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All Fired Up: Scenes from the 5th Philippine Flow Fest

Flow artists from all over the world lit up Liwliwa with their powerful moves and riveting performances.

This year’s Philippine Flow Fest brought together fire dancers, hoop artists and flow enthusiasts from different parts of the world for 3 days of sharing, learning, and dancing at Kapitan’s Liwa Surf Resort in Liwliwa, San Felipe, Zambales.

Workshops on capoeira, yoga, tie-dyeing and the different forms of flow arts kept the energy up and flowing.

Capoeira workshops were conducted by EBC Philippines during the 5th Philippine Flow Fest (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Capoeira workshops were conducted by EBC Philippines during the 5th Philippine Flow Fest (Photo by Mike Alegado)
A workshop on shibori or the Japanese technique of tie-dyeing was taught by Luisa Jimenez of local clothing brand World of Patterns
A workshop on shibori or the Japanese technique of tie-dyeing was taught by Luisa Jimenez of local clothing brand World of Patterns (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Gail O’Brien of HoopSpin came all the way from Northern Ireland to share her techniques in hooping basics and balancing.

Gail O'Brien of HoopSpin (Ireland) teaching dynamic balancing (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Gail O’Brien of HoopSpin (Ireland) teaching dynamic balancing (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Fire dancing duo Atom Chanchaisiri and Ron Suksawang from Samui Circus Studio in Thailand lit up the fire circle with their riveting moves. “It’s our first time to visit the Philippines and we came here just to attend this festival,” shared Atom.

Fire dancer Ron Suksawang of Samui Circus Studio based in Thailand (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Fire dancer Ron Suksawang of Samui Circus Studio based in Thailand (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Hoop artist Atom Chanchaisiri of Samui Circus Studio based in Thailand (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Hoop artist Atom Chanchaisiri of Samui Circus Studio based in Thailand (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Cigar box manipulation and 3-ball juggling workshops were taught by Edwin Ong from Singapore, a street and professional circus arts performer who makes up one-half of busker duo The Annoying Brothers.

Edwin Ong performing his cigar box routine during the Flow Fest's gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Edwin Ong (Singapore) performing his cigar box routine during the Flow Fest’s gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Visual artists Dee Jae Pa’este and Piaget Martelino added color to the festival with their artworks while drum community Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community took care of the beats during sunset sessions.

Visual artist Dee Jae Pa'este (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Visual artist Dee Jae Pa’este (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Photo by Mike Alegado
Photo by Mike Alegado
Drum community Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Drum community Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Jayson Dyandi of Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community leading the sunset jam (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Jayson Dyandi of Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community leading the sunset jam (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Solo (France) doing contact juggling (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Solo (France) doing contact juggling (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Jaw-dropping performances

Performances were nothing short of jaw-dropping with Yuta Imamura from Japan headlining the gala show.

Yuta Imamura (Japan) headlined the festival's gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Yuta Imamura (Japan) headlined the festival’s gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Dressed in a white studded ensemble, Yuta wowed the crowd with his clean, Zen-like movements as he performed his “Endangered Species” piece from his 2005 video.

Yuta Imamura (Japan) headlined the festival's gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Yuta Imamura (Japan) headlined the festival’s gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Daniel Darwin aka Astroboy, who won Talentadong Pinoy in 2012, performed a piece to Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”, a transcendental spectacle inspired by the Whirling Dervishes. “I became really interested in one style of hula hooping called sustained spinning, which is much simpler. There are no moves – you just spin in a circle and you’re able to do more optical illusions with the hula hoop,” shared Daniel.

Hoop artist Daniel Darwin aka Astroboy (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Hoop artist Daniel Darwin aka Astroboy (Photo by Mike Alegado)

Other gala performances included a dramatic number from Ehrlich Ocampo (Philippines), a hypnotizing buugeng routine by Jay Firecat (France), and an electrifying fire poi performance from Ruby Phonngo (Thailand).

Jay Firecat (France) performing a new buugeng routine for the gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Jay Firecat (France) performing a new buugeng routine for the gala show (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Powerful moves by Ruby Phonngo (Thailand). Photo by Mike Alegado
Powerful moves by Ruby Phonngo (Thailand). Photo by Mike Alegado
En (Taiwan) used double hoops for her open stage performance (Photo by Mike Alegado)
En (Taiwan) used double hoops for her open stage performance (Photo by Mike Alegado)
En (Taiwan) used double hoops for her open stage performance (Photo by Mike Alegado)
En (Taiwan) used double hoops for her open stage performance (Photo by Mike Alegado)

More than entertainment

What’s compelling about flow arts is not what the audience is seeing but what the performer or spinner is experiencing. The physical aspect of it requires grace, hand-eye coordination, and technical mastery – products of hyperfocus and mental awareness.

Planet Zips owner and Philippine Flow Fest founder Paulino Servado III (Photo by Mike Alegado)
Planet Zips owner and Philippine Flow Fest founder Paulino Servado III (Photo by Mike Alegado)

It is this spiritual quality that encapsulates the experience of flow that is, in a sense, a metaphorical one – the more you practice, the more you bring mindfulness to your day-to-day life. And the more mindful you are, the more you are able to share positive energy – and we surely need more of that in this world.

More about the 5th Philippine Flow Fest in our May issue.

The 5th Philippine Flow Fest was co-presented by Planet Zips, The Circle Hostel, Zippo, Tripologie, and B-side Productions.