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Constructing A National Identity Through Music

(By: Ramon Santos)

The late nineteenth century in the Philippines history marks the most dramatic, if not the most dynamic, phase in the long process of constructing a national consciousness. This perception is a result of a political and social events of the period, and it is equally reinforced by the expressive cultures of an emerging Filipino society. The arts -- literature, theater, music, dance, architecture, and painting -- provided effective channels for the expression of the Filipino psyche, taste and social behavior. They serve as concrete indicators of the transformation and evolution of the values and self-awareness, as well as tools to effect change for the construction of a national identity and a distinct cultural heritage. Today, a national Filipino identity embodies the concept of convergence and the intersection of diverse cultural elements and tradition from both Europe and the Philippine geographic borders.

The music and musical life of the Filipinos from 1870 to 1930s was a period when Filipino musicians from different social and economic environments reached a common consciousness of a music as an art form and as a distinct form of human expression. Filipino musicians began to express individual as well as collective sentiments, using related, if not common forms. It was also a period when the acquisition of a specific musical skills in the practice of Westernized music -- singing instrumental performance, composition, conducting -- reached significant levels of competence and proficiency. Music emerged as a professional undertaking, for which training and education shifted from church convents and town bands to formal academies and musical associations: e.g. the Colegio Beaterio, The Colegio Español de Educacion de Señoritas (Maceda 1979) and the Sociedad Musical Filipino de Sta. Cecilia (Santiago 1957). Religion also played a role, as Christianity appeared to have catalyzed the disparate systems of indigenous worship and social values and activities into a cohesive expressive framework.

Nurturing Children's Literature In The Philippines

The significance of a National Children's Book Day for the country and how it is helping Filipino children

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.' - Mortimer J. Adler

My very first memory of reading involves Liwayway magazine. Yes, that Liwayway magazine. But, young as I was (I was about five years old then, I think), I did not get to read anything -- I merely looked at the pictures, which helped me follow the story. So, my formal reading really started with my sister pointing to the words 'Bababa ka na ba?' 'Oo, bababa na ako,' reading it aloud and allowing me to read it by myself afterwards. In first grade, my mother, a teacher, would, with an afternoon meeting underway, leave me at the school library. This thrilled me no end because it was the only time that the head librarian would take out from their safe cabinets those small hardbound books on 'Cinderella,' 'Snow White,' 'The Three Little Pigs,' 'The Ugly Duckling.' On the Filipino section, I got to read the colorfully illustrated 'Pilandok,' 'Juan Tamad,' 'Digong Dilaw,' and the one on 'Mariang Makiling.' Since then, reading has been an integral part of my life, with my horizons broadened with every book I managed to get a hold of through the years.

Tungo Sa Pagtukla Ng Isang Bagong Teorya Sa Musika

(By Ramon P. Santos)

Isang makasaysayang yugto na naman ang narating ng pananaliksik sa musika sa Asia nang idaos ng Asia-Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology ang isang simposyum na pinamagatang "A Search in Asia for a New Theory of Music" sa Sentro ng Seameo-Innotech, Lungsod ng Quezon, Filipinas noong 17-23 Pebrero 2002. Ang pangmundong palihan ay inorganisa ng Sentro sa Etnomusikolohiya ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa pamumuno ng may-akda nito na si Dr. Jose Maceda, isang sagisag ng kontemporaneong iskolarship at paglikha sa musika sa Asia.(1) Sa kaniyang paliwanag sa saligang banghay ng pagtitipon, tinurol ni Dr. Maceda ang paralelismo sa pagkatagpo ng kultura at agham sa renaissance sa Europa at gayon din sa pangkasulukuyang Asia. Inilapit niya ang mga ispesipikong aspekto na nangangailangan ng masusing pag-aaral at pagdalumat tungo sa kaalaman sa mga pundasyong pan-teorya sa mga kulturang pangmusika ng Asia. Una, ang mga estrukturang matematiko sa musikang pangkorte ng Silangan at Timog-Silangang Asia, na kumakatawan sa isang pilosopikong na ekspresyong kakaiba sa lohikang linear na siyang batayan ng musikang kanluranin Ikalawa, ang mga estruktura ng wika sa loob at katimugang Tsina, na kaugnay sa mga musikang pantinig Ikatlo, ang mga dimensiyong pangkultura ng kooperasyon at damayan sa paggawa sa lipunan, maging sa lungsod o sa kabayanan, na nailalahad sa palatunugan ng mismong musika na binubuo ng sari-saring kulay, orkestrasyon, habi, at mga konsepto ng panahon at mga patlang pantunugan.

Interview With National Artist In Literature

Edith L.Tiempo (By Niño Soria De Veyra)

Take a left off the coastal road of Sibulan, a town away from Dumaguete City, then take a steep but short climp up to Montemar. When you finally locate the cliffside villa where Edith Lopez Tiempo lives, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Tañon Strait and the neighboring islands of Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor. It is nearly sunset and the eastern sky is slightly washed in varying hues of orange and purple. You can only imagine the sunrise from this view. Mom Edith, as her students call her, ushers you in. You find yourself in a spacious and long hall with floor-to-ceiling glass windows along two sides-one facing the sea, the other, the mountains of Negros. Mom Edith shows you to a sofa at one end of the hall. Beside the sofa is a neat pile of books, mostly by Mom Edith's students from the Dumaguete writers workshop. Seeing that you are settled nicely in your seat, Mom Edith prompts you about the interview. So, fumbling, you begin

In your previous interviews, you mentioned your connection to something mystical, something from the intuitive self. Also, your poetry always has had this mystical aspect. So, since you are steeped in the New Critical Tradition, has your poetry been enhanced by your mystical experiences, experiences which you have had since, I think, your childhood?

Mistipikasyon Ng Sining

(By Virgilio S. Almario)

Halos magkakasabay yumao ang dalawa nating Pambansang Alagad ng Sining na sina Levi Celerio at Lucio San Pedro at ang artistang si Rico Yan. Ang nangyari, higit na binigyan ng espasyo sa mass media ang kamatayan ni Rico Yan. At sa tanda ko, mga kolumnista din sa industriyang pang-aliwan ang pumuna sa tila diumanong labis na pagbusisi sa kahit anong puwedeng maisulat tungkol kay Rico Yan, lalo na't kapag ikinompara sa tila walang latoy na pagpaparangal sa dalawang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining.

Sa pangyayaring ito, muling nausisa ang halagahang pangkultura ng mga Filipino. Siyempre, maraming muling pumansin sa kasalukuyang nilalaman ng mass media. Na lubhang nakalilimot ito sa tungkulin o responsabilidad bilang bisig ukol sa "edukasyong pangkultura"-ang paglinang at pagpapalaganap ng wastong kaalaman at halagahang pagkultura sa hanay ng karaniwang mga mamamayan ng Filipinas.

 

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