Greg Hontiveros sails us back to our dynamic past

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing Prominent historian-author Greg Hontiveros' two books, "Butuan of a Thousand Years" and "Fire on the Island" are a must-read to every Butuanon and Caraganon and every Filipino for that matter who thirst for knowledge and wisdom of the past to come up with a precise sensibility. Written with an elegant and crisp style as only a veteran writer can, the two books, each with its 3rd and 2nd printing, respectively (by Ateneo de Manila University Press) have beco...

Where are the Diwatas of Mt. Mayapay?

By Bryan Edulzura   Four exotic diwatas (fairies) of Mt. Mayapay came down to the plains of Agusan to settle their differences though refusing to see each other for awhile but left with no choice. The diwatas of the land, river, forest and fire were having a misunderstanding and competing each other that the magnificent queen fairy was force to come down as well to discipline them. Ah, the war of the insecure goddesses. All ended well and happily in peace and as always, e...

Kit Gresos transforms from child-actor to acclaimed visual artist

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing To all of us of Artist's Quarter (AQ), a local theater company in Butuan, Kit Gresos is our pinangga (favored} child-actor way back 15 years or so ago. He was constantly the lead star of some of our plays where he easily stole attention. Fast forward years later and Kit reached college and chose to shift full time and attention to visual arts, exploring the canvas and out of it. It was apparently a graceful and successful shift because he always had t...

Titing Trinquite: A musician-artist for all seasons

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing I have known Vicente "Titing" Trinquite for more than two decades, having started and embraced Mindanao's cultural work at the same time-he, as musician-soloist, composer and band leader of the group he organized, Sinag. Other than a musician, he is an actor, director and lately, branching into independent film-making as director. It's been a long way for this humble farmer's son settling in the city, strumming a guitar and singing songs with the neighbo...

‘Soog Butuan’: Creative narrative of city’s political, environmental past and foresight

By Bryan Edulzura "Please watch the show and please be kind," Ramon Jorge Sarabosing, co-author of the dance-musical “Soog (current) Butuan” texted me a day before the production's premiere night, August 2. Of course it was a joke, he, being a colleague, friend, mentor (and tormentor-another joke). But I really planned to see it because I trusted the artistic director, Richard Vilar of Kaliwat and his creative staff to come up with another sensitive and sensible story dealing with ...

Young movement artists conquer the stage

  By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing Remember their names-Raymart Lamanilao Teves and Ma. Rosario "Fatima" Roseos- but remember even more their prowess as physical actors (not just dancers). It is mesmerizing to see their grace and strength, in lead roles in fact, in the company of Dulimbay Theater, the resident performing arts group of Caraga State University, which undoubtedly the best in the region. Watch them together as a pair in an ethnic ballet portion in "Soog Butuan" prem...

Playwright recalls the making of a ‘Butuanon’ dance-musical

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing Richard Vilar, the charmingly demanding director and me trade email messages, versions and revisions for the script/libretto of “Soog” (current) Butuan, slated Wednesday evening next week, August 2 at the Father Saturnino Urios University gym. It is produced by the City Government of Butuan as part of the Adlaw Hong Butuan celebration. Vilar is a veteran of countless plays and musicals (on Mindanaoan dramaturgy) so I spoiled myself with the idea that he...

Butuan’s ace theater artist comes home

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing Richard Dian Vilar is a director, playwright, actor, choreographer, set and costume designer, creative lecturer/storyteller, even a museum curator. He is acknowledged not only in Mindanao but internationally. Vilar is currently home (in Butuan) to mount an original Butuan-inspired dance-musical, “Soog Butuan” to be shown August 2 at the FSUU gym. Though based in Davao City, Vilar is a proud Butuanon Manobo who grew up in the city, studied in Butuan Centr...

Anoy Catague: Butuan’s ‘national artist’

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing The paintings are Anoy Catague’s s current works featured in “Merging currents," a group exhibition of select Davao artists. I know I would be biased. But I should be. After all, Anoy Catague and I have been together through thick and thin. As he started to be recognize as a painter, I was behind him, believing in his potential (and he likewise was behind me). We were buddies and colleagues supporting each other. Well, we joked, we probably had no cho...

The Spectacle of Our Heritage

By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing No doubt about it, this year's Balangay Festival float parade is the finest. Having seen previous Balangay parades before, last Friday's marked a big improvement in terms of aesthetics. A reflection, I believe, showing a definite maturity of understanding and belief of the ancient boat as a true symbol of what it stands for. Since the beginning when it was adapted as the symbolic icon of Butuan, I noticed a sense of confusion and uncertainty, both fro...


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