Chinoy bizmen organize arts-for-peace festival in Mindanao

Nov. 21, 2009

DAVAO CITYIn time for the usual celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace, a group of Chinese businessmen is organizing a festival on culture and arts for peace.

Opening on Nov. 20 in several sites and venues in the city is Nawan: Kalinaw Mindanaw, a three-day interdisciplinary and multicultural festival advancing co-initiatives for peace in Mindanao.

Festival organizer Mr. Amado So of the Filipino-Chinese Heritage and Cultural Society, Inc. said they invited some 150 artists and cultural workers, religious leaders, military officers, community organizers, government decision-makers, and business people, among others.

He said his group is organizing this festival because a stable peace and order situation is the bedrock of a harmonious society and good business. Artists can lead us toward creative strategies in forging the peace, he said.

Topbilling the festival is a conference on arts for peacefacilitated by Bro. Karl Gaspar of the Redemptorist congregation and playwright Fe Remotigue, both leading lights in the cultural movement in Mindanao.

Paper presenters in the conference include Col. Ernesto Ruiz Aradanas, Brigade Commander of the 603rd IB at Camp Iranun (formerly Camp Abubakar) in Barira, Maguindanao; Abhoud Seyd Lingga of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies; Era Colmo-Espana, tribal chieftain in Kidapawan; Diosita Andot, executive director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Act4Peace; Mayor Alex Tomawis of Barira, Maguindanao; Fr. Rey Jaectin of Pagadian City; Irene Santiago, chair of the Mindanao Commission on Women; Ma. Cecilia Arriola-Langlois of Mebuyan; Datu Docris Daug, Tagabaya chieftain; playwright and filmmaker Arnel Mardoquio; visual artist and curator Nonoy Estarte; Tausug performer Edwin Tantalie; and Alma Uy, chairperson of the Davao Regional Tourism Council.

Complementing the conference is an exhibit of traditional and contemporary visual arts in Mindanao (Hulagway ug Kaamguhan: Dalit sa Kamindanawan) and a film festival showcasing works by Mindanao filmmakers that celebrate the multicultural complexity of the homeland (Tan-aw, Lantaw Mindanaw: Cinemagining Mindanao).

Evenings featured a menu of thrilling performances, such as CCP-Tanghalang Pilipinos Madonna Brava ng Mindanao, Don Pagusaras adaptation of Bertolt Brechts Mother Courage and Her Children, a searing indictment of war; traditional performances of the Teduday community of Maguindanao; and the riveting next moves of contemporary dance artists from General Santos and Koronadal Cities.

Nawan is sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Overseeing the entire festival is Nestor Horfilla, executive director of Mindulani, the cultural network in Mindanao.

For reference:

Mozart Pastrano
Head, Public Affairs
Nawan: Kalinaw-Mindanaw

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