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LINGAYEN — Five months before he died, Salvador “Badong” F. Bernal received an ASNA Award for Theater and Arts on April 5, 2011 at the Sison Auditorium.
The national artist will be immortalized through a nostalgic exhibit also at Sison auditorium that will highlight his various theater design projects as well as his prolific and elegant costumes in ballet, musical, drama, opera and even film productions that carved out for himself as the “Father of Philippine Theater Designs.”
Called “Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs The Stage,” the exhibit will run from February 26 to May 3 at the Sison Auditorium with Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr and other provincial officials leading a welcome ceremony to the officials of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) headed by Artistic Director Chris Millado.
According to Provincial Tourism Officer Malou Elduayan, Pangasinan has been chosen by CCP officials to become a venue for its National Exhibit Tour because of the province’s world-class Sison Auditorium which is widely known as the “CCP of the North.”
She added that local and foreign tourists and visitors are expected to flock Pangasinan to take a glimpse of Bernal’s works, a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for everyone.
Likewise, the exhibit will be one of the main attractions in time for the celebration of Agew na Pangasinan on April 5 and the month-long activities of Pistay Dayat celebrations, she said.
Conferred as National Artist in 2003, Bernal, born in 1945, had his first exposure to the costume and fabric designs in his mother’s clothing shop in Dagupan City. In his desire to professionalize costume designs, he took courses in the art and craft of theater designs at the Northwestern University in Illinois, USA.
He became an instrument in elevating theater and film production designs as a fine art and a profession. He mentored two generations of production designers and trained a pool of seamstresses, carpenters, painter and other artisans.
He established the Philippine Stage Production Stage Center for the CCP and founded the first and only professional organization of production designers in the Philippines.
With his exceptional talent, Bernal was noted for his 250 stage production designs in his four decades in the industry.
Among his famous set and costume designs were: the Pilipinas Kong Mahal, Don Quixote, El Filibusterismo, Florante at Laura, The Magic Flute; and in film productions: Larawan by Lino Brocka; Oro, Plata, Mata by Peque Gallaga, Gumising Ka Maruja, and Bona.
The upcoming Bernal exhibit will showcase miniature of various stage designs as well as the actual life-size costumes that he created for the different stage actors and actresses.
The visitors will be charged of an entrance fee of P30.00 and P50.00 for students and adults respectively. The proceeds will go to the national tour outreach program of CCP. (MRT)