SAN JUAN, METRO MANILA—On May 18, right in San Juan, the heart of Metro Manila, an arts hub opened the doors of their humble home for a fiesta of music, dance, and theater. The event, dubbed “A Walk in The PARC,” presented in cooperation with Global Cultural Alliance Singapore (GCA), is in celebration of the relaunch of The Performing Arts and Recreation Center (PARC) Foundation to the greater art community, both local and international.
Established in 2015, The PARC Foundation is a non-profit organization whose vision is to spearhead the development of performing arts in the country by enabling Filipino artists to succeed. They provide artists a home through their creative spaces, programs, mentors and network, and events support.
With the welcoming of several cultural institutions and art hub managers to this safe space for artists, two brand new creative spaces in The PARC were inaugurated.
DREAM Studio at The PARC. From L-R: Mr. Jasper Evangelista, Mr. Carlo Calimon, Maestro Rodel Colmenar, Dr. Raul Sunico, Mr. William Guido, Ambassador Gerard Ho, Ms. Issay Nodalo, Mr. Renz Velasco, Mr. Alvin Tan
One was the opening of DREAM Studio at The PARC, a visual content creation hub by Dream Headquarters. Originally based in Makati, this photographers’ collective expanded in San Juan to extend their services through a creative space. This provides artists and patrons alike a professional photo studio to supplement their creative pursuits.
Startup Village at The PARC (SPARC). In photo: Carlo Calimon and Ambassador Gerard Ho
Another was Sparc, a co-working space established in collaboration with startup enabler and incubator StartUp Village. With more and more artists venturing into business and entrepreneurship, PARC and StartUp Village support them by providing a space for people to incubate ideas and turn their art into a sustainable career.
The inauguration of the two new spaces were graced by the presence of the Ambassador for Singapore in the Philippines, Gerard Ho; Managing Director of Freyo, Inc. and Owner of Dream Studio, Renz Velasco; Director of StartUp Village, Carlo Calimon; Chairman of The PARC Foundation, William Guido; President and Co-founder of The PARC Foundation, Issay Nodalo; and the trustees of The PARC Foundation.
The event opened with the welcoming remarks by Mr. Guido, remembering his late son and PARC’s founder, Wilmer Guido, who put up the foundation to help underprivileged youth and struggling local artists.
Ambassador Ho and Director of GCA Mr. Phan Ming Yen both spoke about the partnership between PARC and GCA which aims to continue the strong cultural and diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Singapore, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Next, Ms. Nodalo introduced the opening performance by the The PARC Foundation scholars from San Juan and Tondo, who are given free music education under its flagship program, PARCaralan. This program is also the brainchild of PARC’s founder Wilmer Guido, whose spirit lives on in the lives of its beneficiaries. The audience was moved and captivated by their story and their performance throughout the set.
Afterwards, GCA featured spoken word artist Marc Nair, Singapore Young Artist Award recipient in 2016. His poetry, interspersed with music, gave off a unique and emotional vibe to his pieces.
Along with that, several of PARC’s artist partners performed throughout the venue to showcase their talents. These include emerging artist groups such as Move Manila and Puppet Theater Manila; improv groups Crammers’ Collective and Isprikitik Musical Improv; university theater organizations Teatro Tomasino and Ateneo Blue Repertory; theater acts from Black Canvas; pieces from Monologista Inc., the team behind the popular Ampalaya Monologues; and dance groups, from teens’ hip hop by Kid Lightning Crew to timeless classics from Philippine Ballet Theatre.
After the dinner and socials, the eMPOwer Band, comprised of members of PARC artist resident Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, gave a lively performance featuring pop music standards that made the audience sing and dance along with them, ending the night on a very festive note.
With their vision of spearheading the development of performing arts in the country, PARC fostered the spirit of cultural and artistic collaboration through these showcases of Philippine artistry all throughout the day. PARC thanks all the artists, guests, sponsors, and donors who generously contributed to A Walk in The PARC.
The PARC Foundation is at 494 Lt. Artiaga St., Brgy. Corazon De Jesus, San Juan City. Business hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, you may visit www.theparcfoundation.ph or contact (+63 2) 350 6356 and (+63) 942 281 6920. You may also follow PARC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/parcph) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/parcph).