The Arts Hour Tour – Manila

Where do you cross the line between arts and politics?

Is there any line at all?

Definitely none, for me.

As Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Nick Lizaso said, “Art is color blind, or rather, it embraces all colors. Indeed, art should have no political color whatsoever. It doesn’t take any sides. If there is one thing art should be for, it is for Humanity with a capital H. For art in essence is about enriching the soul of the human being. For it is art that will save us as a nation, as a people, as one humanity.”

Arts has the power to mold public opinion and raise the level of awareness on certain issues.

Last night’s live recording experience of The Arts Hour Tour here in Manila by BBC World Service, I was inspired by the artistic initiatives that are creating spaces to bridge division in society and a higher level of consciousness on important national issues that matters.

The Arts Hour Tour Manila BBC

The Filipino’s boundless passion for arts and culture in action.

BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” concluded its tour in Manila for their upcoming episode last night, April 26 at the Star Theatre in Pasay.

The taped as live episode was attended by candidates of Reyna ng Aliwan 2018 and the British Ambassador Daniel Pruce.

With a total of 75 million listeners across the country, BBC’s Nikki Bedi alongside with some Filipino renowned artists, writer, and filmmakers in the industry bluntly discussed their artistic stand in some of the headline issues in the Philippines.

With her were award-winning film director, Treb Monteras of “Respeto”; visual artist, Nikki Luna; news reporter/ documentary maker-turned-film-actor, Atom Araullo; master rapper, Abra; spoken poetry artists Juan Miguel Severo and Louise Meets; stand-up comedian G.B. Labrador and Philippine Rock Icon, Bamboo.

Unleashing the artistic view in confronting the timely issues of the country, Nikki Luna emphasized the need for the arts to turn viewers’ attention differently and challenge them where to stand in their beliefs.

The program also opened the discussion of the stigma against LGBT and the misogynistic approach both for the women and men today.

Araullo, on the other hand, willingly answered some queries about his sudden shift from being a journalist to a film actor. “As long as I clearly know the objectives since I don’t want to limit myself from pre-existing rules or tradition”, he said in an interview. He still considers himself in his mid-career who takes on new opportunity and risks.

In addition, Abra toured Nikki Bedi around the infamous Tenement in Taguig where most of their rap battles occurred and the Bonifacio Global City that he purposely called the “posh” area.

Abra, known as one of the country’s finest rapper has been constantly producing tracks, his latest single “King Inang Bayan” with at least 100 bars, mirrors the pre-existing issues in the country. Louise and Severo also performed their spoken word collaboration titled “Mabuhay!”, and G.B. Labrador performing his Makabayan punch lines left the audience laughing.

The Arts Hour on Tour – Manila episode will be aired on May 27.


Wanna join and be part of the live audience?

The BBC World Service will be in Manila on April 26, 2018 to record their world-renowned radio programme The Arts Hour on Tour.

Arts Hour BBC

BBC World Service Radio mounts a live recording of their program “The Arts Hour on Tour in Manila” at the Star Theater, with special guests led by master rapper Abra, filmmaker Treb Monteras, comedian GB Labrador, spoken word specialists Louise Meets and Juan Miguel Severo, photographer Hannah Reyes Morales, visual artist Nikki Luna, and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

The BBC’s Nikki Bedi will be on stage at the Star Theatre in Pasay, with artists, writers and film-makers shaping culture in the city plus some of its best live performers. Nikki will be joined by award-winning film director Treb Monteras of “Respeto,” fame; visual artist Nikki Luna; and news reporter / documentary maker-turned-film actor Atom Araullo. The session will also feature live music from master rapper Abra and rock star Bamboo as well as performance poetry from Louise Meets and Juan Miguel Severo, plus a stand up comedy act by G.B Labrador.

Nikki Bedi and her guests will be discussing the artistic response to headline issues in Manila where the Philippine government’s war on drugs has left thousands dead, and a bill to legalise divorce in the country for the first time, is in process.

Those interested in being part of the live audience during the recording may register for free by emailing, and shall be sent their entrance passes. The program will begin at 8 pm sharp.

The programme will then air on BBC World Service on 27 May and 28th, and will be available on the BBC website from straight after the first transmission. The Arts Hour on Tour is a monthly arts show exploring culture now in the great world cities. With live music, slam poetry, comedy performance, big name interviews and rich discussion, the series brings audiences as up close to life as a local.

For inquiries, call or text 0917.865.9400