Text by Angelo Lorenzo

The Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) turns 10 this year. Since its conception, the organization continues the tradition to celebrate the arts and recognize local artists through the recently-concluded Panaghugpong, in celebration of the National Arts Month in February.

The celebration was set in tune with this year’s theme, “Ani ng Sining, Alab ng Sining” and Panaghugpong sets the region’s art scene blazing, and yields the fruits of the artists’ labor.

A Cebuano term that means “convergence” in English, XCCA’s Panaghugpong (first coined by Xavier Ateneo’s Office of Mission and Ministry’s Michael Acenas and was adapted by XCCA director Hobart Savior) had since been offering multiple avenues where artists in Cagayan de Oro City and Northern Mindanao collaborated on artistic initiatives that featured local talents and stories. 

This year, the celebration consisted of musical concerts, theatrical performances, a film screening, visual arts exhibits, and an award show that recognized local artists whose works have brought the region on the international and national stage. These took place in schools, auditoriums, museums, and malls; and were conducted by various organizations that participated in the celebration.

“Xavier Ateneo has been a nursery for artists,” said Savior in his speech during the opening ceremony held outside the Museo de Oro on February 7. “It has become a playground of creativity, ingenuity, and passion.”

The university, he further emphasized, has nurtured its talents for the past 10 years.

But these would not have been possible without the continual support of respective organizations that honed the talents and skills of their artists and established their names by what they do in the city, in the country, and, occasionally, in the world.

These organizations also conducted their fair share of activities during the Arts Month.

LAMBAGO ART AWARDS. Lambago Art Awards 2018 recipients and artists gather onstage by the end of the program. They collectively aim to unite for a more inclusive artistic initiative for the community of Cagayan de Oro City. Supplied photo.

Artistic convergence

Proponents of this year’s Panaghugpong include the Xavier University secondary and tertiary education, Dulaang Atenista, Circulo de Arte, Xavier Philharmonia, Xavier University Glee Club, The Xavier Stage, Nagkahiusang Manunulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), Xavier University Cultural Dance Troupe, XU Kinaadman University Research Office, and Xavier English Language and Literature Organization (XELLO).

Apart from their aforementioned activities, some of these organizations held workshops and competitions – the former encouraged and trained neophytes of the crafts, as the latter tested the abilities of both the experts and the amateurs.

Theatrical performances, as well as educational fora, were detailed further in the 7th Tampok: Mindanao Theater Convergence from February 22 to 24 with significant events held within Capitol University. With discussions led by playwrights and members of the academe, the convergence had sought to magnify the state of theater in Mindanao, its history, and the ways of promoting it.

The Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology’s Integrated Performing Arts Guild and Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts’ The Xavier Stage held several performances during the three-day convergence, with TXS’ latest twin-bill production, Dalawa sa Dalawang Gabi (which staged two plays written by Luna Sicat and Maynard Manansala, respectively) that premiered on February 23 at the XU Little Theater.

Recognizing the different art forms that constantly flourish in the region struck as the centerpiece in the Lambago Art Awards on February 21 at Centrio Ayala Mall. Artists were acknowledged for their initiatives in promoting the culture and identity of Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao through their works.

In his speech during the awards show, NCCA Arts Section head Ferdinand Isleta claimed his fervent pride for local artists who have made it far in the industry and their field of interest. “I hope you continue to be an inspiration to others,” he stated as NCCA sustains the initiatives to support them.

Creative character

Although the artists who participated in this year’s Panaghugpong were based locally, their works contained national relevance which could inspire those from different regions to follow suit.

With the emphasis of integrating art into the community, XCCA, as an outlet of NCCA, aims to promote local artists by popularizing their crafts, celebrating their signifance, and harnessing them for formative education that can – besides appreciating their talents and honing their skills – improve their character as "men and women for others."

“My artist (within me) is neither biased nor unfair,” said Savior, who, in his term as XCCA director for a decade now, has directed multiple plays with relevant themes that reflected the circumstances people often face and encounter in society.

“It determines what is right from wrong,” he added.

