The many passions of Dennis Marasigan

New CCP artistic director shares his vision

There’s a new vice president and artistic director at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and he’s a jack of all trades—Dennis Marasigan. To be called that moniker is a compliment as it was originally meant for William Shakespeare.

Dennis Marasigan

Dennis used to accompany Irma Idlawan to her shoots and hang around the film set. As an independent filmmaker, he was recognized in his film debut, Sa North Diversion Road, which was awarded the 2006 Golden Screen Awards’ Best Adapted Screenplay.

But decades before that, he was working behind the scenes with prominent directors Joey Gosiengfiao, Laurice Guillen, Pio de Castro III, Tikoy Aguiluz, and Ishmael Bernal.

"Sa North Diversion Road'

On television, Dennis was assistant director in the popular series My Korean Jagiya, Encantadia, Because of You, and Got to Believe, among others. You would also recognize his face as Vice-President Ezekiel Lopez, yes he is also an actor, last seen in GMA Network’s First Lady.

Cast of 'Liberation'

This year alone, his love for theater was evident as he directed for Tanghalang Pilipino (Doc Resurreccion: Gagamitin ang Bayan), the Metropolitan Theater (Pasyong Pilipino), Virgin Labfest (Liberation), and Teatro Europa (Antigone in Molenbeek). Dennis is also an adviser to the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company and the Mapua Tekno Teatro. He heads the performing arts program at Mint College.

'Doc Resureccion' cast and artistic staff with Dennis Marasigan (second from right standing)

There is so much more Dennis can offer. He participated in congressional hearings supporting legislation for arts and culture as part of his commitments at Creative Industry Philippines, National Live Events Philippines, and Artists Welfare Project Inc.

When he was asked if he was interested in the CCP position, Dennis ran out of reasons to say no. “After all, I had worked with the CCP and its resident companies for the most part of the last five decades, almost 19 years as a full-time employee,” he says. “All my four children have childhood memories of the CCP as part of their growing-up years.”

MINT College Performing Arts graduates 2022

The 2007 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Best Screenplay winner’s priority is to bring cultural events back to normal. “I believe the first order of business would be to help shepherd the transition back from the pandemic restrictions,” he says. “Then, there is the closure of the CCP building for the next two years, which means re-focusing and even re-purposing the CCP’s programs.”

His role is to steward and ensure that current programs will be accomplished for the benefit of the artistic and cultural sectors and the Filipino society using the CCP values of artistic excellence, respect, openness, and integrity.

'Anatomiya ng Korupsyon'

As a freelancer, he was able to do a lot of things he was passionate about. “I will have to adjust the time I spend doing these and basically move my work station from home to the CCP offices,” says the former executive director to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

What should we look forward to at the CCP in the coming years? “These are challenging times but it would be safe to say the CCP will continue to be at the forefront of cultural development in the country, not only for artists and cultural workers but, more importantly for every Filipino,” says Dennis.