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CCP receives multiple awards for its resiliency during pandemic and creative innovations

When the country bore the brunt of the pandemic in 2020, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) ensured to the public that it could still fulfill its mandate to promote and preserve the best of Filipino arts and culture. Back on March 13, 2020, the CCP complied with the decision of shutting down all its public venues and postponed all productions and events indefinitely due to the precautions the country had to make. However, despite these restrictions, CCP found their way to thrive through the online platforms. This was the start of the transition of online performances for the Center.

For years, the Center has embarked on digitizing its archives. It proved to be quite a pioneering and progressive project because it became a lifeline for the center’s artistic endeavors. As directed by the Philippine government, CCP functioned on a skeleton workforce, with restricted access for employees and cultural workers. With the theaters closed, the CCP couldn’t produce any shows; hence, limited livelihood for the artists. 

The CCP Board of Trustees calibrated the response to the pandemic affecting the creative industry and implemented the Innovation Grants Program which provided financial support to seven art and culture organizations so they could create and produce new works in various art disciplines and distribute these new contents using online technology, blended, and hybrid technologies.

The new programming brought to “online stages” different shows such as virtual pocket concerts of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, dubbed Music for Healing: PPO in Quarantine, Virgin Labfest’s online edition using Zoom and Facebook Live, and Cinemalaya screening short films in competition in Vimeo. 

“These interventions and responses proved that arts could not be curtailed. Even a pandemic can’t stop people from engaging in arts. In fact, art is what sustained them throughout the most challenging time in this era,” said CCP president ad interim Michelle Nikki Junia.

No matter what the obstacles, CCP remains committed to its mandate, and these efforts earned recognition from inaugural The Living Laurels Awards, organized by the Malaya Business Insights. 

The CCP recently received The Pandemic Resilience Award for “its outstanding contributions to the lifestyle industry and reaffirms their steadfast dedication to excellence in lifestyle endeavors.” The award recognizes the organizations or individuals who adapted and thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the challenges we might face in the near future, whether it is pandemic, natural disasters, and man-made situations, including budget cuts, the CCP will continue to champion a thriving local creative industry that respects tradition, spurs innovation, increases social awareness, and enriches the Philippine national brand,” said Junia.

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The CCP also received The Arts Visionary and Local Artisan Showcase Award for one of its most-anticipated festivals, the Virgin Labfest. The award was given to organizations that promote emerging local artists and craftsmen who have created outstanding and notable pieces.

Twenty years since it was launched, the VLF serves as a laboratory and experimental stage for untried, unstaged, and untested one-act plays written by up-and-coming playwrights from different regions. 

“From putting the spotlight on Filipino playwrights, VLF also becomes a safe space for directors, actors, stage managers, and technical crew who come together to bring ‘virgin’ one-act plays to audiences. From a one-week run, it grew to a three-week festival featuring 12 new plays and 3 revisited plays. Together with the Writers’ Bloc and CCP resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino, we are proud of how far the VLF has come. Many of the playwrights who have been featured in VLF have become some of our country’s better-known playwrights, and award winners,” shared CCP artistic director Dennis N. Marasigan. 

The Living Laurels Awards also recognized other organizations in different categories such as Digital Transformation Excellence Award,  Sustainable Lifestyle Champion Award, Mental Health and Wellness Advocate, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award, Innovative Health and Fitness Solutions Award, Hybrid Work-Life Integration Awards, Creative Culinary Excellence Award, Jake Macasaet Legacy Award, Joy Delos Reyes Community Impact Award, Pocholo Romualdez Media Excellence Award, and Che Francisco PR Excellence Award.

CCP also received recognition from the Metrobank Foundation Inc. for being a Partner in Empowerment, Advocacy and Commitment to Excellence (PEACE). This award is presented every five years to recognize partners that have collaborated impactfully with MBFI in its mission of uplifting the lives of the most vulnerable and underserved sectors in Philippine society.

“We dedicate these awards to the people who worked hard and diligently during the most turbulent time in recent years, and for the Filipino people who have supported the CCP through the years,” concluded Junia during one of the award ceremonies.

For updates on CCP’s events and productions, follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, X, Instagram and Tiktok. You can also watch CCP digital contents on the CCP YouTube Channel. 

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