Thursday, June 30, 2011

Belgian violinist/conductor Thanos Adamopoulos to conduct the Manila Symphony Orchestra

July 9, 2011, 8:00 PM
Philam Life Auditorium
UN Avenue, Manila

Thanos Adamopoulos, violin/conductor
Manila Symphony Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Overture from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Time seems to be on a standstill amidst all these recent events with none really devoted to orchestral music. And yet when I got reminded that the next Manila Symphony Orchestra season concert is just less than two weeks away, it now seems that time has moved so fast. I can’t believe that it’s been that long since their successful Gustav Mahler performance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines even though it was just less than a month ago. But instead of pondering on the passage of time (is it too fast or too slow?) and losing my hair in the process, I think that it’s better for me to psyche myself up with the MSO’s second concert for their 2011 season entitled The Artistry of Thanos Adamopoulos happening this July 9, 2011, 8:00 PM at the Philam Life Auditorium. And as the title suggests, this concert will feature guest conductor and violin soloist Thanos Adamopoulos, a renowned Belgian violinist, conductor and pedagogue.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra

Well, it didn’t take me that long to get psyched up once I learned of what the programme for this concert would be: popular pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Ludwig van Beethoven. I’ve said before that the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K.492 by Mozart is a sentimental favorite. I know that I’ve heard Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 performed some months ago but I don’t mind hearing it, especially the exquisite second movement, once again.

Thanos Adamopoulos

Music lovers had to put up with a delay of almost a year to see Adamopoulos conduct and play with the MSO. He was supposed to be here during the MSO's July concert last year but he was unable to come that time. Fortunately, it looks like nothing is stopping him from coming this time. He also will be the featured violinist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 which I like better than what he was supposed to play last year.

I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be at an overwhelming number of cultural events for the past month or so but it’s very nice finally to go back to my comfort zone and watch a concert like this.

Ticket prices:
P1000 Orchestra Center
P800 Orchestra Side
P500 Loge
50% student discount
20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
MSO Secretariat 523-5712, (0917) 958-3297

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tanghalang Pilipino celebrates 25th Anniversary

It’s been an enriching experience for me learning more about what the Cultural Center of the Philippines has to offer aside from the performances of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra which is the main reason why I go there in the first place. The CCP has other resident companies and finally, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with their resident theater company which is the Tanghalang Pilipino.

I had the opportunity to know more about TP during their press conference held at the Casino Español de Manila where they presented their upcoming 25th Theater Season 2011-2012. And for their silver year, the company, under the artistic direction of Fernando Josef is mounting four major productions to be held at the CCP as well as a handful of mobile productions that will be staged on campuses and other venues.

Mark Bautista

Their season officially starts with a re-staging of Noli Me Tangere, the Musical which is yet another event among the many celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. The musical was adapted from Rizal’s novel by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera (libretto) and Ryan Cayabyab (music). National Artist Salvador Bernal will design the costumes while Audie Gemora, who originated the lead role of Crisostomo Ibarra, will be directing. Mainstream stars Mark Bautista and Gian Magdangal will alternate the role of Crisostomo Ibarra while Cris Villonco will play the role of Maria Clara. A sampler of the musical was presented when Mark sang a song called Lawa and Gian with Cris followed it up with the duet Awit ni Maria Clara. Co-presented by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Noli Me Tangere the Musical, will have its opening night on August 5, 2011 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

Cris Villonco and Gian Magdangal

The second major production, A Tony Perez Retrospective will be staged in honor of one of TP's most prolific playwrights. The plays Bombita directed by Dennis Marasigan, Sierra Lakes by Tess Jamias and Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko’y Mahal Kita by Tuxqs Rutaquio will be the three featured plays in this production. I’ve read that his plays dissect the Filipino psyche and that they deal with adult themes such as intense love, betrayal, separation, compassion, poverty, birth and death. The retrospective will begin its run on September 30, 2011 at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater).

Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company

Then a musical excerpt from Pinocchio, Gusto Mo Ba Maging Tao? was performed by the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company as a preview of what they have in store in their mobile productions. Roeder and John Arcilla, who will also be part of these mobile productions, performed a song number each. Shamaine Buencamino performed a monologue while Nonie Buencamino and Irma Adlawan together did a reading which showed why they are among the best (although underrated) actors in the industry. Aside from Pinocchio, the other plays which are part of the mobile productions are Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon, Tonyo, Pepe at Pule (Three Faces of Heroism), Teresa, Gregoria, Teodora, Welcome to Intelstar and Gee-Gee and Waterina.

Shamaine Buencamino

TP Actors Company member Riki Benedicto then briefed the guests on his directorial debut of a major season play, The Emperor’s New Clothes which is a musical for children of all ages. He admitted that he didn’t have anything to present since the musical, opening this November 8, 2011 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) is still in its early stages. This musical, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s story adapted by George de Jesus will have dialogue in Filipino and will feature seven songs in English. He also added that the costumes will be haute couture and then he jokingly asked TP Board of Trustee member Tessa Prieto-Valdes, if he could raid her closet to look for costumes. Simultaneously running with this, a special production of Walang Kukurap! directed by Chrs Millado, will be staged at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater). This is made possible through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

John Arcilla
Nonie Buencamino and Irma Adlawan

The season ends with a staging of Larawan (Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), by National Artist Nick Joaquin. The production, directed by Floy Quintos boasts major stars Helen Gamboa and Gina Pareño as the leads. A video message from Helen Gamboa recalling on how it was the late director Lino Brocka who first brought to her the idea of doing Larawan many years ago was shown as well. The play will open on February 3, 2012.

As the event came to an end, Tessa Prieto-Valdes gave a short message showing her admiration to the actors that were present and saying that they are the reason why theater needs the support of everybody. I find it embarrassing to admit as well that I haven’t been the most ardent supporter of local theater. But I do admire the love and respect that the theater actors have for the craft of acting. They may not be the biggest stars in the country but they get the job done and they do it extremely well.

Tessa Prieto-Valdes

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask the three leads of Noli on how the rehearsals were doing. I was told that they’ve just had their first music rehearsal only the day before. And that the CD tracks that they’ve listened to were different from the score that they had to read during the rehearsal. I also found out that the score would be updated by musical director Jed Balsamo as well. Cris Villonco, a veteran of the theater, feels no pressure at all playing the role of Maria Clara during this year full of Rizal events since she approached this project just like any other project that she has had before. But she pointed out that the nervousness that comes with performing on stage never goes away no matter what the production is. Gian Magdangal, on the other hand, finds the libretto in Filipino quite challenging since his prior theater experience had all been in English. Mark Bautista, the rookie when it comes to theater, believes that this experience will make him a more rounded performer. He is grateful that his management was able to work Noli around his busy schedule.

It was very interesting to see Mark listen to Cris and Gian talk about their previous theater experiences. Gian recalled some memorable and physically painful experience during his time as a member of the ensemble for the Little Mermaid by Trumpets wherein a mishap happened  and yet the show had to go on. Cris also agreed with Gian that being a part of the chorus is sometimes more difficult than being the lead. Chorus members are expected to be always present, they act multiple roles, they sometimes move sets as well and they aren’t as pampered as the leads.

Cris Villonco, Gian Magdangal and Mark Bautista

Rehearsals for the musical will now dominate their schedule for weeks to come leading into opening night. And I patiently await the opportunity for me to drop by at the rehearsals to see how the leads and the rest of the whole production are doing. Now, if only I can get a copy of the vocal score.

