Through Presidential Proclamation no. 683, the Philippines celebrates the annual National Arts Month every February. This 2021, the National Arts Month (NAM) with the theme “Alab-sining, Alay-sigla,” aims to provide opportunities for artists to harness their creative energies in uplifting the nation’s spirit especially during this time of public health crisis.
In Sorsogon in the Bicol region, artists belonging to the Kurit-Lagting Art Collective are gearing up in order to raise awareness, collaboration, and strengthening networks through workshops, symposia/conferences, and performances. It should be noted that last year, artistic productions were slowed down in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that until now there are physical limitations in movement, so our activities in Sorsogon for the National Arts Month will be conducted online to help promote active participation and creativity in the Bicolano community through group interaction and self-exploration. There will be a series of workshops and webinars that are interconnected so that participants will see their progress and learn from each other,” said Allan Abrigo, co-founder of Kurit-Lagting Art Collective.
According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), this year’s celebration will focus on the fruits of the creative efforts for the past year and is looking forward to a richer, more fertile ground in the coming years for the evolution of artistic modes of expression available to the Filipino creative imagination.
According to Geri Matthew Carretero, art director and co-founder of the art collective, the artists involved in the activities will be partnering again with community-based organizations to fully implement their work in the community. “With their help, we can reach marginalized children and families who want to learn art by providing them a platform to express their thoughts and ideas,” he said.
“Video recordings and modules will also be made available to the participants to serve as future reference. We are well aware that the internet connection in some communities is bad, therefore we are making sure that the lessons during the workshops that we are going to conduct would be of great help to them,” he added.
“As we launch our activities in relation to the visions of NCCA, we would like this celebration to create a larger dialogue with the purpose of generating positive change in the community,” ended Gerald Jintalan, who is also a member of the art collective.
The Kurit-Lagting, a collective artistic collaboration of Bicolano artists from Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines provinces with art advocacies on human rights and the environment.