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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Saturday, August 06, 2022

entry arrow12:51 PM | A Grand Finale to the 2022 CCP Arts Academy

Have you ever had that feeling that you've done your best, and now it's up to the fates for that one last go to end up at least satisfactorily? We — the mentors for literature, dance, theatre, visual arts, music, and film — workshopped and workshopped and workshopped for five days straight, and now it came to this: a recital involving all the participants for the closing ceremony.

With barely half-a-day of rehearsals to iron out the kinks and to determine what needed to be done [choreography, choice of pieces, etc.], we were in it because everyone wanted it. In fact, we started the week thinking a final performance was going to be optional for each workshop. By Wednesday, all the mentors were keen to do at least something. By Thursday afternoon, we had some idea about what to do. By Friday morning, the rehearsals began. By Friday afternoon, the performances were on the slot.

AND IT WAS TREMENDOUS. It was like watching a concert of all the arts coming together in a spectacular and unexpected grand finale, with everybody doing their best to make everything work. You couldn't tell that most of the dances — sometimes paired with poets or with theatre artists — were improvised on the spot. It was just all seamless, certainly not without its flaws [a missing cue, a missing mic, etc.], but altogether fantastic. This is why in this video, as the last performers took a bow, we are all so generous with our applause, because we recognized that we just did something magical — and that all that hard work actually went to something tangible.

I think I echo my other co-mentors when I repeat what I said to myself at the end of the program: "Oh my God, they all actually learned something from us." We actually observed that our participants — 188 teachers from all over the Philippines — were hungry to learn, were willing to absorb something new and challenging, and most of all were generous to share their [sometimes newfound] talent in front of everyone. We made them dance, write, act, direct, make music, make art — and in the end, we were all very happy.

Thank you, Cultural Center of the Philippines Arts Academy [Chris Millado / Ron B. Mirabuena] and Silliman University Culture and Arts Council [Diomar Abrio] for making this possible. And congratulations to all my co-mentors [Dessa Quesada-Palm, Cheenee Vasquez Limuaco, Angelo Sayson, Aiken Quipot, Elvert Bañares, Juni Jay Tinambacan, Joseph Albert Perez Basa, W Don Flores, Ramon del Prado, and AK Ocol] for forming such a formidable group of resource speakers.

It was a happy week, all in the name of the arts!

[Video by Aiken Quipot]

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