DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan, in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), conducted a five-day creative expression workshop dubbed as “Batang Sining” for pupils in Grades 4 to 7 at CSI Stadia on March 5-10.

The workshop also involved teachers in the elementary who are teaching the arts as a feeder school for Special Program of the Arts at the Dagupan City National High School (DCNHS).

“Batang Sining” aims to discover, explore, experience the wealth of creativity in the arts and create an environment of peace, transforming lives, and nurture a new generation of artists and audiences.

The five-day workshop involves storytelling, puppetry, theater skills, art-making and book-making, visual arts, poetry writing, music and dance.

Each of the 250 pupils and 39 teachers were grouped according to their fields of interest and underwent exclusive classes in creative writing at Abong na Alumni, visual arts at Senior Citizen Recreational Center, theater arts at Abong na Alumni, music at the city museum, dance at CSI Big Atrium and storytelling at Senior Citizen Recreational Center.

Renowned artists who are experts in children’s arts and education served as resource persons in the likes of Luis P. Gatmaitan, a noted author of more than 50 books for children which had been translated to different languages and published in Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. Some of these titles were mounted into musical plays, opera, theater production, e-books, animation and apps.

The other was Jerelyn Develos, a champion storyteller in Filipino category in the 2006 “Salaysayan” Competition of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People. She is also a theater and film actress and conducted various workshops in storytelling, book writing, acting and theater arts.

Mary Louise Macanaya-Alcantara, a soprano, music-educator, choral conductor and writer also graced the workshop. She is an alumna of the Phil Madrigal Singers and graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines College of Music.

Four other known artists made their respective presentations. These are:

Joshua Tayco, a full time actor and is currently a scholar of Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actors Company. He is also an Arts Educator working closely with CCP’s Arts Education Department.

Ronie R. Mirabuena, a Philippine High School for the Arts graduate and is currently the Officer-in-Charge of the Audience Development Division of Arts Education Department and Artistic Programmer for dance at the CCP.

Salvador J. Ching, a multi-awarded visual, installation and performance artist. He represented the Philippines in the International Art Exhibition in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, and New York, U.S.A.

Lino Matalang Jr., a video director for stage and international documentaries, and former faculty member of Mass Communications at the Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao, and Ian Darwin Wong, the newest member of the CCP Audience Development Division of the Arts Education Department of CCP.

The “Batang Sining” is the first in the city under the auspices of the Culture and Arts office of the city with Mayor Belen T. Fernandez as honorary chairman, Dr. Lorna G. Bugayong as honorary vice-chairman, Councilor Jeslito Seen as executive chairman, Widmark F. Balmores as project director and with Zenaida L. Sinlao, Robert Aliguin Jr., Sheryl Villacorta and Maribel S. Diolazo as consultants. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/March 6, 2018)