Tag: cultural center of the philippines

Noli Me Tangere the Opera marks 60th year at CCP

Ten Days. Yes, we’re counting ten more days before the Opening Gala Night!

Mixed emotions, just like Sisa, whose character I am playing, is what I feel, now that we’re stepping in the ten-day mark of the show.

But more than that, it is the hard work and love, above all, that everyone has put in, is what and will be the driving force of this production.

Do watch Noli, if you remember this from high school. Watch it even more if you have forgotten it. Bring in your children, your families, and appreciate the poetry, the music, the set design (really excited to see this!), the teachings.

I will be playing Sisa on January 29 2pm and February 2 8pm. See full Press Release of the opera below, as well as contact details for tickets.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and J&S Productions Inc. announce the full cast and creative team for the 60th-anniversary production of the Philippines’ first full-length opera, Noli Me Tangere, an opera by National Artists Felipe de Leon and Guillermo Tolentino, directed by Jerry Sibal, featuring the the newly formed 53-piece Noli Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Herminigildo Ranera.
Renowned tenor Ronan Ferrer in the role of Crisostomo Ibarra will the lead the cast, together with Bianca Camille Lopez (Maria Clara), Stephanie Anne Aguilar (Sisa), John-Andrew Fernandez (Padre Damaso), Greg de Leon (Elias), Mari Yapjoco (Basilio), and Santino Juan Santiago (Crispin).

Based on Dr. Jose Rizal’s 1887 classic novel of the same name, Noli Me Tangere, The Opera, premiered at the Far Eastern University in 1957 and made its CCP debut in 1974. This production, which recently had critically-acclaimed engagements in New York, Washington D.C., and at the Resorts World Manila, will feature more than 200 opera singers, musicians, and crew, 16 scene changes, a brand-new staging, and new sets and costumes.

Noli Me Tangere, The Opera follows the story of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, who returns to the Philippines after pursuing scholarly studies in Europe. He plans to open up a school and marry Maria Clara, his betrothed. However, parish priest Padre Damaso, the archenemy of the Ibarras, is out to hinder Crisostomo’s plans, which creates a dramatic storyline of forbidden love, betrayal, and revenge.

Both the novel and the opera depict the abuses suffered by the native Indios at the hands of Spanish tyrants. Both forms also paint a clear picture of the so-called “social cancer” such as the rotten system of governance, the illicit ways of the church, and the unfavorable trade of the privileged class, which is still very much relevant today.

The cast also includes Nomer Narito Nival, Aretha Angcao, Jade Rubis Riccio, Nerissa de Juan, Mary Louise Alcantara, Irene Quiso-Ednave, Charina Althea Balmores, Rachelle Jasmine Balunes, Elisanta Gregorio Cortes, Mecho Joy Manlangit, Thea Perez, Katrine Jamar Sunga, Jillbert Chua, Jan Briane Astom, Eugene de los Santos, Erwin Dimaculangan, Harold Nikko Forton, Paul Dominique Galvez, Allison Rose Cervantes, Anne Abigail Garza, Jane Florence Wee, Ruzzel Adrian Clemeno, Renz Nathaniel Cruz, Radnel Ofalsa, Octwen Jade Cabilan, Rare Jireh Columna, Ivette Vanerrie Salas, Courtney Gomley, Marianne Maxielom, Claudine Nitura, Grace Pedrocillo. Larian Villamarin, Francisco de Guzman Jr., Nestor Estoque, Thomas Julian Hollon, Matthew Vallo, Earl Cristobal, Mark Anthony Cruz, Frederick Maturan, and Inno Angelo Montellano.



Besides musical director Ranera and stage director Sibal, who is also designing the new sets and costumes, the production’s creative team also includes assistant director Jose Jeffrey Camanag, sound designer Edwin Mendiola, and lighting designer John Batalla.

For special ticket deals and discounts to the 60th-anniversary production of Noli Me Tangere, The Opera, contact J&S Productions Inc. (0926) 038 0548, (0921) 890 3816, (632) 998 2356, or the CCP Box Office (632) 832 3704/06, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.

Media partners include Business Mirror, Jamtrx Multi-Media Productions, Manila Broadcasting Company, WhenInManila.com, and ProShift Media.

