Tambisan sa Sining (Interaction in Arts) started in 1979 through the effort of a group of individuals who collect funds for the workers cause by seranading advocates of workers rights from the middle section of the society. The amount they have collected were given to workers who were on strike.
In 1980, Tambisan sa Sining was formally established as a cultural group. It envisions to use and interact with the different art disciplines in serving the cause and aspiration of the workers and other deprived sectors of the society. During the martial law period, it serves to awaken, organize and mobilize the workers through different art form. Tambisan has also been a part in the founding of the Kilusang Mayo Uno in that same year.
As such, Tambisan sees itself as part of the larger movement for genuine social transformation in the Philippines. It does education and organizing work among the workers and urban poor people in general for it believes that an enlightened people organized in struggle is fundamental in asserting the people's interests and aspiration.
Tambisan sa Sining had already produced and staged several performances. Notable of which were the production of the following: Awit, Tula at Kasaysayan (Songs, Poems and History) toured in key cities of the country.and several cities in Japan, Kara o Krus, a stage production which tackled the call to boycott the presidential election in 1984; Welga! Welga! (Strike! Strike!); and Mayo Uno ng ating Paglaya (May First of our Freedom), the first progressive production staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines after Marcos fled the country. All those performances were well received by the workers and other sectors.
In its more than two decades of existence, the Tambisan sa Sining has sucessfully produced and released five albums containing socially relevant songs that inspire not only the Filipino workers but also workers in other countries and their sympathizers. Tambisan continuously composes songs that are truly reflective of the life and struggle of the workers.
The meaning and relevance of the Tambisan sa Sining as a cultural group did not end in stage performances. It also tapped the potential of culturally-inclined workers for the advancement of trade union work by organizing them into cultural groups, assisting the unions to establish cultural committees, providing the workers with the appropriate orientation of the cultural work, and providing training for specialized skills in music and repertory theatre for the workers.
The practice of Tambisan in immersing and working with and for the workers gained positive results as seen in the formation of different cultural groups at the community and factory level. In fact, Tambisan spearheaded the formation of Makabayang Alyansa sa Sining Anakpawis (MASA), an alliance of cultural groups from different sectors including the workers, urban poor and students.
Tambisan sa Sining was also a founding member of SINING, an alliance of cultural groups in Metro Manila and founding member of BUGKOS, the national coordinating body of all cultural groups in the Philippines.
To date, active members of Tambisan sa Sining are manning the four major work areas of the group & organizing, education and training, campaign & advocacy, networking & solidarity.
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