For the holiday season, CCP and its resident company Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group (ROFG) bring back the old tradition of Pastores and reintroduce it to young generations through the Vamos A Belén 2023, a festive event showcasing a variety of Philippine Christmas traditions in the forms of competition, exhibition, and performances.
From October 16, 2023 to November 30, 2023, CCP and ROFG will be accepting applications for the Pastores folk dance competition, dubbed Vamos A Belén: Sama-Samang Paggunita at Pagdiriwang.
Translated as “Let’s go to Bethlehem,” the cultural competition aims to nurture art appreciation and develop cultural awareness among the young generation on different Philippine holiday traditions.
The project, led by CCP Artist Training Division and ROFG, also aims to promote and popularize National Artist Ramon A. Obusan’s documented Pastores music and dances, traditions, and collections, as well as create active arts program that develops art appreciation, cultural awareness for the youth, and continued advancement of NA Obusan’s legacy.
The competition is open to all school-based, community-based, and professional folk dance troupes only residing in the Philippines. Each group must be composed of a minimum of eight performers and a maximum of 12 performers, aged 15 years old and above.
A Competition Briefing and Orientation, as well as a Contest Piece Workshop, will happen on November 4, 2023, at Bahay ni Kuya Mon in Pasay City. Registered groups are highly advised to attend the briefing and workshop.
Participating groups will have to create their own interpretation based on the literature of the competition piece, that is Infantes of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan Valley. Participants will perform on-site on December 16, 2023, at 4:00 pm, at the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater).
Another treat is the Vamos A Belén 2023 Performance, scheduled on December 17, 6:00 pm, held at the TIG. The ROFG along with its affiliate groups and previous winners of the Pastores Dance Competition will perform Posadas, Pastores dances and Filipino Christmas influences.
To complete the traditional Paskong Pinoy experience, CCP and ROFG will exhibit the Belén collection of National Artist for Dance Ramon A. Obusan on-site and online. A tableau of the nativity scene will be featured in the exhibit. The on-site exhibit will be open to the public on December 16 to 21, at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez Lobby. The virtual exhibit will be available on CCP and ROFG social media platforms on December 21, 2023.