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Monday, June 12, 2006

Today, we are celebrating our 108th Independence Day and the different towns and cities of the entire archipelago will be doing their own share of festive celebrations . For Filipinos here in Metro Manila, Mr. Rome Jorge has this to say:

Monday’s Independence Day started with a glorious government-organized parade and will end with hard-hitting indie folk protest music! From a look back at our heroic history to a stirring call to action on today’s most pressing issues, Independence Day celebrations offer something for everyone.

Welcoming the eve of the country’s 108th Independence Day was a pop concert at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) that began at 8 p.m. Sunday night. Entitled "Hinabing Gunita [Woven Recollection]: Independence Day Asalto [Welcome] Performance," the hour and half-long celebration employed a repertoire of ageless folk and pop songs to narrate the story of the country’s long journey to freedom.

The performers comprised some of the finest of the country. Artists included the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet Philippines, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Tanghalang Pilipino, Grace Nono, Bituin Escalante, Dulce, May Bayot, Noni Buencamino, The CompanY, Julia Abueva, Nanette Inventor, Reuben Laurente, Jed Madela, Gerald Santos, Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir and UE Chorale. Alex Cortez directs the event with musical direction and arrangement by Chino Toledo, production design by Gino Gonzales, choreography by Alden Lugnasin and lighting design by Monino Duque.

Organized by the Department of Tourism and the CCP, the event espoused the government’s theme of "Pagkakaisa para sa matatag na republika [unity for a strong republic]."

But the last say on Independence Day belongs to indie artists.

Noel Cabangon, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, Cynthia Alexander and Gary Granada—all legendary voices of an entire generation that by themselves alone would make for must-see performance. Together, they promise an Independence Day like no other Monday at 9 p.m. at the Conspiracy Garden Café on Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, with "Freedom Jam: an Independence Day Celebration."

Forged and tempered with years of uncompromising political, environmental and artistic struggle, these well-loved veterans of folk, rock, jazz and ethnic music get together once more for a night of music that is insightful and provocative, mellow and militant.

The concert is more than a celebration of the freedom; it is a reevaluation of the state of our freedom and poses the question on whether or not we are satisfied with the quality of freedom that we have today. It is a reminder of the continuing struggle for us to afford ourselves the kind of lives that we think we deserve to live.

"Freedom Jam" continuous the yearly tradition of Conspiracy Garden Café which is co-owned by Cabangon, Ayala, Barrios, Chua, Alexander and Granada, among others. The café itself is an example of artists empowering themselves. Their latest songs still bite and sting. And they themselves are still fixtures at events for worthy causes. Whether it is with their business, their music, or their advocacies, these artists don’t compromise. According to the artists, their establishment’s name also means to "co-inspire."

Ayala explains, "Independence is just as much about interdependence. It’s about relationships. We have to remember where we came from, where we are going, who feeds us, who our friends are and who our enemies are."

12:00 PM | Permalink |