compared with other concert halls in the country, Sison declares that the CCP Main Theater is the best "big concert hall" in the country today when it comes to its acoustics. "It’s the real thing and follows world-class standards." The company made sure that the most extensive use of acoustical measurements and calculations were made in efforts to have the sound of the world’s great halls. "They put so much effort on planning, executing it, presentation, everything is there." This hypothesis is embodied in the study he made on the CCP Main Theater acoustics. Together with Nicky Cordero, an expert acoustician, the two inspected and made observations on the CCP Main Theater Hall. "It’s a variable acoustics hall-- meaning it can adjust to suit any performance at the theater." he notes. Other concert halls like the Carnegie Hall, Sison states, are called dedicated concert halls (nothing else that is ideal in that concert hall other than music concerts), the CCP Main Theater however, is both a concert hall and a theater and can operate performances without any electronic amplification. "You can have a concert hall, uncompromised, adjust it and now you can watch movies, hear an opera, watch amplified pop concerts, watch a broadway musical or have a conference. It has an adjustable acoustic reflector disk mechanism that goes up and down, which effectively increases or decreases the volume of the hall drastically to suit the kind of performance at the hall. It goes all the way up for classical concerts and all the way down for an amplified pop concert," says the 36-year old flutist, who doubles up as a businessman who sells building products with acoustics properties under AVD Marketing. For five years, Sison made an in-depth study about acoustics, visiting an acoustic facility in the US, talked to the scientists, attended some courses from the Philippine Society of Acousticians (like Dar Quintos, Martin Galan, and Jiggs Hermanos) and visited concert halls in the US and Europe including the Grosser Musikvereinssaal in Vienna (built in 1870), the Symphony Hall in Boston (1900) and the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (1888), hailed as the best concert hall in the world.

"This hall is designed for opera or an orchestra performance with no microphones at all—" says Nicky Cordero, an Electronics Communications engineer. "You know I used to watch here when I was small, the acoustics was in pristine condition. But now it’s a bit noisy." "Noisy," Sison interjects, "in the parlance of a concert hall, but for an average person it is the most quiet for him." "If you are very critical about the music, you can hear all the nuances in the theater," Cordero continues. This was pointed out in one concert at CCP, when Kurt Masur, then the renowned conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, requested that escalators be shut off, and that all back doors and dressing rooms around the theater be closed. Cordero also conducted acoustical measurements and designs for RCBC, Petron and the University of Lyceum. The two agreed that there was nothing majorly wrong with the 34-year old CCP main theater acoustics. "If the hall is working at 98%, there is that 2% that needs to be fixed, that some things, through time, have deteriorated (i.e. door seals, aircon room noise, adjustable acoustic curtains, adjustable reflector disks). "These entail minimal costs compared to the immense benefit that the restoration can bring to this multi-million dollar facility." Sison states.

They declare that there are concealed drapes behind the screens in the theater that need replacement. The drapes are used to absorb the sound or if you want to lessen the reverberation (persistence of sound in an enclosed space caused by repeated reflections). These adjustable acoustic curtains around the entire perimeter of the hall are used to lower the reverb time, which is good for speeches or watching movies or for amplified productions.

Sison states that the physical structure and shape of the hall were also taken into consideration. The CCP stage pit, he says, has a reversible panel that can increase or decrease reverb time depending on the performance. There are hard reflecting and diffusing surfaces close to the orchestra, so that a "mixing" of the sound occurs by the time it reaches the listener. It is also noted that the trajectories of the sound waves begin at any number of places on the stage, bounce in complicated ways to and from every single square inch of surface area of the hall, and reach their ultimate destination in hundreds of occupied seats. Even the reflecting areas at the sides and above the speakers are angled so as to reflect the sound to those parts of the audience which are most distant. The upholstered seats are placed in the hall in such a way that these absorbing materials are needed so that an empty seat absorbs the same as an occupied one."Even the roof is soundproof and rain proof, which means that the patter of rain cannot be heard while a performance is going on." Sison says.

