Photo from Kularts/Carlito Camahalan Amalla’s Facebook

Kularts’ Puppetry Workshop to be held on September 24 & 25

ANY form of art can be a powerful tool of communication.  It relays information, educates, inspires and moves people to decide on an important issue. 

We are mostly familiar to art forms that are frequently practiced by artists like paintings, illustration, dance, music, sculpture or mixed media.  However, Carlito Camahalan Amalla brings in another medium that is probably less used — puppets. 

A member of the Manobo Indigenous Peoples of Agusan, Southern Philippines, Amalla is a visual artist, puppeteer, and music and dance performer who has toured internationally throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.   He studied wayang kulit (traditional form of puppet-shadow play) in Indonesia and bunraku, Japan’s traditional form of puppet theatre.  He performed in Papet Pasyon, Papet Ramayana, Papet Maskara, Papet Kalikasan and at the International Puppetry Festival – Bangkok.  His solo exhibitions include “Pasaog” (2019) in New York City, “Tribu” (2016) in Belgium, and “Paglantaw” (2014) at the University of the Philippines. Amalla is also professor at De La Salle-College of St Benilde, School of Design & Art in Manila.

“I decided to go into puppetry 15 years ago,” Amalla said.  “I (was) inspired to create puppetry because I love culture and I like teaching young learners to be creative and innovative. Sharing and serving makes me happy.”

Photo from Kularts/Carlito Camahalan Amalla’s Facebook

With this in mind, Amalla is eager to share his knowledge via a Puppetry Workshop to be held on September 24 and 25 at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco.  In the workshop, participants will learn how to plan, design and create puppets from simple to complex construction.

Amalla’s puppets are of course, unique.  He creates his own two- and three-dimensional puppets, and all inspired by his indigenous heritage.   For him, a puppet is not only a form of entertainment, but also a tool to tell a story and educate people about the issues and concerns of indigenous people.

“Puppetry is the extension of our creativity and identity,” he said and then added, “It is a reflection of our personality and country.  (A) puppet or puppetry creates a story, (can be) a problem solver and a source of inspiration and entertainment.”

He also stressed that creativity is a powerful instrument for societal change.

“The purpose of making art or puppet is to record our ideas and feelings to become a good person.

Photo from Kularts/Carlito Camahalan Amalla’s Facebook

Amalla’s Puppetry Workshop is a program by Kularts and will be on September 24 and 25, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco. Tickets are $15 (for one workshop) and $25 (for both workshops). To register, log on to (AJPress)

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