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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Manila Bulletin article on Casa San Miguel

This is one my favorite places in Zambales. My sister and youngest brother used to study here.

An art center betwixt the mountains and the seas
June 27, 2010, 11:58am
Some tourists travel to the province of Zambales to experience a quick beach getaway, others to get a taste of its bountiful harvest that includes the world’s sweetest mangoes. But for the artistically inclined, they visit the province to indulge in Filipino artistry at its finest.

Casa San Miguel is nestled within the stretch of wonderful beaches and breathtaking mountains.

This oasis for fine arts was built in 1921 by the Corpuz family. The house initially served as the family’s own retreat house by the sea and a place for picnics and numerous musical gatherings.

In 1993, Coke Bolipata, grandson of the original owner Ramon L. Corpuz, designed an Art Center to replace the house that was damaged over time. Since then, Casa San Miguel became a center where Filipino talent is honed and developed.

From being a haven for leisurely picnics and family gatherings, the place became a home for budding artists who wish to develop their skills and learn more about their craft. This center for the arts was built on the belief that art can extend its boundaries to create more awareness for an enriched humanity.

The main house features a distinctively artistic appeal for artists and art lovers. The interiors and accents within the main house instill inspiration and fascination for the arts. Amidst mango trees and lush greeneries are scattered art works including sculptures from Leeroy New. A relaxing ambience fills the air as visitors realize the overflowing creativity that the house has produced over the years.

Casa San Miguel complements the scenery by housing indoor concerts for the public. The Ramon Corpuz Hall is designed for concerts that can accommodate a chamber orchestra, theater plays, operettas and even ballet productions. Outside the hall is an outdoor circular theater that serves as an alternative venue where guests can enjoy concerts and performances with nature as its backdrop.

A two-storey building outside the main house is called the Anita Gallery named after the modernist painter Anita Magsaysay-Ho, niece of the original owner. The gallery is ideal for visual arts exhibits such as paintings and sculptures with its glass panels and spacious area.

Keeping the ideals for the progress of local arts, Casa San Miguel offers short and long term residences to encourage artists who wish to make a significant impact on the local community. The artists are provided with board and lodging, but they are required to devote a portion of the residency for lectures and demonstrations to other artists.

Casa San Miguel has also developed several youth programs to encourage the younger generation to develop their artistic inclinations. The center’s Cuerdas at Cuadros program seeks to ignite the passion of local talents for arts and creativity through exposure and lectures. The program is open to students from ages 5-16 within the community.

Among the pride of Casa San Miguel is the Pundaquit Chamber Players, the center’s Resident Ensemble. The ensemble is composed of young ensemble players who have been learning and developing their talents at the center for years. The ensemble recently played at the crowning of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas at the Araneta Coliseum.

From being a quaint house for leisurely activities almost a decade ago, Casa San Miguel has evolved into a center where one can freely learn and appreciate Filipino artistry at its finest.

Source: Manila Bulletin


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Kat said...

Thank you for visiting!