The radiance and majesty of a rich cultural landscape defines a community’s legacy to succeeding generations. Traditions are kept as part of history and chronicle the events, way of life and artistic achievements of a bygone era. Under this premise and circumstances, the Bungkos Palay Performing Arts Foundation of the Science City of Muñoz was born.
Previously composed of four (4) different school-based dance groups based in Muñoz, namely: The Gintong Ani Dance Troupe of the Central Luzon State University; The Hiyas ng Lahi Dance Group of the Barangay Cabisuculan Elementary School; The Panagdawa Dance Troupe of Barangay Bagong Sikat Elementary School and The Muñoz National High School Dance Company, Bungkos Palay has metamorphosed into a composite congregation of young talents culled from the different schools of the city.
The idea of its conception was first brought about by the Hon. Nestor L. Alvarez, City Mayor of the Science City of Muñoz, in October 2004 during preparations for the “Mutya ng Lungsod Agham ng Muñoz”, the centerpiece event of the city’s annual charter celebrations. Eschewing the notion of hiring outside talents, he broached the idea of tapping local talents as performers which concurred with the idea of the late National Artist, Ramon Obusan, who was then Artistic Director of the said pageant.
Obusan, noticing during the trainings/rehearsals that many student-dancers possess the talent but lacked the polishing of a master, much less a legend, talked with the good Mayor and unveiled his concept of creating a dance group which can be utilized not only in the pageant but as a supporting tool for the promotion of the cultural and artistic agenda of the city. Thus, the result was Bungkos Palay’s formal organization on November 15, 2004.
During their maiden performance, Bungkos Palay held the audience enthralled and stole the show during the Pageant Night of “Mutya ng Lungsod Agham ng Muñoz 2004” despite limited time to practice together as a group. Mayor Alvarez seeing their tremendous potential began to draw up significant plans and employed the services of noted artists-teachers to help mold Bungkos Palay into a well-disciplined troupe that can be at par with the best.
At first, the group was conceived for purely artistic performances during special occasions, but when the Science City of Muñoz was named as one of the twelve pilot cities for the localization of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the Philippines, Bungkos Palay was put in the forefront of its Social Artistry program. Designed as a way to better institute its MDG-related projects through artistic promotion and community immersion, Social Artistry was also a tool to instigate cultural awareness in the city as well as in other areas.
Because of its unique rendition of traditional dances and growing praise for its performances, Bungkos Palay was invited to perform at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City, Cavite during the “Innovative Leadership through Social Artistry Seminar” on July 9, 2005 wherein foreign dignitaries witnessed their powerful performance and was given a three-minute standing ovation during their finale. This cemented their reputation as an emerging socio-artistic group.
Since then, they have been invited and performed at various events and areas all over the country which includes the following:
Tourism Festival ,Clark Pampanga
Exchange Program with the Philippine High School For the Arts
United Nations Millenium Campaign ,Marikina City
Galing Pook Awards,Teatro Marikina , Marikina CIty
Higantes Festival ,Antipolo Rizal
Closing Ceremonies of the ASEAN Cultural & Performance Workshop in Manila
National Arts Month 2007Intramuros Manila
CCP 38th Summer Dance Workshop
Key Cities of Mindanao in November 2006
NCCA Sayaw Pinoy, Various Regions (2005-2007)
League of Cities of the Philippines Convention , Manila Hotel,City of Manila
Featured on “Insights”, a documentary of Channel News Asia, Media Corp., Singapore
Recently featured on National Broadcasting Network’s (Channel 4) “Sining Gising” program
United Nations Millenium Campaign, Rizal Park Manila
Catholic Mass Media Awards , METTA,Makati City
Gusi Peace Award , Meralco Theater,Pasig City
Aliw Awards 2007 in which the group was chosen as “BEST CULTURAL GROUP”
Chingay Parade of Dreams 2008,February 13-19 2008, Singapore
Jurong Secondary School , Jurong Singapore
Farmer’s Field Day,PhilRice,Science City of Muñoz,Nueva Ecija
NCCA’s Summit on Cultural Care-giving focused on the MDG’s,Intramuros Manila
DA’s National Food Summit,Fontana Convention Center,Pampanga
Israel Embassy , RCBC Plaza, Makati City
World’s Bank -Panibagong Paraan Awarding,Megatrade Hall,MegaMall
As the premier artistic troupe of the first and only science city in the Philippines, formerly known as Bungkos Palay Performing Arts Foundation holds the distinction of being in the company of excellent and internationally recognized Research & Development institutions that are housed in Muñoz. Its primary objective still remains, which is to be a vital instrument in propagating the culture and arts side of the Science City of Muñoz.
With support coming from the city government led by Mayor Alvarez, an eminent academician and known patron of arts and culture, the Bungkos Palay Dance Company strives harder to become a model of Social Artistry by continually learning the rudiments not only of dance but other artistic disciplines as well.