For more information, visit NoliMeTangereTheOpera.com or Facebook.com/NoliOperaManila.

Date & Time: January 28 and February 1-3, 2017 at 8 p.m. | January 29 and February 3, 2017 at 2 p.m.

Venue: Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)

Tickets: P3,500 | P2,500 | P2,000 | P1,500 | P1,200 | P1,000

Ticket Outlets: J&S Productions Inc. (0926) 038 0548, (0921) 890 3816, (632) 998 2356, or the CCP Box Office (632) 832 3704/06 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.


Harana sa Dapithapon at the CCP

UPDATE: Featured performing artists on June 10 are Miguel Castro, Sweet Sisa Samaniego and Los Lipeños.


At this time when we are inundated with too much foreign pop music, a show like this is a welcome respite. It’s only when my husband and I rehearse some Filipino art songs at home that my daughter gets to hear them. Better than none.

Last April 8, I took my daughter and my mom to the Cultural Center of the Philippines for an afternoon of Filipino music, something we rarely hear nowadays.

We were in for a treat. The show featured Lisa Cabahug and Lemuel dela Cruz, accompanied by Augusto Espino on the piano for the first part.


The second part featured a guitar ensemble, called the Kabataang Gitarista (click the link for related story). This is one of the projects I have handled when I was working for the CCP. Proud of these young guitarists who played quite challenging and interesting pieces! 

Missed this show? Don’t fret, because another one’s coming our way!

Harana sa Dapit Hapon is an afternoon musicale featuring immortal kundimans, harana, balitaw, danza and unforgettable love songs by great Filipino composers. Featured performers on June 10 are performing artists Miguel Castro, Sweet Sisa Samaniego, and Los Lipeños. Succeeding performances will be held on July 8, September 9, October 7, and December 9 this year. Noted classical singers and performers have been invited for the succeeding shows.

The event is free to the public. Senior citizens, students and the general public are cordially invited.

The project is by the CCP and the Tribung Pilipino Foundation.

Source: CCP Website


See you at the CCP!

~ Touringkitty

CCP PASINAYA: A One-day Arts Fiesta

CCP Pasinaya goes ASEAN!
CCP Pasinaya goes ASEAN!

For the past eleven years, the Cultural Center of the Philippines opened its doors for one whole day in this annual festival of arts.

I have been in all sides of this festival — first as performer with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, as a production staff for two festivals when I was working for the center, and now as spectator and supporter of this wonderful activity.

For arts enthusiasts, we can only wish this would not just be one day. With so many things to watch and so many activities happening simultaneously, one cannot watch everything in one day! For families, this has been a great bonding activity for them to celebrate the arts. For the performers, I am sure they are as excited as us to present their craft. And for its production, my friends in the field of cultural work, they have tirelessly prepared for this. Logistically impossible as it may seem, they have successfully carried out this gargantuan task of bringing together this once-a-year remarkable event.

Some information are made available here. Tune in the CCP’s website, Facebook, and Twitter for more details in the coming days.

Pasinaya: CCP Open House Festival. Biggest multi-arts festival in the country. Pay what you can, see all you can. Dance, theater, music, literature, film, visual arts.

Performances, workshops, arts market, museum visits, food booths, arts and crafts market, photo competition, discounted tickets to selected CCP shows for the whole year, international and local performers. Makes the CCP the happiest place on earth on that day.

February 15. 7am to 7pm. SAVE THE DATE! Pre-register online by visiting this link: http://pasinaya.culturalcenter.gov.ph/.

Details will soon be out at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Facebook page, Twitter @ccp_gov and CCP website, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.

‪#‎Pasinaya2015‬ ‪#‎PasinayaGoesASEAN‬

PRESS RELEASE: 2nd CCP and ASEAN Arts Market

ccp arts market
CCP Arts Market is your one-stop shop for networking in the arts.

Come and catch a multi-cultural flare of Performing Arts at this one-day arts market. 

Get to know and interact with the top performing groups in the Philippines and neighboring ASEAN countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia and Lao PDR at the 2nd CCP and ASEAN Arts Market which will be held on February 14, 2015 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The event will offer opportunities for networking, showcasing of performance samplers and business matching of performances and other programs of arts organizations and agencies in the Philippines.

