UNSHACKLED. Tinigbayan upholds Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to freedom of opinion, expression, and information. PHOTO COURTESY OF Tinigbayan Communitarian Alliance

Reader. Writer. Scholar.

By Amaranth Xena Soleil Saludar

Tinigbayan Communitarian Alliance was launched online on July 2, 2020 to promote social consciousness and human rights education by “translating” it into a communitarian language of socio-political engagement.

Also, the founders came up with Tinigbayan to emphasize that the people’s voice is “sovereign” and to let people know how they are different instruments that equally contribute to the “complexity of social transformation.”

As convenors in the fields of music and of visual arts respectively, Gary Granada (a musician, composer and singer-songwriter) and Anjella Gieneena Cruz (a Fine Arts student from University of the East – Caloocan, youth volunteer and an artist advocate) were motivated to establish Tinigbayan because of the current human rights situation in the Philippines.

“The current human rights situation in our country motivated us to create a community that welcomes a safe space for artists and communicators who support and take up human rights education. We aim to engage and capacitate educators and articulators through forming a coalition among different creative sections, to help lead and educate young learners,” stated Cruz.

Tinigbayan recently launched an ongoing project called Songmaking for Human Rights Jingle Writing Tilt which inspires and supports artists who stand for human rights. Here, the organization encouraged them to write their lyrics by any one or a combination of the dialects Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waray.

In this competition, ten selected finalists will undergo a “Songmaking Coop Mentoring Webinar” with Gary Granada and Mel Villena and will have a chance to win a Php 10,000 grant to match their piece with a music video. Also, the qualifiers will be part of the Songmakers for Human Rights (S4HR), which is the first creative sector of Tinigbayan.

For this first project of Tinigbayan, they are affiliated with the House of Lapis and Shareware and the Commission on Human Rights.

On behalf of Tinigbayan, with her advocacy as an artist, Cruz sought to tell fellow Filipino citizens and artists the importance of human rights, interconnectedness, and selflessness in the “most selfish times [in] our lives.”

“Existence precedes essence (as said by Jean-Paul Sartre) and all life is hardwired to interconnectedness. To breathe and survive as an artist, we must tell stories and communicate truth across the unjust borders of society. I believe that we must evoke empathy, equality, and love through narratives of human compassion, social justice, and unity. In the most selfish times [in] our lives it is important to discover and channel ourselves into being selfless to go forth [on] our mission,” Cruz said.

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