A Celebration of Talent, Literature and Life by Pia de Ungria
Photography by Ella Leaño
On its 7th biennial awards, the Maningning Miclat Trilingual Poetry Awards was held at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino on September 3, 2015. Winners of the award in Filipino, English and Chinese were proclaimed and given recognition on that day.
The Poetry Award stems from the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (MMAFI) that was founded to honor the memory of the artist Maningning Miclat. She was a poet of three languages, and a prize-winning artist among others. She was multi-talented and excelled on both visual and literary arts. She was indeed a gem, and celebrating her through the foundation and the awards was a very good way to keep her memory.
The program itself featured the Kammerchor Manila choir, who themselves are quite accomplished in their field. They have taken home the Grand Prix at the 42nd Festival of Songs Olomouc 2014 of Czech Republic. They have won four gold medals in the Superior Mixed Adult category, Mixed Adult Choir, Folklore a Capella and Spiritual, Gospel and Pop Category. Starting off the awards with performers of this level promised a show that’ll be a blast.
The announcement of the winners followed the speech made by MMAFI President, Alma Miclat. The winners were Pan Wei Li (Chinese Division), Jasmine Nikki Paredes (English Division), and Reparado Bangot Galos III (Filipino Division).
The highlight was the concert that followed. Entitled “Ginugunita Kita,” the performance art featured ten of Maningning Miclat’s poems with music created by Jesse Lucas.
“Ginugunita Kita” was initially performed at the Aldaba Recital Hall of the UP Diliman theater last May. It was also shown on TV and made viral online in the same month. Because of such warm welcome, it was staged again in time for the awards.
Using a modest set with a chair set in the middle where Banaue Miclat-Janssen sat and sang, the staging also utilized a projector screen that served to show visual images that helped in intensifying the mood of the songs. Jesse Lucas played the piano as Renato Lucas played the cello. The arrangement of music elevated Maningning’s poem to heights as the tempo was leisurely in poignant pieces such as “Verses #2” and “To Catch a Second and Turn it to Forever.” The music became playful with the song “Ang Naliligaw,” the rhythm of the music side-stepped giving off the feeling of how it is to become truly lost in another place. “Duet Nina Rizal at Bracken” featured renowned theater, film and television actor Al Gatmaitan. His Rizal was tender and heartbreaking. “A Stare” also featured Delphine Buencamino and her interpretative embodiment of the poem. As a dancer, she was a renegade ballerina who sliced and plowed through the words and movement with great power. She was a rockstar. Banaue Miclat-Janssen’s voice was crystal which added depth to the emotions of the poems, the music and expression. No one could’ve done it better than someone who understood the poet well.
On that day, talent, literature and life was outpouring and celebrated on stage. Maningning Miclat would have been proud. -PDU
Were you able to catch this production? What did you think?