Arts, culture, tourism converge for Pangasinan's Galila Arts Fest

By Hilda Austria

March 3, 2023, 7:02 pm

<p><strong>GALILA</strong>. The Galila Arts Festival, which will feature Pangasinense artists and tourist spots in the fourth district of Pangasinan, will run from March 10 to 19, 2023. Aside from encouraging arts in the province, the festival also aims to attract tourists.<em> (Photo courtesy of Galila Arts Festival Facebook page)</em></p>

GALILA. The Galila Arts Festival, which will feature Pangasinense artists and tourist spots in the fourth district of Pangasinan, will run from March 10 to 19, 2023. Aside from encouraging arts in the province, the festival also aims to attract tourists. (Photo courtesy of Galila Arts Festival Facebook page)

DAGUPAN CITY – Galila (Come on!) Arts Festival promises an exciting, interactive, educational, and unique experience not only for the artists but also for the residents and visitors who will join the 10-day arts festival that will happen in selected areas in the fourth district of Pangasinan.

The Galila Arts Festival will showcase 16 activities scheduled from March 10 to 19.

One of the activities is The Bizarts Program, which brings together commerce and creativity by match-making local artists with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the fourth district of the province.

“The cafes included in the activity will double as micro-gallery of masterpieces. The customers will be able to see the artworks of the Pangasinense artists or even buy these artworks. There will be a sharing between the artist and the establishments,” said Pangasinan fourth district Representative Christopher de Venecia, adding that business owners will also be encouraged to support the creatives.

The creatives will learn the importance of doing the business right with their artworks to sustain their craft, he said.

“Creatives should have a commercial aspect to generate income and grow their market,” he added.

The Bizarts Program will be held throughout the entire 10-day run of the Galila Arts Festival.

Jodinand Aguillon, festival director, said they also plan to bring art education to the communities through the Kariton Project.

“It is a roving caravan that travels to different spots providing access to different forms of arts for the children and youth,” he said.

The Kariton Project carrying art supplies and books, among others, will be at the Pindang Festival in Mangaldan town on March 10 during the street party, Darayat Festival in San Fabian town, as well as in the MacArthur House and at the Mayor’s Pavilion in Bonuan Tondaligan here.

It will also be in select day care centers in this city providing art workshops to the children.

The caravan also features a creative attraction by Puppet Theater Manila and local maker entrepreneur Tia Simms of Stay Stoked.

Street party

On March 10, during the Pinday Festival’s street party, Galila Arts Festival will also host the Galiloz featuring Pangasinan local legend, Kuya Insiyong, and the improvised theater troupe, Third World Improv for a stand-up comedy/musical show.

“There is something cultural in what Kuya Insiyong is doing,” de Venecia said.

Kuya Insiyong is known for his comical novelty songs written in the Pangasinan dialect.

Aguillon said they aim to bring together the creative future and the creative legacy through the collaboration of the young and older generation artists.

Another part of the festival is the celebration of Women’s Month this March through the Sarag Mi ("we can") Exhibition featuring the works of 30 local female artists at the MacArthur House.

Sarag Mi is an art group composed of female artists in the province.

Another exciting activity of the festival is the Sounds/Scapes by Hey X Youth on March 11.

Aguillon said the activity is an online and site-specific musical fiesta showcasing OPM and the cultural landscapes of the fourth district of Pangasinan.

“It will be a moving video acoustic jamming along the shores to flip-top battles through the fish market,” he said. 

PRIME MOVERS. Pangasinan fourth district Representative Christopher de Venecia (right) and Jodinand Aguillon (left), Galila Arts festival director, discuss details of the 10-day festival during a press conference in Dagupan City on Feb. 28, 2023. De Venecia is the author of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act. (Photo by Hilda Austria)

The activity will be aired on Galila social media platforms and at the Hey X Youth Café.

There will also be live performances of local artists and guest performers like A to Z.

Outdoor film screening

The arts festival will also hold a Sunset Sinehan at the Tondaligan Food Park on March 17 alongside the launching of the Beach Bites Food Park where people will get to experience the flavors of Pangasinan cuisine by the MSMEs.

The Sunset Sinehan is an outdoor film screening during the sunset hour at Tondaligan Beach in Dagupan City.

The films to be screened are short films directed by Prime Cruz, to be followed by a yoga session.

“Bring your own banig (mat),” said Aguillon, adding that the film screening and yoga will be followed by the "Dragupan" that will be graced by local drag artists like Maureen Biology, The Deja, and Emerald with the modern troupe, The Big Cheese and fire dancers.

A cultural exchange program called Pecha Kucha Potluck is also part of the festival sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“This is an interregional collaboration bringing together creatives from Bacolod and Dagupan City,” de Venecia said.

Each of the participants will bring different foods and exchange stories and ideas during the communal gathering.

De Venecia said the festival is being sponsored by the Metrobank Foundation, National Book Development Board, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, DOT, and other national government agencies.

“We are bringing the events to the people,” he said.

De Venecia said since the festival is also geared toward attracting tourists, they have partnered with tour operators to be able to offer the Galila Arts Festival to tourists outside of the province.

“If they are looking for something to do on a weekend, this will be an all-in package,” he said.

“This is going to be a pilot tour offering and eventually work with tour operators and local government units and come up with a more sustainable and systematic approach to further develop tourism in the district,” he said.

The Galila Arts Festival will be held in tourist spots in the district and included in two town festivals, the Pindang Festival in Mangaldan and Darayat Festival in San Fabian. (PNA)