Sunday, April 13, 2008
Ang Loboc-Loboc Naman Dito!
Photos courtesy of PETA's Miss Jette Gonzales. Interestingly enough, here's the group's blog.
I had a blast yesterday when I finally outdid myself with a nice weekend date with my self (hehehe). I was supposed to go to Quezon for my dad's birthday today (April 13) but I had an agreement with my folks that I'll just postpone the trip to last weekend of April (when I will be availing two more VLs).
My day began with a nice breakfast at 10am then got ready for a jeepney-MRT-FX trip to PETA Theater Center (#5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City). At 2:30pm, I was already queueing for "Encuentro Filipino" with the country's best, the Loboc Children's Choir.
I got the ticket for free as an extension for my season subscription for PETA (best things in life are indeed free). It was my second time to see them perform live. The first was at a CCP event with other artists like Ballet Philippines, Madrigal Singers and Bayanihan Dance Troupe. I felt guilty at first that I got the ticket for free. The kids need some baon for their North American leg of shows and currently open for sponsorship (you might wish to join Oishi, Bench, NCAA, etc. as co-sponsors). Other than that, "Encuentro Filipino" is also about an encounter with other choirs like UP Cherubim and Seraphim (the one I watched), Mandaluyong Children's Choir (yesterday at 7:30pm), Ateneo Chamber Singers (April 13, 3pm) and UP Singing Ambassadors (April 13, 7:30pm).
For the standard National Anthem, a music video was shown with a kid who happens to stumble upon a dirty Philippine flag. He looks at the flag pole and finds it empty. He then struggles to reach the top of the flagless pole a la Palo Sebo and victoriously regains the honor of putting the flag back. Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo. Beautiful! Now I think I have seen the best music video done for "Lupang Hinirang" (the second placer is the Kapamilya version, no less).
The concert opened with a procession of La Virgen with the kids paving the way, wearing a church choir get-up. With Ma'am Alma F. Taldo as conductor and Ma'am Lina L. Jala as main accompanist, the kids sang beautiful arias for the "Spanish Heritage/Songs of Worship" segment. This includes "The Lord's Prayer", "Ave Maria", "Kyrie from Misa de Toledo" and more. I can say that this segment was a show-off as it attested the kids' versatility and true to the form (they are a church choir after all). The UP Cherubim and Seraphim were introduced later on and rendered three numbers including a song that I suspected to be a Ryan Cayabyab piece.
"Songs from Other Cultures" portion had the kids rendering "The Sound of Music" medley (a crowd pleaser), a song in French ("Jean Qui Pleure"), a song in Chinese ("Mo Li Hua"), "Soleram", a moving version of "Children's Right" and the on-your-feet "Sister Act Medley". This time, the kids were wearing a summery colorful Filipiana and more playful with lots of choreography.
After the 10-minute intermission was a 7-minute talk from Ma'am Elena Rivera Mirano (UP Cherubim and Seraphim's conductor and musical director). I thought that the segment is a bit out of place at first but when the Powerpoint presentation introduced an obscure musician from Pakil, Laguna named Marcelo Adonay, my attention (particularly the film buff in me) was caught. I ended up wanting for more and my mind was already wandering to a possible film project about obscure Filipino musicians and their unheard voices. Other topics for other shows are "Imaging Our Lady in 16th Century Manila", "Music in the Heart of Manila: Quiapo from the Colonial Period to Contemporary Times, Cultural Changes and Continuities" and "Reading Choirbooks and Translating Musical Tranditions" with different resource speakers. I'm glad that I had the Adonay case study.
The last part of the program was devoted to anything Filipiana. Repertoire included "Kalesa" (hey, we sang this one in high school, hehehe), "Sa Ugoy ng Duyan" (their version is simply haunting), "Larong Pinoy", "Pilipinas Kong Mahal" and the staple Visayan song medley. Encore/Finale song was "Light of a Million Mornings" (previously attributed to Sarah Geronimo) with UP Cherubim and Seraphim and an epilogue to the procession.
Right before I left the center, I asked the choir's dynamic duo, the conductor and accompanist, for an autograph. That capped my day with a smile.