Believing that art appreciation should start at a young age, the Cultural Center of the Philippines intensifies its children’s programming to nurture the next generations of artists and audiences. This November, to celebrate National Children’s Month, the leading art institution is organizing “Himig Himbing: Isang Araw Para sa Mga Batang Sining,” a whole-day art-filled, child-friendly event, on November 5, 2023 at the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater).
The mini children’s festival provides a safe space for children to express themselves through arts, connect with their young friends, and experience the Philippine cradle songs and lullabies. The event is a prelude to the CCP Children’s Biennale, a much-bigger children’s festival that aims to open the Filipino kids’ minds to the diversity of Philippine arts, indigenous cultures, and socio-cultural issues as seen and understood through their eyes, happening in 2024.
With the pay-what-you-can, donate-what-you-can scheme, children and their nurturers can experience what they can at the Art Buffet which starts at 10am. Children can spend a creative and fun-filled Sunday learning to play an indigenous instrument and exploring music, dance and theater with UP Tugma, PHSA Sanghiyas Pangkat Mananayaw, and Eksena PH.
Develop their curiosity and creativity with Puni, the art of coconut fronds folding, with Puni de Malolos. Draw and color their dreams with various activities such as Paborito! T-Shirt Art where the children will be provided with shirt cutouts on colored paper where they can draw their dreams and favorite things. Philippine Art Education Association will hold dreamcatcher weaving, mandala making, and monoprint on glass activities.
Explore a creative digital space in Panaginip Dreamscape, a virtual reality station installed by artist Joyce Garcia. There will also be special screenings of Jannela Kyla dela Peña’s RRRWGHHRW (Carabao Noises), Angelica C. Llanera’s Ate Bunso, and Alliah Jasreel Padre, Michael Andrew Colarina, Ivan Cris Caraon’s Grace, as well as various Young at Art video episodes featuring Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, visual artist Toym Imao, award-winning singer-actress Lea Salonga, and National Artist Alice Reyes.
In Nasaan Ka Raw, Carabao? segment, find the Clara the Carabao and Puraw the Dog puppets by Puppet Theater Manila as they travel around the venue to look for a place to rest. These resting areas will have blocks that serve as actual resting areas for participants when the puppets are not present.
After a short respite, one can head to the Chalk Art and Freedom Wall station and share their thoughts on “Ano’ng Pangarap mo sa Mundo?” and to the PAEA Sampayan where they can hang the artworks they made during the day.
Advocating reading and literacy, there will be a book selling event organized by the CCP Intertextual Division. Various book publishers will take part in the book sale event; the majority is members of the Indie Publishers Collab PH: Southern Voices Printing Press, Kriselda, Kahel Press, Aklat Mirasol Publishing House, Aklat Alamid, Street Tales Publishing House, AnK Publishing, Super Maya, and Gantala Press. They will be selling children’s books and merchandise.
The CCP will launch its first publication on Philippine lullabies, titled “HIMIG HIMBING: MGA HELENG ATIN, A Collection of Cradle Songs From the Philippines” at 2pm. During the book launch, there will be discussion with National Artist Ramon Santos, CCP artistic director Dennis Marasigan, and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, with special guest performer, Indigenous Leader and musician Waway Saway.
Join the premiere of the eight music videos of the eight selected lullabies for the second edition of Himig Himbing at 4pm. Catch Cinemalaya filmmakers Arden Condez’s Bata Alimahi, Ida del Mundo’s Gonon Klukab Tumabaga, Chris Gozum’s Ligliway Ateng, Vic Acedillo’s Tungas kay ta Sampaw, Sheron Dayoc’s Uyug-uyug, Ma-an Asuncion-Dagñalan’s O Matas a Banua, Zig Dulay’s Dandansoy, and Jerrold Tarog’s Lubi-Lubi.
Based on the research of ethnomusicologist Sol Trinidad, with musical arrangement by Krina Cayabyab, each indigenous lullaby is given a cinematic interpretation by the talented Filipino filmmakers.
Hosted by award-winning actress and mom Iza Calzado, there will be live performances by Bituin Escalante, Baihana, Ivar Fojas, Aleron Male Choir, and Lorelie Macaspac.
At 5:30pm, CCP and Widescope Entertainment will launch the Himig Himbing album, featuring the 16 lullabies from both the first and second editions, on Spotify and other digital platforms. Nica Del Rosario will perform Hele, one of the lullabies featured in the album.
A project of the CCP Arts Education, through the Audience Development Division, Himig Himbing project aims to reintroduce indigenous lullabies to contemporary audiences and develop nurturers that are grounded in Philippine songs and hele.