Here is Tanghalang Pilipino's 25th Theater Season 2011-2012 lineup:

August 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2011
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)

A Tony Perez Retrospective
September 30, 2011
October 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 2011
Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater)

The Emperor's New Clothes
November 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2011
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)

Walang Kukurap!
November 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2011
Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater)

Larawan (Portrait of an Artist as Filipino)
February 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 2012
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)

Mobile Productions

Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon
Tonyo, Pepe, at Pule (Three Faces of Heroism)
Teresa, Gregoria, Teodora
Pinocchio, Gusto Mo Bang Maging Tao?
Welcome to Intelstar
Gee-Gee at Waterina

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Virgin Labfest 7 Play Synopses

Since the opening of the Virgin Labfest 7 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines is just a few days away, here are the play synopses for everybody’s convenience. From 105 script submissions down to 10 untried, untested, unpublished “virgin” plays plus 3 more from Virgin Labfest 6! The plays will be staged at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater) from June 29 up to July 10, 2011 which is still in line with the Brave New Works initiative of the CCP.

Set A
July 3, 2011 3:00 & 8:00 PM
July 9, 2011 8:00 PM
July 10, 2011 3:00 PM

by Rachelle Rodriguez and Wennielyn Fajilan, directed by Riki Benedicto
Featuring:  Via Antonio, Noel Escondo

How will Liz and Red make their relationship work if time is not on their side? 6:00 AM—that’s the only time they see each other… and the moment does not last long. Liz, a nurse, is on her way to morning duty while Red, a call center agent, is just coming home from graveyard shift. Conversations, make-outs, jealousies, fights and make-ups happen during this short span of the early morn. Every day, they are left with no other choice but to continue these hanging vernal issues – the morning after.

written and directed by Juan Ekis a.k.a. Christian Vallez
Featuring: Joel Parcon, Frankie Pascua

Alvin and Mina go back to their ancestral home for the NCCA's tribute to their dying father who is a National Artist for Music. As Alvin settles down in his old bedroom, Mina enters and asks if she can sleep in his room. She could not sleep because of the Music being played in the house. Mina thinks it sick that their father is having a "funeral" even before he is dead and that his having cancer was just an excuse to get them to go home. Alvin could not understand her resentment towards their father. As Alvin tries to hide his feelings towards his adopted sister, Mina tries to sleep away the demons of their family's past in the comfort and solace of her brother's room.

by Ricardo Novenario, directed by JK Anicoche
Featuring: Acey Aguilar, Abner Delina, Jerald Napoles, Marco Viana

Kafatiran is a story of love and freedom. At the dawn of the Philippine revolution, another revolution is brewing. Deep within the ranks of the Katipunan is a special faction composed of young men who are smart, art-loving, and sometimes a bit too mild-mannered. Young Antonino Corpus wants to join this special faction and goes through some tests to know if he does belong into this group. Unfortunately, the night of Antonino’s recruitment is also the night that sparks the Philippine revolution and the recruitment house was surrounded by several guardia civil. Should they leave the place where they are free to be themselves so that they can attain true freedom? Should they finally come out?

Set B Full Length Play
June 30, 2011 3:00 & 8:00 PM
July 6, 2011 3:00 PM
July 8, 2011 8:00 PM

Isang Gabi Bago Magbukas ang Portrait of an Artist as Filipino ni Nick Joaquin
by Carlo Pacolor Garcia, directed by Paul Santiago
Featuring: Angelina Kanapi, Che Ramos, Christian Bautista, Roeder Camañag, Lao Rodriguez, Olive Nieto, Chromewell Cosio, Kathlyn Castillo, Acey Aguilar, Yong Tapang, Roli Inocencio, Skyzx Labastilla, Russell Legaspi, Irene Delarmente, Joel Saracho

Just another typical night at the theater: the director’s mad, stage manager’s losing his wit, and the actors are, well, acting up—until one by one, they all start dying. Then the fun suddenly begins: who’s out to get a bunch of old and forgotten stars trying to get another break; why here and why now, why The Portrait; perhaps a prank,a pure coincidence; or has the past finally decided to play cat and mouse? It was a dark and stormy night, indeed, and everyone’s a suspect. Look sharp, find your light, and break a leg!

