Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic

Metro Manila has officially transitioned to a modified enhanced community quarantine allowing us residents to regain parts of our normal lives, while still being mindful of physical distancing, proper handwashing at all times, and following strict community rules like curfew and limited movement.

We are seeing malls, commercial centers and restaurants reopening once again, as well as some offices and businesses as long as these observe MECQ guidelines.

The live music scene, however, is yet to recover since non-essential mass gatherings cannot be allowed still, and for all the good reasons. This entails countless job loss not just for the musical artists but also for managers, roadies, assistants and employees who all work for live gigs and venues.

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Step Up for Healing in the Mountains


ALMOST four years since Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs took the lives of thousands, this fact remains: Families are left dealing with losses of their loved ones. Wives without husbands. Children without fathers. Parents without children.

Justice is far off, not within reach nor within sight.

Healing, on the other hand, may be a step closer to some of these family members. They are taking the steps forward, upward and downward along the trails of mountains.

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Full Transcript: Ebe Dancel on his 20th Year in Music Industry, 1st Solo Concert


FOR Ebe Dancel, the show always goes on. He has been doing so in the last 20 years. The show went on for the singer-songwriter when his longtime alternative rock band Sugarfree disbanded eight years ago. He went solo and almost slowly but surely made a name for himself in the industry.

Come February 29, 2020, the show continues for Dancel as he finally holds his first solo concert at the Metrotent in Pasig City. It marks and celebrates his two decades in the local music industry.

Last December, this author was able to exclusively interview the OPM icon in promotion of the upcoming solo concert, which sold out within months of selling by the way. It was serendipity of sorts for the last time I was able to interview him exclusively was for the promotion of his first solo album eight years ago. 

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CCP to Unveil Commemorative Markers on 50th Anniversary

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

ON September 10, the Cultural Center of the Philippines will unveil markers to commemorate the important role played by the premiere institution in promoting, preserving and developing the Philippine arts and culture in the past 50 years. The markers will be installed at the CCP Main Theater Lobby.

“The Cultural Center of the Philippines is a fulfillment of the decades-long quest of countless Filipino artists and government officials for a National Theater,” the marker partially reads.

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Lav Diaz’s 4-Hour ‘Ang Hupa’ is Cinemalaya’s Opening Film for 2019

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

FOR the first time in its 15-year history, Cinemalaya is opening with a four-hour-and-thirty-minute film come August 2 at the CCP Main Theater. Lav Diaz’s “Ang Hupa (The Halt)” is the the center of this bold move for the most anticipated film festival in the country. 

This screening is a homecoming of sort for Diaz’s “Ang Hupa” after making its world premiere at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight, the non-competition section of Cannes Film Festival, in France early this year. 

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#FetePH25 Opens this Friday – Here Are 6 Things to Watch Out For

(From Alliance Française de Manille)

SINCE its very first staging in Paris in June 1982, Fête de la Musique has become an international phenomenon that continues to promote music through a free-for-all event in more than 700 cities in 120 countries every year.

In the Philippines, Fête de la Musique is celebrating its 25th year of showcasing the best of the best in the local music scene, while providing a cross cultural experience between the Filipino and French people thereby forging friendships and building a community.

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Cinemalaya 2019’s Short Film Finalists Revealed

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. announce the finalists for the Short Film Category of the 2019 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

From 168 submitted entries, the selection committee, composed of Nick Deocampo, Teddy Co, Milo Sogueco, Alvin Yapan and Law Fajardo, narrowed down the list and confirmed the 10 finalists.

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Celebrating Women and Literature at CCP this March

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

IN this year’s celebration of Women’s Month, the Cultural Center of the Philippines will showcase the creativity and talent of women playwrights.

From March 15 to 16, the CCP, in cooperation with Women Playwrights International-Philippines, will host READATHON: Dramatic Reading of Plays by Women 2019 at the Silangan Hall, Cultural Center of the Philippines, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Reaching Out, Breaking Grounds: A Christmas Celebration for Aetas of Limay


“Takot kami dati sa mga Unat.”

This was an overheard statement from an Aeta from an upland community in Limay, Bataan during a group’s Christmas outreach. The elderly woman was referring to lowlanders or Filipinos outside their tribe. Unat is a Filipino word that means someone with straight hair, that differentiate them from Aetas who have curly hair. 

We can’t blame the Aetas, or any other indigenous tribes in the country, for harboring fear toward their fellow Filipinos who have periodically abused and displaced them in the past and even to this day.

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Walk, Run, Cycle – UNHCR Calls Filipinos to Move in Solidarity with Refugees

(United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

ALIN NISA was among the 720,000 Rohingya who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar last year. When her village was attacked, she and her family was forced to escape in the dead of the night at 3 a.m.

They had nothing but the clothes on their back. With her husband, mother-in-law and two young children, she crossed mountains and rivers. Along the journey, they walked across water-logged paddy fields, in torrential rain, sometimes through the night. After a perilous journey of 10 days and 102 kilometers, they arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. 

Now safe in Bangladesh, the family has built a shelter, using plastic sheeting and bamboo – all provided by  the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They also received a cooking kit, mats and blankets.

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