Got invited to the opening of The 16th Pundaquit Festival on February 14 –Valentines Day. Eager to get out of Manila traffic on V-day, we didn’t think twice. We went. We were initially thinking of an excursion to the Hot Air Balloon Festival at Clark, but later thought that shunning the crowd was a wiser course of action. No regrets whatsoever. When we entered the SCTeX, we already saw the cars and lines at the Hot Air Balloon area and we were pleased to be driving on. Frankly speaking though, I was a wee bit envious because with the little that I saw as we passed Clark (I was the designated driver so I was just taking quick side glances), hinted the kite-flying exhibit to be quite interesting. Perhaps an activity for next year.
Credits: Paper – Joyful Heart Designs Plain Jane – Orange; Ribbon – Joyful Heart Design Plain Jane – Aqua Folded Ribbon
In San Antonio, Zambales, we almost missed the place because we arrive at exactly dinnertime and the entranceway was dark. But as we entered the gate of Casa San Miguel, we were greeted with a dramatically lit garden with dinner tables set up all around. It was an intimate affair with little fuss, but with an ambitious mission that has been going strong for the past 16 years.
Casa San Miguel is set amid the Bolipata family’s Mango orchard nestled between Mt. Pundaquit and the sea. Established in 1993 with Coke Bolipata at the helm, this place aims to bring art closer to the local folks, especially the children. It nurtures them to discover their place in music and the visual arts. Through the years, Casa San Miguel has not only been sheperding its students in music and the visual arts but it also is a venue for start up film maker to hone their crafts through its artistic settings. The festival was established to celebrate the triumphant, albeit slow embrace of the town folks to the arts (in whatever form).
The show started with Coke introducing the Pundaquit Vertuosi, the fruit of Casa San Miguel. This talented group of violin playing lads beautifully rendered the national anthem. Coke then briefly shed light on the festival followed by an opening number with the boys with a solo from Julian (that cute little boy). Then the actual show began with dancers dancing the (Argentinian) Tango to beautiful pieces played in strings lead by Coke himself. Many of the pieces I can’t identify but all beautifully performed by both musicians and dancers.
The Festival will run till May 31, mostly on Saturdays featuring various forms of art. To know more about the festival, please visit their site.