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Let the games begin: Robinsons Land ARTablado presents ‘Taym Pers 2’

“Taym Pers 2,” a “multi-sensory” art exhibition by the Alpas Art Group aims to revive and celebrate Filipino traditional games and the intrinsic spirit of play.

In this age of AI, prompt engineering, people pinned to their phones or tablets, and the insane influx of influencers, there was a time when kids played hide-and-seek in the moonlight, used empty cans and slippers as props (toys); mapped out their playground on the sidewalks with chalk; and interacted and enjoyed a live, active, person-to-person contact (not online) with friends; navigated all types of situations with the innocent imagination creativity, energy and determination only children possess.

“Taym Pers 2,” a “multi-sensory” art exhibition by the Alpas Art Group aims to revive and celebrate Filipino traditional games and the intrinsic spirit of play. By safeguarding these traditions, the group aims to contribute in preserving the uniqueness of the Filipino culture and the only Filipino identity built by generation of Filipinos so that we stay as Filipinos in future generations to inhabit our country.

The exhibition is now ongoing until June 30, 2024 at the Robinsons Land Artablado space in Antipolo. It features the artworks of Alpas artists such as Arnold Dominic Ty, Benedict John Simbulan, Buhay Mendoza, Carmel Belda, Charmaine Narne, Christelle Arroyo, Fernando Sena, Wilfredo “Fred” Tejada, Hannah De Guia, Jaja Japitana, Jami Samson, Jana Charleen Mendoza, Jerico de Leon, Jo Tejada, Jonathan Joven, Jun Tuplano, Krister Isip, Kristine Costo, Lawrence Borsoto, Maria Cristina Arroyo, Naomi Narne, Ned Chiara Leis, Otto Neri, Pauline David, Ram Castillo and Rex Santiago.

Founders Othoniel Neri and Jonathan Joven narrates that it was in March 2023 when the first ‘Taym Pers’ exhibits were mounted at Robinsons Antipolo. At that time, the goal was simply to promote Filipino games through art.

Neri and Joven explained how Alpas was founded in the most adverse period of the pandemic as a way of communing with friends and creating freely.

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They named their group ‘Alpas’ which means to free one’s self or cut loose. The goal is to break away from any shackles that hold us back, acknowledging that it is only our self-limiting beliefs that restrain us from challenging ourselves to face any life situation. In art, we want to free ourselves from the chains of criticisms, shame, ridicule, conformities etc. because Art is free. We just need to keep playing out our ideas and see what emerges.” Now, for Taym Pers 2, the group wants to enhance the viewers’ appreciation of the importance of play in fostering social skills, resilience and adaptability.

For this exhibition, the group also put on display various representations of Filipino games such as sungka, piko, trumpo, tumbang preso, etc. Visitors are encouraged to engage in gameplay to revive the nostalgia for the simpler yet more meaningful children’s playtimes.

Robinsons Antipolo ARTablado once again hosts “Taym Pers 2” to build on the previous success and support from the venue. The organizers chose the same venue to intensify, amplify, and broaden the reach of their advocacy and objectives. The aim is to continue and spread our Filipino games so they are not forgotten by future generations.

Alpas artist and curator Jami Samson answers, “We are exhibiting again at ARTablado not only as a way of showing our gratitude to the venue, but we also believe ARTblado is the perfect alternative art space for our advocacy to reach the general public through a venue that is accessible to all.”

Alpas president Jonathan Joven agrees. “Ninais naming muling idaos at itanghal ang ‘Taym Pers 2’ sa ARTablado Robinsons Antipolo para mas mapaigting, mas mapaingay, at mas mapalawak pa namin ’yung maaabot ng aming adbokasiya at layunin na hindi matigil, mahinto at mas mapalaganap pa ang ating larong Pinoy upang hindi ito malilimutan ng mga susunod na henerasyon ng kabataan.”

ARTablado shares the ALPAS vision. The people behind Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) believe in the ingenuity and artistry of Filipinos. RLC has allocated spaces at Robinsons malls in Antipolo and Ortigas to hold exhibitions for art practitioners who deserve to showcase their hard work, grit and perseverance. ARTablado’s impact has been instantaneous for members of the art community who have been pining for a platform where every artist — from individual practitioners to members of art groups — gets the chance to shine.

Jami points out how the artworks and participating artists were selected not only for their mastery in technique and how the subject of the exhibition resonates within their own practices, but also for their significant contribution as stewards of children’s agency through art workshops.

“Taym Pers 2” is more than an art exhibit; it is a celebration and preservation of Filipino cultural heritage. By highlighting traditional Filipino games through art, Alpas not only fosters a sense of community and cultural identity but also ensures that these cherished traditions continue to thrive in future generations. The exhibition at ARTablado promises to be a vibrant and impactful continuation of this advocacy, reaching a wider audience and inspiring more to appreciate and participate in Larong Pinoy.

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“The appreciation of Filipino values is evident in these games, such as camaraderie, teamwork, empathy, respect for each other, and gratitude, which you can experience directly in each game,” mused the artists of Alpas. These values are crucial for personal growth and community- and even nation-building.

Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work. To date, ARTablado has mounted numerous exhibitions and hosted over 500 artists.

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