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Rigmat: Reshaping Naga’s cultural, artistic landscape

NAGA CITY in the Bicol Region, renowned for its commitment to participatory governance and civic engagement, is now witnessing a new chapter in its vibrant history as artists and cultural workers unite to form a coalition that seeks to reshape the city’s cultural landscape. The Naga City Peoples’ Council (NCPC) will be the stage for this innovative endeavor, reflecting the city’s longstanding values of transparency and accountability.

Scheduled for August 18 and 19, 2023, the inaugural Rigmat Arts and Culture Fest will mark the coalition’s debut. Spanning a multitude of artistic domains, this festival will serve as a celebration of the coalition’s vision, introducing a fresh perspective to the city’s artistic and cultural scene. With a resounding message, Rigmat is set to amplify the presence of Naga’s artistic community, heralding its intention to catalyze transformative change.

The Bikol word ‘Rigmat’ encapsulates the coalition’s mission: to be vigilant, observant of details, and swift in responding to evolving dynamics. By actively participating in checks and balances within local governance, the coalition aspires to drive the creation of local legislation, ordinances, and policies conducive to nurturing artists and fostering an art-friendly environment within Naga.

The Rigmat Arts and Culture Fest boasts a diverse array of meticulously curated events. Encompassing visual arts, literature, music, dance, theater, gastronomy, history, heritage, and more, the festival promises an immersive experience. Concerts, workshops, presentations, book launches, round table conversations, performances, demonstrations, talks, and other activities will be held across several venues including the Museo ni Jesse Robredo, the Universidad de Santa Isabel, and Que Pasa.

The festival will be graced by the presence of three National Artists: Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera for visual arts, Alice Reyes for dance, and Ryan Cayabyab for music. These luminaries represent a cornerstone of the event, a testament to the profound impact of the artistic community. Moreover, a multitude of guest artists have been invited to participate, aligning with local talents to ensure a rich and diverse program.

Standing as a unique undertaking in Naga City’s history, Rigmat Arts and Culture Fest distinguishes itself by being artist-initiated and artist-driven, a coalition united by a common vision. Much like the revolutionary spirit of Red October, local artists are converging to chart a course into uncharted waters, prepared to navigate challenges and effect change.

Rigmat Arts and Culture Fest has been made possible through the unwavering support of various individuals and institutions. Former Vice-President Atty. Leni Robredo has lent her encouragement and assistance, alongside significant contributions from the Metrobank Foundation, the Office of Representative Gabriel Bordado, the City Government of Naga, the Universidad de Santa Isabel and many other institutions.

As the city braces itself for this cultural transformation, Rigmat Arts and Culture Fest stands poised to ignite a profound shift in Naga’s artistic and cultural paradigm. With a commitment to vigilance and responsiveness, the coalition of artists and cultural workers embodies the essence of participatory governance, embodying the city’s ethos while shaping its future. The festival serves as both a culmination of their efforts and a harbinger of things to come – a spirited celebration of art, culture, and community-driven change.


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