For the past twenty-four years, the Center for the Arts in San Antonio (CASA), a project of violinist Coke Bolipata, has been a pillar of art and music in San Antonio, Zambales. Through music, Casa gives back to the community by cultivating a love for it among the children of its farmers and fisherfolk, who make up the admirable Pundaquit Virtuosi.
Casa San Miguel, found in the 15-hectare ancestral farmland and seaside estate of the Corpus-Bolipata clan, has, since 1921, been home to generations and generations of artistic prominence.
Its first resident, Ramon L. Corpus, was a celebrated concert violinist, a pioneer in what was the Manila Symphony Orchestra, who acquired the patch of land nestled between Zambales’s rolling hills and roaring seas, and deemed it perfect for the modest life of an agriculturist. Yet, what the grand patriarch cultivated, instead, was a lengthy love affair for wonderful music, beauty, and excellence found in the blossoming world of art. There was plenty of inspiration to come by in the rustic thatches of robust mango trees, the fine sand paths, and the calming waters of the San Miguel beach, that the house honed such Pinoy art luminaries as visual artist Plet Bolipata-Borlongan, writer and educator Rica Bolipata-Santos, master cellist Chino Bolipata, and internationally renowned concert violinist and Juilliard alumni, Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata. Yet, with whatever combined artistic prowess the siblings may have, there is still quite a lot of room for more art to thrive in the Casa.
So, in 1993, Coke Bolipata opened the gates of their creative retreat to a handful of San Antonio kids sharing the same passionate pursuit for excellence in the melodious craft of strings, and, soon after, the Creative Alternatives for Social Action in San Miguel took to light.
The Philippine Star, John Magsaysay, Feb, 2013
Students of CASA have gone on to attend the Philippine High School for the Arts, UP College of Music, UST Conservatory of Music. Because of its contributions to the community through music, Casa San Miguel has also been given the NCCA Gawad ng Hiraya Award.
Stay in touch with CASA's music and arts programm through these facebook pages:
Casa Main Page casa.sanmiguel.zambales
Cuerdas Cuadros Community Arts Program Cuerdas-Cuadros-Community-Arts-Program