According to Sison, the CCP Main Theater has all the three (3) basic parameters of a good concert hall: quietness, correct reverb time and correct envelopment or reflection of sound. "It is that when a performer sings even a simple song, " he continues, "ang ganda-ganda, because of the acoustics. The performer enjoys the music as much as the audience and that’s real music-making." He believes that his general immersion in the music of the great halls of the world played as large a role in the understanding of good acoustics. "A concert hall is the church of the music world. As a musician and a citizen of this country, I believe the people deserve a real concert hall." Sison proudly expresses.

A concert hall must enable the musicians to achieve their desired dynamics, from the quietest solo to the loudest fanfare. Dr. Leo L. Beranek, eminent acoustic engineer and principal acoustical consultant for CCP summed it up: "The thrill of hearing Bach’s B minor mass, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 8th Symphony is not only determined by the quality of the orchestra and interpretation of the conductor, but is enhanced immeasurably by the dynamic response of the concert hall, which means both quiet support for the pianissimo part and majestic levels at the fortissimos."

The vision of the CCP complex as the mecca for art and culture in Asia came one more step closer to reality when the CCP Complex Business and Master Plan was finally completed last November. This was announced by CCP President Nestor O. Jardin in December last year.

The CCP Complex Plan was designed by Planning Resources & Operations Systems Inc. (PROS) on the commission of the CCP. The Plan which covers some 60 hectares of land available for development will serve as the framework for a comprehensive artistic, cultural, ecological, commercial and tourism development. "The output is a two volume document which gives the concept and framework for the development, the parameters for development, design guidelines, the business plan and such detailed studies such as traffic management, road network, sewerage and landscaping. ", Jardin said. "It also fleshes out the vision that we have established for the CCP Complex."

The Plan comes three years after the 2000 Supreme Court decision establishing the CCP as the owner of the land that comprises the CCP Complex. For a number of years up until that time, the development of the Complex had to take a back seat, due to political and economic conditions of the country, Jardin said, and especially when a civil case was filed by some private developers for land ownership.

The vision for the CCP Complex was formulated in consultation with its stakeholders (CCP Board members, CCP officials, artists, cultural workers, members of the media, art patrons and government officials. The Plan envisions the CCP Complex as a major cultural, ecological and tourism landmark in the Philippines as well as a home for the Filipino artist and an urban oasis for the Filipino people.

Targetted for completion within the next ten years, from 2004-2013, the Plan will be implemented in four phases. The development will also utilize provisions in RA 7916 (PEZA Law and RA 7718 (BOT Law) for its benefit. The CCP, Jardin said, is in the final stages of its application for PEZA to declare the CCP as the CCP Eco-tourism Zone. "This is important because it will facilitate the development. It will also attract investors because of the incentives offered."

With the completion of the Plan, the CCP is now inviting local and foreign investors and developers become its partners in the development of the complex. In December last year, the Plan was presented to prospective investors that included big players in business and industry today.

The CCP Complex is part of the entire Boulevard 2000 property which covers an estimated 1,500 hectares of reclaimed land along the southern coast of Manila Bay. The Boulevard 2000 plan designates the CCP Complex as the Arts and Entertainment section.

"This realization of the plan is important to us because we are developing it for the Filipino people. We would like the public to enjoy the CCP Complex and to come here more often because what will be constructed, developed here and the corresponding programs that will go with the development are for all artists, cultural workers and for the Filipino people.", Jardin said.

In line with its goal of promoting artistic excellence, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Visual Arts unit announces the opening of it's various exhibition venues to proposals for individual and group shows by Philippine artists and art groups, or exhibits organized by curators and Art institutions. A proposal would consist of a cover letter describing the nature of and concept behind the exhibition, resumes of artists involved, and photographs or study drawings of works to be featured. Evaluation criteria include the artistic merits of the project, its contemporaneity, and track record of the proponent. Being non-commercial, the CCP welcomes non-conventional projects like outdoor and indoor installations, performance art, multi-media collaborations, and other experimental art forms.

Deadline for submission of proposals is on September 30 every year for shows to be scheduled for the succeeding year. Approved proposals are announced in November, and offered venue grants, which entail complimentary use of venues with limited logistical support, as part of CCP's regular exhibition program. Proposals may be addressed to Sonita M. Reinoso, CCP Visual Arts Unit, CCP Main Building, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. For particulars, call 8323702.