YES, THERE’S A PHIL HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & IT’S ALIVE & KICKING AT 40
Until a friend told me more than five years ago about a son of his getting a diploma in some high school up the mountain in Makiling, I thought that all that was in that fabled woods was the National Arts Center built by you-know who.
Well, the Philippine High School for the Arts was also built by her. It’s turning a vibrant 40 and is very likely to outlive her gloriously.
TO highlight PHSA history and legacy in art education for the Filipino youth, the CCP, in cooperation with the PHSA and its alumni association curiously called “Ibarang” will present the multidisciplinary production “PHSA@40: Ibarang Alumni at the Forefront of Arts Education” on June 10, 2017, at 2:30 P.M. at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater). The production will showcase the Ibarangs contribution to art education in the various art forms.
Established on June 11, 1977, PHSA is the only art-oriented secondary school in the country. It is located at the National Arts Center in Mt. Makiling, College, Los Baños, Laguna. Among its graduates are Cannes-winning filmmaker Raymond Red, singer-enchantress Grace Nono, ballet dancer Candice Adea, actors Ian Segarra, Soliman Cruz, and Abner Delina. The school has a kilometric list of graduates many of whom may not have achieved national fame-which, happily, is not among their priority goals. Those who went on to really specialize in the Arts in college are more concerned with sharing their learning and experience with their countrymen than getting widely famous and wildly wealthy.
The Ibarangs believe that it is fitting to officially launch and publicize PHSA’s 40th anniversary celebrations at the CCP where the PHSA was originally conceived as its attached agency. This event aims to deepen public awareness on what the PHSA has achieved through these 40 years with focus on: 1) PHSA’s history and role as the country’s premier high school with arts-focused education; and 2) the legacy of PHSA’s art education programs as evidenced by its alumni.
The event is an opportunity for Ibarang artists to express their gratitude to their alma mater and to the Filipino people for the privilege and honor of having been “iskolar ng bayan.”
In a press conference held May 25 at the CCP, award-winning poet and PHSA’s current director Dr. Victor Emmanuel Carmelo “Vim” Nadera Jr. presented the programs lined up to celebrate PHSA’s 40th anniversary and the Annual Nationwide Search for Young Arts Scholars (ANSYAS). He invited elementary school students from all regions and provinces in the Philippines to apply for admission to the PHSA and later on become artists who will contribute to nation-building.
At the press conference, PHSA alumni from the jubilarian batches shared how PHSA has helped them grow into artists and art educators who are now handing down PHSA’s legacy of art education to the next generation of Filipino young artists. PHSA students and alumni also spoke and rendered performances at the media event.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT “PHSA@40: Ibarang Alumni at the Forefront of Arts Education” and the PHSA programs, please call Atty. Sim Zuniega at 817-7998 or 752-4310.
Written by Danny Vibas
Photographs by Erickson dela Cruz