Enjoy the rhythms of the salsa, rhumba, chacha, pachanga, mambo, and other latin beats as interpreted by Ballet Philippines. Featuring the Guitar Friends Ensemble and Salsa Manila. The sounds of South America take center stage as Ballet Philippines ends its 38th season with the sensual, flamboyant rhythms of the salsa, rhumba, bossa nova, reggae and Caribbean music. Envision images of hot, languid days at the beach and sultry nights embraced by passion and desire. All in all, this promises a scorching night.
Thank you Tito Joey Soriano for making us a part of your worthwhile endeavor. It has been a long long time that we had gone to the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Mom used to take us as little girls to watch ballet almost every month and we remember having to dress up as it was a formal event. Me and my sister enjoyed it, then we realized that all this stopped. Suddenly the Cultural Center had been very quiet…..
We are grateful that Tito Joey had introduced us again to the Arts and we hope that he will continue to inspire many to patronize the arts and the Filipino talent. Latin Heat proved this and it was a beautiful and entertaining show. Perfect to start the summer too with all the dancing heat! It was our first time to see ballet mixed with Latin dance. I had asked Tito Joey to give me a copy of the beautiful speech he gave that evening – though he did not have it scripted, he was able to write it down all over for me because I want to share it with you. Do take time out to read it….
Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, brainchild of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, his excellency Ambassador Adnan Basaga of Turkey and his beautiful wife, Mrs. Oja Basaga, friends, ladies and gentlemen:
Before we go up to the main theater lobby for the latin night shindig, allow me first to thank the major sponsors this evening. The first is a commercial bank and thanks to Mrs. Frannie Aguinaldo Jacinto the Bank of the Philippine Islands is the major sponsor. The second is a private individual and thanks to Mrs. Marvi Cojuangco Yulo, her mother Mrs. Imelda Ongsiako Cojuangco is the second major sponsor.
You know ladies and gentlemen. One thing that really bothers me is when someone says to me: “You know, Joey, I really don’t support the arts. I would rather support programs that help the poor.” And that is all very noble, no question about it but it still baffles and frustrates me when I hear this remark because in truth, art in all its forms is the wealth of any nation. It is the life and blood of a people because it is part and parcel of their culture. It is what makes and identifies us.
Art is what touches our senses. It is what eases the mind and unstresses our body. It is what uplifts the spirit and moves the soul. It is what makes us human. And if majority of talented Filipino artists had the financial backing and monetary resources then the word “starving artist” would no longer exist in our country. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines as opposed to countries in the west and even those around Southeast Asia where the government and much of the private sector support the arts, in this country, art is considered a last priority. It is not a necessity but a luxury. And sad to say golf and tennis and shopping and coming out in the society pages of a newspaper is far more of a necessity than the sheer joy and quiet appreciation of art.
And I think that the Bank of the Philippine islands understands this problem wholeheartedly because they hone Filipino talent. They allow Filipino artists to spread their wings. To be acknowledge, admired and appreciated and they give them a future. And I also take my hat of to the Bank of the Philippine Island because they not only serve their customers and clients as a bank but they also serve the nation as well by allowing the Philippines to flourish and prosper. And I hope and pray that other banks and financial institutions and corporations will do the same with equal passion in the near future.
In the same manner, Mrs. Imelda Ongsiako Cojuangco has always been a patron of the arts. Ever since I can remember she has always been a chairperson, a director, a trustee of organizations that involved themselves with Filipino art and culture. Again I hope art and talent not only because of the prestige and adulation and socializing involved in attending the opening of an art exhibit or a gala premiere but because you honestly care as dependable citizens of our country.
To these two entities I express my deepest gratitude for their largesse and generosity just as I would like to thank each and everyone of you here tonight. You who have given one five, three, five, ten, fifteen thousand without batting an eyelash. And I know many of you have said “basta ikaw Joey, we will support you.” But it’s not I who you support. It is these ballet dancers, these talented performances whom you have given your blessings because you have allowed them to shine and you have embraced their talent. And because of your kindness you have made the Philippines, our country, a little better, a little richer, a little greater even just for tonight.
Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay tayong mga Pilipino lalung-lalo na ang sining Pilipino na kusang nangangailangan ng tulong ninyo. Magandang-magandang gabi po.
Ballet Philippines Website: http://www.ballet.com.ph
Cultural Center of the Philippines website: http://www.culturalcenter.gov.ph/