From Opening Flair To Uncertain Future: The Saga of Folk Arts Theater


It is interesting to write about the Folk Arts Theater at this time in the midst of the preparations for the country’s 3rd stint to host the Miss Universe pageant that will happen on January 2017. That is because the Folk Arts Theater itself came into being because of the Miss Universe pageant, when the Philippines hosted it for the first time in 1974. Reportedly, then First Lady Imelda Marcos pushed hard for the country to host the pageant, especially after the country’s Miss Universe candidate, Margarita Moran, won the title in 1973, becoming the second Filipina Miss Universe after Gloria Diaz.

With the hosting secured, Mrs. Marcos had the idea of holding the pageant not at an existing venue like the Araneta Coliseum, but at a new one. For this project, she turned to Architect Leandro Locsin, who by then was already the most sought-after architect and country and also in the First Lady’s good graces for his work on the Cultural Center of the Philippines Theater. However, there was a problem: Locsin only had a short time to complete that dream venue with the pageant just a few months away. Nevertheless, Locsin was one who rises to any challenge and this was no exception. Continue reading


Checked Out: 2015’s Pasinaya and Travel Tour Expo

It was such a busy weekend recently and it was not just because of the Valentine season. Two major events were happening that the Urban Roamer decided to check out in one day which was last February 15. So you can imagine how tiring it was, but it was worth it seeing so much and enjoying the sights along the way. Read on to check my full report. Continue reading


CinemalayaX at the CCP

It is that time of the year once again when the moribund Philippine cinema manages to come alive for a while. No, I’m not talking about the Metro Manila Film Festival, when the opposite usually happens…but I digress. It is the season of Cinemalaya, the Philippine independent film festival which is now marking its 10th year.

For those who are not familiar with this event, Cinemalaya is an annual film festival organized by the Cinemalaya Foundation (headed by Tony Boy Cojuangco)  with the support of the Cultural Center of the Philippines that is meant to showcase contemporary, independent Philippine cinema, as well as to give opportunities for new filmmakers and artists, as well as for veteran filmmakers to show their stuff in the indie setting. Continue reading


Checked Out: Pasinaya 2014

It is that time of the year once again! The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) recently opened its doors to everyone, especially those who are passionate about Philippine arts, for this year’s open-house arts festival at the CCP known as Pasinaya.

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The Cultural Center of a nation

On the occasion of the National Arts Month, I thought it would be fitting to close out this month with a little tribute to our country’s arts and cultural center: a landmark aptly titled the Cultural Center of the Philippines or the CCP.

Technically, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (in Filipino, Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas) or CCP refers to the body created in 1966 by virtue of Executive Order 30 as a “trust for..the Filipino people for…preserving and promoting Philippine culture.” But for many people, it will always be identified with its iconic building known formally as the Tanghalang Pambansa (known more as the CCP Main Building or the Theater for Performing Arts) along Roxas Boulevard which was completed 3 years later, on September 8, 1969.

the logo of the CCP formed by 3 K’s written in Baybayin script standing for katotohanan, (truth) kagandahan, (beauty) and kabutihan. (goodness)

It was a milestone for the brains behind the building of this edifice, then First Lady Imelda Marcos, who was able to realize her dream of a larger, grander venue for the Philippine arts that can meet the needs its predecessors the Manila Metropolitan Theater and the FEU Theater have failed to address. With the praise the newly-inaugurated CCP building was getting internationally, it was an encouragement of sorts for Imelda to continue realizing her dream of a “beautiful Philippines” through her innate “edifice complex,” as some call it. Continue reading