Set C
July 1, 2011 3:00 & 8:00 PM
July 9, 2011 3:00 PM
July 10, 2011 8:00 PM

Streetlight Manifesto
by Mixkaela Villalon, directed by Ed Lacson, Jr.
Featuring: Paolo O’Hara, Adrienne Vergara, Bong Cabrera, Ness Roque 

Every night, a streetlight is the lone witness to the meetings between two hired killers responsible for the string of murders in a particular area in Manila— and every day, dead bodies are left underneath it for a police detective to find, and a young journalist to investigate and report. Streetlight Manifesto tackles the subjective nature of truth and justice, and frames the discussion on dignity of work amist the backdrop of Manila’s business casual culture of violence. But for every day the investigation remains unresolved, the body count continues to rise.

by Rae Red, directed by Paolo O’Hara
Featuring: Cris Pasturan, Regina de Vera, Jerry O’Hara, Peewee O’Hara, Tess Jamias, Jelson Bay, George de Jesus

A famous actor and his snobby manager
A posh, religious husband and wife
A promiscuous gold digger
A mysterious priest
And an innocent young woman
Seen through the eyes of a puzzled elevator boy, “KAWALA” tells the story of intertwined lives in a condominium and how they affect an important life choiceof a confused employee

Evening at the Opera
by Floy Quintos, directed by Jomari Jose
Featuring: Ana Abad Santos, Frances Makil Ignacio,  Jonathan Tadioan

Miranda Beloto, wife of Governor Bingo Beloto is obsessed with the idea of bringing to her impoverished province the first staging of a full length opera.  As she prepares to face her corrupt, insensitive husband, she must also deal with the pressure from her own manipulative mother.  It seems that Miranda’s foolhardy vision of beauty is all she can cling to in the face of so much brutality.  Or is she herself a crucial part of the cycle of corruption?

Set D
July 2, 2011 3:00 & 8:00 PM
July 6, 2011 8:00 PM
July 7, 2011 3:00 PM

Mga Lobo Tulad ng Buwan
written and directed by Pat Valera
Featuring: Mary Jane Alejo, Katte Sabata, Chic San Agustin

A mother, wife and daughter remain in the realm of resistance to seek justice. Each has lost a loved one from the tragic sinking of MV Princess of the Stars where 773 people died. One of the worst maritime disasters in recent years, the vessel sank because of the shipping line’s insistence to sail amidst a looming typhoon.

Three years since the sinking, the women persist. However, they slowly forget. Time consumes them, great powers offer bribes, the cost of the struggle becomes insurmountable. Most of all, the memory of pain stabs each time it is remembered. Some succumb to the solace of oblivion, leaving the seemingly endless battle while some remain amidst certain pain and uncertain answers.

This is an elegy for all those lost at sea and their relatives left behind. This play allows us to understand their struggle.

Bawal Tumawid, Nakamamatay
written and directed by Joey Paras
Featuring: Leo Rialp, Kiki Baento, Mark Jones Simbit, Vera Capiral, Bham Sumooc, Eva Madera, Giovanni Cadag, Paolo Ballesteros, Floid Zulueta, Biboy Ramirez

It is February 14, Valentine`s Day. Eva is trapped in a bus stop along EDSA. Desperately trying to get a cab to make it to her father`s burial in La Loma, she asks passersby how she could make it to her destination. She sees an easy access to make it to the other lane ---an opening in the middle of the highway that bears this sign: BAWAL TUMAWID, NAKAMAMATAY.  In the meantime, Eva meets a stranger, an old carpenter named Mang Caloy. The old man gives her options on how to make it to La Loma but she remains indecisive.

Heavy traffic and the heavy rain engage them into a peculiar conversation. A coffee shop near the bus stop becomes their refuge and here they begin sharing sentimental and funny stories about their past. Eva talks about her father’s death and her simple dreams as a hopia vendor. Mang Caloy breaks the serene conversation by telling the story behind the signage. An unpredictable revelation of the old man`s past marks the climax of the play. As the busy avenue becomes expansive again, an unexpected accident happens, leaving Eva in deep shock.

