After a rousing press launch signaling a month-long celebration, the National Arts Month festivities opened in Bago City, Negros Occidental last February 1 with a grandiose performance from the newest National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Music Ambassador, KZ Tandingan.
The theme this year “Ani ng Sining” (Harvest of the Arts) emphasizes the ample artistic activities in the country with Filipino artists and cultural workers’ passion. Along with celebrated stars Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and actor/sportsman/painter Ian Veneracion, NCCA named KZ Tandingan as Music Ambassador to give a fresh and exceptional rendition of National Arts Month theme song, Ani ng Sining, composed and originally sang by Joey Ayala.
Tandingan started singing as a child and was a member of a local acoustic band before joining the X Factor Philippines in 2012 and became a grand winner. In 2013, she joined the Himig Handog contest with the song entry titled “Scared to Death,” and released her self-titled debut album. In 2018, when Singer 2018 in China materialized, international fans lauded her unique and creative musical artistry in different music genre and became one of the most talked about in social media. Despite not getting the top sot, she returned as a guest singer for a performance with English singer and songwriter Jessie J. Throughout her career, she received several recognitions in music awards like Awit Awards, MYX Music Awards, and Wish 107.5 Music Awards.
The official opening ceremony of the National Arts Month in Bago City, in collaboration with the NCCA’s National Committee on Dance, with the theme “Paghabol: Weaving Arts in the Visayas” lined up workshops on Baybayin, calligraphy, photography and upcycling art, alongside booths featuring hablon and banig weaving, face painting, mask making and henna tattooing within the city coliseum and surrounding areas. There were also performances on spoken word poetry and dance alongside features on Arts in public spaces. Bago City’s famed heritage house, Balay ni Tan Juan Museum, hosted an exhibit featuring the works of artists from the Visayas region.
On opening day at Bago City’s Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center, Bago City Mayor Nicholas M. Yulo graced the festivities together with members of the Negros Cultural Foundation, Inc., led by Mrs. Marilyn Gamboa. “Paghabol…” performances segued into the Sayaw Pinoy Visayas celebration with a number of notable dancers and dance groups from allover the country joining.