The Ramon Obusan Folkloric group recently completed yet another successful run of its Batang RO Summer Workshop for 2014. This 9th installation of the program saw about 80 children, ages 5 to 17, participating in a 6 week workshop conducted by prior alumni of the program along with dance masters from the parent Ramon Obusan Group. Participants are taught various genres of traditional Philippine dance, play musical instruments: percussion (such as muslim or cordillera), strings (banduria, octavina, guitar, violin, banjo, harp). Even the Indonesian Anklung is part of the repertoire. Students practice in preparation for a full-on formal recital at the end of the term.
The program is the personal project of the late Ramon Obusan, National Artist for Dance, who initially sought to provide a productive activity for children during the off-school period, particularly in underserved areas and to those with meager means; in doing so, children are able to channel their curiosity towards something value added in an environment that cultivates creativity, community and discipline.
Through the program, Ramon’s philosophy of preserving Filipino heritage and culture as well as his belief that the best way to spread culture was through young people, was also rendered. The Batang RO Summer Workshops have since educated hundreds of young children and brought together a community, through the spirit of Filipino Dance and Music. Participants in the program receive the 360 degree overview of all aspects of Dance and Music under the rigor and discipline of professional dance masters.
Through Batang RO, Ramon’s legacy and spirit live on!
This year’s batch came from various areas; primarily from the Pildera area in Pasay, Paranaque municpal high school, Mariano High School of Santa Ana, De La Salle college and other nearby schools. Two Japanese exchange students from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies also participated in the program. Over the years, alumni who have successfully completed the program are recruited by the RO group to pass on their skills in music, dance and cultural theory to new generations of Batang RO.
The Batang RO Summer Workshop is Free of Charge and open to all interested children and youth.
For more information, please contact the Ramon Obusan Group directly.