The Valley Mission Care
by Russell Legaspi, directed by Missy Maramara
Featuring: Siegfried Sepulveda, Mayen Estanero, Richard Cunanan

An Old Man, Francisco finds himself stuck between the comfortable landscape of a Nursing institute and the Promise he holds dearly to be with his love. A promise he intends to keep even if it means he dies trying.

Set E VLF VI Revisited
June 29, 2011 3:00 & 8:00 PM
July 7, 2011 8:00 PM
July 8, 2011 3:00 PM

Higit Pa Dito
by Allan Lopez, directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio
Featuring: Cris Pasturan, Angelina Kanapi

Bing, a single mother, leaves her two grown children to live on her own.   Still grappling with uncertainty, she moves in her new apartment with the help of her son Kael.  In the deceptively simple conversation between mother and son, ambiguous and seemingly random recollections paint a portrait of a woman trying to rediscover strength, and the drive to revisit her long abandoned desire.  

by Remi Velasco , directed by Ed Lacson, Jr.
Featuring: Cai Cortez, Jelson Bay

If you were trapped on your rooftop with nothing but only your wimp husband or nagging wife in the middle of the tragic typhoon Ondoy, what would you wish for? Mercy demanded for an annulment while Obet wanted only his son to stay and Mercy to be booted out of “roof.” The storm begins, the battle begins. The couple’s struggle to save their lives was awkwardly turned into a fight, crystallizing their own family “storm” – their chronic, even futile problems. But when Ondoy subsided, who will be booted out?

Balunbalunan, Bingibingihan
by Debbie Ann Tan, directed by Issa Lopez
Featuring: Bembol Roco, Missy Maramara, Paul Jake Paule

Gilbeys and Brandy, 20 years apart are husband and wife, pimp and whore who love each other dearly.  Brandy with her repertoire of roles as nurse, baker, cook or tutor does her trade with perfunctory ease that brings to the table Gilbey’s sole diet: chicken gizzard.  However, life gets more difficult.  They decide to take in a boarder, someone who could help them in this covert trade as well.

Enter Whiskey, a virile lad who looks and acts nice. The couple takes him in as a bedspacer.  They eventually reveal their trade to Whiskey and insinuate an offer to work for them as a “plumber.”

But three is always a crowd. Jealousies and hate begin to tear this odd trio apart. Whiskey proffers his love for Brandy.  Gilbeys suspects Whiskey of being a traitor and a thief. Brandy is torn between the two.

But Gilbeys and Brandys love for each other runs deep.  A love that links the matter of eating chicken gizzards.

Staged Readings

Three full-length plays will have staged reading performances at the Bulwagang Amado Hernandez (CCP Conference Room).

by Lito Casaje, directed by Dennis Marasigan

Chiaroscuro, which in Latin and art parlance means the contradiction of light and shade, posits a universal worldview that life is likewise full of human contradictions. This Chekhovian play also paints the world of the Malate visual artists and the challenges they face in their struggle for economic survival vis-a-vis their unrelenting pursuit to perfect their craft. It also essays the universal theme on the artist’s option to compromise his art in exchange for commercial satisfaction, or rather, is the kind of compromise merely an option or a painful necessity for one to survive?
July 1, 2011 6:00 PM 

House of Candles
by Nicolas Pichay, directed by Jose Estrella

The House of Candles is set in Manila and New York.  It is an exploration of the consequences brought about by extreme personal desires.  It is a rumination on the topography of progeny and legacy; problematizes the act of creation.  The play is a first draft of a work-in-progress.
July 7, 2011 6:00 PM 

Hermano Puli
by Layeta Bucoy, directd by Tuxqs Rutaquio, music by Vincent de Jesus

After being executed by the guardias civiles in the Tayabas Plaza, the body of Apolinario dela Cruz aka Hermano Puli was dismembered and hang all over Tayabas. The different ways by which some members of the Cofradia cope with the death of their leader are reflected in their individual “interaction” with Hermano Puli’s disunited body parts: from Pausto’s outright rejection of one of the basic tenets of the Cofradia, Matea’s unwavering faith in the resurrection of Hermano Puli, Rosa’s plan of trekking to Mt. Banahaw to string together Hermano Puli’s body pieces, and to Juana’s desire to snatch the Hermano’s hanging foot. 
July 9, 2011 6:00 PM

