Thai oil firm to launch 1st Mt. Natib Festival 2015

Written by
  • Mhike R. C.
  • 9 years ago

ORANI, Bataan The Save Mt. Natib Movement together with PTT Philippines Corporation and PTT Philippines Foundation will launch the first Mt. Natib Eco-Arts and Music Festival that will be held from May 9-10, 2015, at the picturesque Sinagtala Farm Resort in Barangay Tala, this town. It will carry the inspirational theme: “Art & Music Can Move a Mountain.”

Former Bataan Representative and chair of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) Felicito ‘Tong’ Payumo, who is always in the forefront of conservation works in the province, is the festival’s chairman. He envisions this event to serve as a platform in engaging the public and influence them to contribute in the protection and conservation of Mt. Natib and the Bataan National Forests- through music, dance and the indigenous arts.

Jayson Gildore, festival director in-charge of program and entertainment, said this type of event has its own ‘following.’ “We are optimistic that we will be able to gather interested groups of audience from Metro Manila and Central Luzon, which based on our initial estimates may reach up to 2,000.”

“The event will kick-off in the morning of Saturday, May 9, with free workshops in Pangalay, yoga, Capoiera, flow arts, djembe drumming, Aeta native dance, and Flamenco. There will be more workshops waiting to be finalized. We will make more announcements very soon,” he said.

In the evening of the same day, four of the country’s leading Filipino artists will lead a World Music-filled concert. They are Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad, and the Tres Marias, composed of Cookie Chua, Bayang Barrios, & Lolita Carbon. “These artists are known for their advocacy on environment protection and their commitment to uplift the original Filipino indigenous music,” Payumo said. “It is only fitting that they introduce the festival to the Filipino public.”

Joining the four are these spectacular groups: Kontra-Gapi, Adinkra Lumads, Lakbay Lahi, Talahib, Dayaw. Snafu, Kadara Capoiera, Flamenco Manila, Flow Arts Philippines, DJ Christman. DJ Gab, and our very own Katutubong Aetas ng Bataan.

Free workshops and enjoyment of the Sinagtala Resort Farm and its amenities will continue on the next day, May 10. Other activities may be booked separately with the resort like a short trek to the coffee farms, a thrilling canopy walk, swimming at the newly built infinity pool, 2-hour short trip to view the caldera of Mt. Natib (that may be reached 30 minutes via 4X4 vehicle, per one-way).

Net proceeds of the event will be used to fund the publication of a coffee table book tentatively entitled “The Flora & Fauna of Mt. Natib,” part of a long-term campaign to introduce Filipinos to the unique plants and wildlife that may be found in the inactive volcano’s forests lands and the surrounding protected forest areas of the Bataan National Park

“We hope to enlist the communities to help by whichever means they can, in the protection and conservation of these species,” Payumo said. He also added that the event is a drug-free festival and confirms that a K9 unit from Subic Bay Freeport will be assigned at the gate of Sinagtala.

Jen Velarmino-van der Heijde, festival director in-charge of communications and marketing said that part of the proceeds will also help fund the launching of a quarterly biodiversity magazine that will be published quarterly by the Center for Philippine Biodiversity Journalism.

“Founded by a group of journalists whose advocacy is to train journalism students from interested universities or colleges in the country in reporting news about the environment, the Center will also open sponsored training courses for media practitioners who would like to ‘cross-over’ to biodiversity reporting. The center will have a soft opening of its headquarters in Sinagtala Farm Resort on Day 2 of the festival,” she said.

During the festival, an overnight stay in climate-friendly camping area called Luntian Boot camp may be booked by festival-goers who live from out-of-town. An open camping area is designated where some 200 tents that can accommodate at least 400-500 people will be erected by the organizers.

“Here, practical trainings on recycling and sustainability will be taught on-the-spot by our Green Marshalls. A large video wall will also be seen projecting videos about Mt. Natib and the Bataan National Forest Parks and other educational clips on biodiversity,” says Dennis Cuarto, festival director in-charge of operations.

“To mitigate the carbon footprints that such a large number of people might bring, we will implement a strict policy to leave all disposable mineral water bottles and any plastics at the gate. Our Green Marshalls will make sure that cleanliness, upkeep and recycling practices will be observed actively during the festival,” he added.

Last week, an Outdoor Installation Art Competition called “Junk Ka Makakatulong,” was launched at the University of Nueva Caceres (Bataan campus in Dinalupihan). Lexi Payumo, festival director in-charge of workshops and exhibits said that the competition was launched in UNC this year. “However, we hope to extend it to other schools in Bataan as we celebrate the Mt. Natib Festival annually,” she said.

“The contests aims to engage students to think of ingenious ways of turning junk into works of art; and to inspire them to contribute in the information advocacy to save Mt. Natib and the Bataan National Forests from denudation and degradation), and to be protectors of the environment as a whole,” Ms. Payumo explains.

“All entries will be exhibited during the festival and beyond. Students who learned about the contest are excited to form their own group of 5 installation artists. We look forward to receive a lot of entries because we would like for them to add color and funkiness to the festival,” she added.

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