As XCCA turns a decade, with the 10th celebration of Panaghugpong recently concluded, acknowledging art that mirrors culture may be the right thing to do so artists can collaborate and continue to thrive with their endeavors.∎


List of Activities in Panaghugpong 2018

Title:  Ani ng Sining (Storytelling Workshop with Tulong Dunog Schools)
Proponent:  Xavier University Junior High School
Date: January 27, 2018
Venue: XU Junior High School Campus 

Title:  No Prob, It’s Improvs
Proponent:  Dulaang Atenista
Dates:  February 1, 2, and 3, 2018
Venue:  XU Little Theater

Title: Pitik (“Heartbeat”, Panaghugpong 10 Art Exhibit and Grand Opening Program)
Proponent:  Circulo de Arte
Date: February 7, 2018
|Venue:  Fr Francisco R Demetrio SJ Gallery and Museo de Oro Grounds

Title:  English Month Celebration
Proponent:  Xavier University Junior High School
Dates: February 6 – 26, 2018
Venue:  XUJHS Pueblo Campus

Title:  CINEMAGIS eXpress
Proponent:  Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts
Date: February 7, 2018
Venue:  Xavier Little Theater

Title:  Suguid Isko (Storytelling)
Proponent:  Xavier University Grade School
Date and Time:  February 8, 2018
Venue:  Camaman-an Elementary School

Title: Lourdes College’s String Ensemble Performance
Proponent:  Lourdes College
Date: February 9, 2018
Venue: Lourdes College Auditorium

Title:  Ani ng Sining (Violin Workshop)
Proponent: Xavier Philharmonia with Rosevale School Students
Date: February 10, 2018
Venue: Rosevale School

Title:  Language of Love (Choral Concert)
Proponent:  Xavier University Glee Club
Date: February 10, 2018
Venue:  Xavier Little Theater

Title:  Walang Biro, Walang Birit (Vocal Solo Competition)
Proponent: Xavier University Senior High
Date: February 11, 2018
Venue:  Ororama Event Center

Title:  Anthem of Hearts (String Ensemble Concert)
Proponent:  Xavier Philharmonia
Dates:  February 14 and 17, 2018
Venue:  Xavier Little Theater

Title:  Ani ng Sining Workshops (Choral Music, Vocal Solo, Improvisation, Basic Integrated Theater Arts, Visual Arts, Literature, Dance)
Proponent:  Xavier University Glee Club, XUSHS with Mr. Daryl Bacolcol and Charity Absin, Dulaang Atenista, The Xavier Stage, Circulo de Arte with Errol Balcos, Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), Xavier University Cultural Dance Troupe
Date: February 16, 2018
Venue:  Cagayan de Oro National High School, Tablon National High School, Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School, Cagayan de Oro National High School, XCCA Conference Room, Gusa National High School

Title:  KATATAU – Mindanao Culture and Arts Studies Forum
Proponent:  XCCA, XUSHS, KURO
Date: February 19, 2018
Venue:  Xavier University Little Theater

Title:  Frame of Mind (The Cagayan de Oro Contemporary Public  Art Expo)
Proponent:  XCCA and Centrio Mall
Dates: February 21 to 28, 2018
Venue:  Centrio Mall

Title:  The Lambago Art Awards
Proponent:  XCCA, XELLO, and Centrio Mall
Date: February 21, 2018
Venue: Activity Center, Centrio Mall

Title: Kultura at Pop (featuring XCCA Artists and the Xavier University Band)
Proponent:  XCCA, XCCA Artists, XU Band, Hotmales and Class Act
Date: February 22, 2018
Venue: SM Downtown Premiere

Title:  Dalawa sa Dalawang Gabi (The Xavier Stage’s twin-bill production of Luna Sicat’s “Dalawa” and Maynard Manansala’s “Dalawang Gabi”)
Proponent:  The Xavier Stage
Dates: February 23 to 24, March 2 and 3, 2018
Venue:  Xavier Little Theater

Title: Sulyap Sayaw (Dance Concert)
Proponent: XUDCT
Date: February 28, 2018
Venue:  Xavier University Covered Courts

Title:  TAMPOK Mindanao Theater Convergence
Proponent: Mindanao-based theater organizations
Dates: February 22 to 24, 2018
Venue:  Capitol University

List of Sponsors

  • SM City Cagayan de Oro
  • Ororama Chain of Stores
  • Centrio Ayala Mall
  • Business Week Mindanao
  • The Cagayan de Oro Times
  • Mindanao Daily News
  • Mindanao Star
  • Parasat Cable TV

This month-long celebration was funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in celebration of the National Arts Month every February as declared by the Presidential Proclamation 683, series of 1991.

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