Arts on display in scenic city

March 10, 2005

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — This scenic city proved an ideal venue for the Baha'i National Arts Festival.

Known for its beautiful views and rich cultural heritage, t

Baguio City provided the right atmosphere for the festival, held between 26 and 29 December 2004.

Baha'i artists came from 20 localities in the country to perform, display their art, and encourage others to explore their own artistic skills and talents.

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Members of different generations at the Baha'i National Arts Festival in the Philippines: (left to right) Stephanie, Camilla, Paul, and Dennis Pangilinan with Vicente Samaniego.

Performers, like the rock band Sublime Vision, sang songs they had composed. The NCR (National Capital Region) youth group gave dramatized performances about the early history of the Baha'i Faith.

The dances performed by the San Jose City youth troupe included depictions of Baha'i principles in their presentations.

A trio of dancers -- Tessie Elisan, Early Soledad, and Bebeth Vergara -- performed modern and traditional dances.

Poetry by Baha'i authors, recited in English and Tagalog -- the official languages of the Philippines -- won a warm reception at the festival.

Baha'i spokesperson Fe Samaniego later praised the quality of the festival program and the performances.

"The number and variety of skilled performers and artists demonstrates the depth of the artistic talent of the Baha'i community of the Philippines," Ms. Sanaiego said.

"It also shows the commitment of Baha'is to include artistic expression in all their activities in line with the encouragement from the Universal House of Justice," she said.

Youth, junior youth, and adult groups held discussions at the festival about the use of the arts in community activities.

Children also had an important role to play. They recited poems and prayers and took part in musical performances. In special workshops children learnt about the role of prayer.

The guest of honor at the festival was a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia, Dr. Humaida Jumalon. Among other participants were some members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Philippines and of the Regional Baha'i Council of Central Luzon.