Saturday, June 25, 2011

J.P., ang Gig ni Rizal

I felt a very different kind of atmosphere when I arrived at the Main Lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines when I went there to see the by invitation only J.P., ang Gig ni Rizal. First of all, there were so many students in their school uniform. And their behavior (both excited and a bit apprehensive) suggested that it was very likely that they’ve never been to the CCP before. Add to that several young people dressed in native formal wear gamely posing for photos, especially beneath the banners featuring themselves that were displayed at the lobby. Seeing, hearing and feeling all of these made me realize that the the musical gala and awards ceremony which is in line with the numerous events happening in celebration of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary, would be very much unlike the usual shows that I’ve seen inside the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo or the CCP Main Theater.

While waiting for the event to start, the people gathered at the lobby were treated to music provided by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Foundation Rondalla. And right before the show started, the Philippine Hiphop Dance Community showed their moves at the lobby as well. It was interesting for me to see both the traditional and the new and it did set the tone for the rest of the event. The show turned out to be a spectacle hosted by Riki Benedicto with live orchestral music provided by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Olivier Ochanine. At first, the attempts to make Rizal hip, cool and current through the host’s spiels felt a bit forced in my opinion. I guess that this just showed my age since I am more fascinated whenever I view Rizal from a distance and knowing that his lifetime was more than a century ago. I guess that you could credit that on how I respect and view music composers from centuries ago as well.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra led by Olivier Ochanine

But just like these composers of music, Dr. Jose Rizal also had works of his own like the novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and the poem Mi Ultimo Adios. And after Rizal’s death, future generations of artists have interpreted and re-worked these works into songs, plays and dances. And samples of these were featured during the show with soprano Myra Mae Meneses singing the Rizal penned poem Canto Patrotico de Maria Clara set into music by Juan Hernandez. An excerpt from the ballet Crisostomo Ibarra (the lead character from Noli Me Tangere) was also performed by Candice Adea and JM Codero accompanied by a piano trio led by Jed Balsamo. I guess that for most of the students in the audience, it was their first time ever to see a soprano and a contemporary ballet performance.

Awit ni Maria Clara (Maria Clara’s Song), an excerpt from Noli Me Tangere, the Musical (libretto by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and music by Ryan Cayabyab) was performed by mainstream stars Rachelle Ann Go and Erik Santos along with members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. The inclusion of mainstream stars along with the very accessible music of Ryan Cayabyab resulted in a well applauded number.

John Arcilla with the 300 Voice Choir performing Mi Ultimo Adios

Then immediately right after, John Arcilla delivered a monologue which led directly to Mi Ultimo Adios, with orchestrations by Ryan Cayabyab, performed by the 300 voice choir composed of DLS-CSB Coro San Benildo, DBM Chorale, DILG Chorale, DOJ Chorale, DSWD Chorale, East Avenue Medical Center Chorale, Landbank Musical Ensemble, NBI Chorale, Pag-Ibig Fund Chorale, Senate Choir, Supreme Court Choir, Tarlac State University Choir, TINING – Ang Koro ng Letran Calamba Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba, UP Concert Chorus. These choirs were led by choir conductor Jai Sabas Aracama. This number gave me goose bumps and I hope that this piece would be performed more often.

The Philippine Allstars

In order to connect with the younger audiences, the Philippine Allstars performed a hiphop number but it was early in the programme and I think that the students at the audience still had yet to get settled so the response wasn’t as warm as I thought it would be. But they performed with the precise and sharp moves they’re known for and I did like the seamless and effortless formation changes throughout their routine. The kids responded well with the video by Mae Paner aka Juana Change. She also had a monologue as Josephine Bracken which made me nervous since she almost crossed the adult territory with her language and topic and there were students and even sisters in the audience. But I guess that this was the main reason why the kids responded well with the monologue.

