Pasinaya enlivens culture and arts scene with grand showcase and performances
“How was your weekend?” a friend asked when we met yesterday for our weekly tête-à-tête. I paused for a while to think about how to possibly sum up my weekend. In my mind, I relived what had transpired in Pasinaya 2023 over the weekend.
Honestly, it was tiring. As Ariel Yonzon, head of the Production and Exhibition Department, said after the curtain call on the last day of Pasinaya, it takes a whole village to bring the different components of the festival to life.
From conceptualizing to looking for stage managers and volunteers, asking performing groups, partner museums, and galleries to join, and down to setting up the stages in different venues and running the shows, mounting a festival required so much, especially for the production team.
But at the end of the day, it was fulfilling. Seeing people flocking to the venues, participating in the Sulong Pasinaya dance, enjoying the shows, and reading their stories on social media posts—was all worth it. Looking at the photos that media friends took published on the front pages of major newspapers, made me teary-eyed. All our efforts weren’t in vain.
As Nikki Torres, our production manager, posted on her social media account: “As I was trying to describe Pasinaya to someone, I found myself saying that Pasinaya is about the generosity of performers who came from as far away as Tawi Tawi to share their art – with No Pay; The generosity of most of the members of our team who spent sleepless nights making sure all would be well. My stage managers came on board with no thought of payment and yes, we had over a hundred volunteers for the task.”
She continued: “The generosity of the audience who came to laugh, to cry, to support; And yes, the generosity of the CCP for putting up this mammoth event. We can talk about numbers. We can talk about marketing. We can talk about targets. But in the end, it is about the sharing of arts, of stories of cultures.”
Pagtitipon was attended by about 50 local government units, NGO’s and cultural organizations, who were part of the Kaisa sa Sining network. For Palitan, 50 art organizations were able to pitch their programs to 50 Philippine embassies all over the world.
Palihan, with 52 workshops, welcomed 10,000 people, while Palabas had 55 shows, performed by 89 performing groups. There were about 3,000 performers and artists, sharing their talents and creativity generously. We had an estimated 38,000 audiences during the three-day festival.
As CCP artistic director Dennis Marasigan said: “Ano napala, nakuha natin? Nakita na buhay na buhay ang sining. Kulungin mo ito, gaya ng nangyari sa pandemya, at pilit itong pipiglas. Habang ginagawa ang Tanghalang Pambansa, magpapatuloy ang Pasinaya.”
There are already talks about bringing Pasinaya to Mindanao and Visayas in the coming years. It would be a totally different monster to tackle, but CCP is definitely ready to slay it. We are up for the challenge.
As I watched the CCP team dance Sulong Pasinaya for the last time after the closing program and while the production team started to strike out the equipment, the stage, and other setups, I couldn’t help but think that there is nothing like working at the CCP. Even if sometimes the “kinauukulan” wouldn’t recognize the efforts of its cultural and production workers, it is a job that feeds your soul to the brim.
Let me give pats and hugs to all the people who made Pasinaya possible. In my world, you deserve a beach break.