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PAGHILOM 3 Arts Festival

Linaw Tanaw 2020

Sitting in front of an office desk instead of a canvas from nine-to-five is far from the ideal life of an aspiring artist. Though many might consider taking this route temporarily, sadly, only a few really get out of it. For Mac Eparwa, putting his creativity to the hustle of corporate culture was not something he imagined for himself, eventually leading him to resign from his position as graphic artist in pursuit of becoming a full-time artist. In February 2020, he was invited by a friend to the PAGHILOM Arts Festival happening in the Alitaptap Artist Community in Amadeo, Cavite. It was an altogether new experience for him who was used to the city to be surrounded by campers and musicians, yogists and artists, actors and dancers who just enjoyed what each one had to share amidst the lush greenery the environment offered. New it may be, however, it was a community he was sure he belonged to.

The name of the arts festival, Paghilom, is the Tagalog word for healing, one of the values the annual event hopes to achieve for its participants, along with transformation and creativity. Many attendees held a similar experience of the festival as Mac, as they joined a vast array of activities: yoga sessions, dance concertos, film viewing, poetry, discussions on plant-based diets and nutrition, art classes, and many more. It encouraged a holistic approach in harnessing creativity for the participants, from fostering an awareness of one’s capacity to create to utilizing this ability as an instrument of connecting with others and the natural world.

The festival’s concept of healing extends to both the abstract and physical realms, and realized this through a network of collectives who envisioned the same vision for the 200 participants of the festival who, despite the rainy weather and the impending threat of the Corona virus, chose to celebrate art, healing and creative fellowship. Given the height of the global pandemic in the previous year, it is essential to ask ourselves in gatherings where healing and community building are integral such as in Paghilom: how can we keep creating together? How do you stay connected with your tribe?


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