The entire cast with the awardees 

The PPO performed an Itchy Worms medley which I think fell flat with the audience but the next number which was Hallelujah by Bamboo featuring four choirs drew out spontaneous applause during the introduction, the first verse and the chorus which really made me glad. And the very patriotic Bayan Ko translated as My Country which featured John Arcilla and Jai Sabas Aracama along with the 300 voice choir ending with the whole cast and awardees on stage was the hair raising finale of the musical gala.

The 35 Bagong Rizal

The main highlight of this event was the awarding of 35 children and youths as Mga Bagong Rizal (Modern Day Rizal). These 35, from ages 11 up to 21 and coming from all over the country who are willing to commit their lives to the ideals of Jose Rizal were chosen by Philippine Center for Gifted Education, in cooperation with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino from hundreds of nominees. They were presented on stage and were given trophies. 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida administered their oath and delivered a speech telling the awardees that being a hero isn’t easy and that there’ll be challenges along the way.

The 35 Bagong Rizal awardees taking their oaths

After the show, a banquet was held in honor of the awardees along with their families and friends. It was during this time when they started loosening up and acted like the young people which they were. After the banquet, some took turns in singing for the people in the dining area amidst the friendly teasing of their fellow awardees. They were called once again and were given more tokens including a laptop for each. I found out that prior to this event, they had a leadership seminar and that they would have a courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace the following day. So this experience has been truly memorable for the 35 awardees and yet, Dr. Leticia Peñano-Ho reminded them that being a modern day Rizal doesn’t end with the awarding ceremony. I join her and the rest of the nation in wishing these 35 well in all their endeavors as they continue their journey towards excellence and may they inspire the youth to live the ideals and principles of our Dr. Jose Rizal.

The 35 Bagong Rizal Awardees:

1. John Gabriel Pelias, University of the Philippines, Diliman
2. Joseph Kennedy Tabor Jr., Batasan Hills National High School
3. Kim Robert de Leon, University of the Philippines, Diliman
4. Melchora Elena Mabilog, St. Scholastica’s College-West Grove, Cavite
5. Ma. Francisca Iñez Mejia, Miriam College, Quezon City
6. John Carlo Baltazar, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Manila
7. Aleo Denoyo, PAREF Southridge School, Muntinlupa
8. Justin Daniel Junio, Jose Rizal University
9. Jeannett Gonzales, University of Baguio
10. Ivan Jim Layugan, University of Baguio
11. Angelica Licudan, University of Baguio
12. Jhonard Galicia, Tabuk National High School, Kalinga
13. Mico Martin Mallillin, Cagayan National High School
14. Daniel Ortega, Isabela State University
15. John Kit Masigan, St. Paul University
16. Pamela Camille Pene, Cesar E. Vergara Memorial High School
17. Avian Faye Vital, San Fernando Elementary School
18. Bianca Sophia Regala, College of the Immaculate Conception GS
19. Marc Wendolf Duque, Pampanga High School
20. Anne Mimille Guzman, Philippine High School for the Arts
21. Henrielle Pagkaliwangan, Philippine High School for the Arts
22. Raoul Danniel Manuel, UP Visayas - UP High School in Iloilo
23. Serge Lorenz Villasica, Mandaue City Science High School
24. Miko Cabatingan, Abellana National School
25. Ezekiel Majan, Cebu City National Science High School
26. Ridwan Landasan, Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan
27. Ellen Joy Cajes, Maryknoll High School of Panabo
28. Carla Beatriz Lazara, Philippine Science High School - Davao
29. Percival Adonis Casiño, St. Mary’s College of Tagum
30. John Elmer Loretizo, GSC SPED International School
31. Romeo Dequito Jr., GSC SPED International School
32. Isam Benedict Blen Dimacutac, GSC SPED International School
33. Rexbelle Mae Caliguid, Agusan National High School
34. Hyacinth Faune, Agusan National High School
35. Ernn Andre Torregoza, Bonifacio Elementary School
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...