THE Cultural Center of the Philippines brings healing and hope this Love Month with the world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Jerrold Tarog’s new film “Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw (The Opposite of the End),” back-to-back with the launch of “Hilom: Sayaw Dalangin ng Pag-asa at Pagkakaisa,” slated on February 14, 8:30am and 4:30pm airing on CNN Philippines channels.
Director Tarog transmuted the original poem with the same title written by playwright Eljay Castro Deldoc into a cinematic experience, featuring the original concept and choreography by Ronelson Yadao. Tarog also composed the music for the dance film.
The film stars dancer Eloisa Jessa Tangalin, as well as other faculty members of CCP Dance Workshop including Sarah Anne Alejandro, Monica Amanda Gana, Stephanie Kerilen Santiago, Karla Marie Santos, Victor Maguad, Lester John Reguindin, Earl John Arisola, Al Frederick Abraham, Louise John Ababob, Danilo Dayo Jr., Bonifacio Guerrero Jr., and Justine Joseph Orande.
Adapted to screenplay by Tarog and Deldoc, the eight-minute short feature film brings together the different art forms – from literature, dance, music, theatre and film – to create a unique collaboration which hopefully reminds all artists and the public on the importance of artistic expression and undaunted creativity that is much needed in the process of healing and overcoming the pandemic.
Aside from being a reminder, “Gunaw” is a promise that once time permits, CCP will open its doors once again and welcome its artists back because there are still stories to be told, songs to be sang and ideas to be expressed. And as artists always say, the show must and will go on.
For 51 years now, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is a place where creativity thrives, and a home to various productions, festivals and artists. In 2020, CCP closed its doors to the public and arts became one of the most affected industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of artists and cultural workers were displaced.
The question lingers: will the arts survive? And Tarog responds through the short feature film.
Meanwhile, Hilom features folkloric dances associated with Filipino rituals and dance traditions to show how relevant dance is to the lives of the people especially during times of difficulties and challenges.
The dance production engages various folkloric dance groups and communities in working together to produce dance performances that would highlight the affinity of the Filipinos to connect to the spiritual world for prayer, supplications, thanksgiving and worship.
Featured dance groups and artists are: Abigail Calma (as Inang Bayan) from Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group; Kaloob Phil Music and Dance Ministry (artistic director Dr. Ed Lapiz); Lyceum of the Philippines University of Batangas – Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe (artistic director Rodel M. Fronda); Leyte Dance Theatre of Jess De Paz Foundation Inc. (artistic director Lowe S. Taňa); University of Cebu Dance Company (artistic director Victor Lim Hao Cuenco); Melengas Dance Ensemble (artistic director Odysso D. Oyales; and Koronadal Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe (artistic director Benhur Zerrudo Abulencia).
Directed by Stephen Ramos Biadoma, the dance video production follows the story and concept by UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, with music by Teresa Barrozo, edited by Gem Aňonuevo, cinematography by Brandon Relucio, and costumes by Carlo Viray Valderama.
“Hilom is a dance film that forwards the Filipino spirit to the forefront of our fight against the global health crisis. Our differences in culture, language, or ethnicity do not hinder us but rather enrich and unify our call and prayer for healing. We shall move as one nation, one community, one Filipino toward the hope for recovery,” shared director Biadoma.
After the twinbill production premiered on CNN Philippines, the CCP plans to have a hybrid outdoor screening tagged as Cinema Under the Stars at the CCP grounds, following strict health protocols. There will also be an online premiere through the CCP social media accounts (official Facebook page and YouTube channel).