Show programmers, organizers and arts enthusiasts are welcome to attend.

Hurry and reserve your slots. For further inquiries, please call 8321125 loc. 1710 or  email culturalmanagementdivision (at) gmail (dot) com.

CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop 2014: Training ground of choral champions

Last October, I was fortunate to be part of the team of trainors for the CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop.

This annual workshop is held on the last week of October.
This annual workshop is held on the last week of October, done in partnership with the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Some present and alumni members of the Philippine Madrigal Singers were trainors for the five-day workshop. Marivic Llamas, Krystl Buesa, yours truly, Joel Aquino, Paolo Pardo, Bianca Lopez, Mark Carpio.
Giddy people early in the morning: some present and alumni members of the Philippine Madrigal Singers aka trainors. Marivic Llamas, Krystl Buesa, yours truly, Joel Aquino, Paolo Pardo, Bianca Lopez, Mark Carpio.

The workshop is now on its 12th season, and has attracted choral groups and conductors from all over the Philippines as well as other countries. This year, we had a choir from Kuala Lumpur participating in the workshop.

Mark Carpio conducting all participants of the choral workshop. They filled the entire stage!
Mark Carpio conducting all participants of the choral workshop. They filled the entire Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage!

This was not the first time for me to join as trainor, but everything seemed new to me this time around.

With the God's Heritage Chorale from Bulacan, the choir I handled back in 2006. Along with Sheen Sanchez, another Madz alumnus.
With the God’s Heritage Chorale from Bulacan, the choir I handled back in 2006. Along with Sheen Sanchez, another Madz alumnus. Photo credit: Churchill Garcia-Natoc.

This choir joined the workshop again this year, with some familiar faces and new ones who got to experience the Madz training through the workshop. I guess they find something good and new in each workshop that they’ve participated three times already!

Early this year, the Cultural Center of the Philippines called itself as a Center for Choral Performance, where major choral events are lined up in the Center until next year, the highlight being the second Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in July 2015.

This year’s choral workshop was made even special because of several factors. Aside from the fact that it had been in hiatus for two years (there were no choral workshops held in 2012 and 2013 because of Madz trips abroad–incidentally, the years I worked for the Center), the workshop also featured a special Artist Talk by no less than Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, who created a new arrangement of one of his songs, premiered by the participating choral groups.

In Mr. C’s talk, he took the audience back to the days when fate had prepared the road for his musical journey, as a son of an opera singer who did not encourage him to take the same career his mother took, as a young UPIS student who was just tinkering on the piano, and as a teenager who would try out different careers–from winning a painting contest to applying as a disc jockey, and eventually getting the biggest gig that paved the way for his musical career. His story was unbelievable, humble, yet very inspiring.

The participants were fortunate to premiere a Mr. C work, Ikaw pa rin ang mahal ko, the theme song of Sa Ngalan ng Ina, originally sung by another OPM hero, Basil Valdez. Here’s a sampling from the Madz Facebook page:

Choirs from various schools, communities, parishes, and companies joined the workshop. Individual conductors, or choirless conductors as they called themselves, who want to be better conductors learned through the sessions with Madz Choirmaster himself, Mark Carpio.

The choirs assigned to me were the MBPS Chorale of Manulife and Musica Chorus of Quiapo Church.
The choirs assigned to me were the MBPS Chorale of Manulife and Musica Chorus of Quiapo Church.

The trainors were assigned two choirs each, who each sang a song of their preference, and one song which came from the trainor and will be performed together. I chose What the World needs now is love, a really simple danceable arrangement of the Bacharach song with piano. As they’ve easily learned the piece, I also gave short pieces as some sort of exercise for them.

I was surprised to know that trainors will also conduct, as I cannot remember doing that during the previous workshop I was part of. I even confirmed this to Sir Mark, to my surprise and excitement. It was my first time to conduct on the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage!

What. An. Experience. To conduct at the CCP Main Theater! With Musica Chorus and MBPS Chorale. MBPS' conductor, Ms. Orquias, assisted on piano.
What. An. Experience. To conduct at the CCP Main Theater! With Musica Chorus and MBPS Chorale. MBPS’ conductor, Ms. Oquias, assisted on piano.
Sir Mark handing over the certificate to me. It's as if I've graduated all over again! Thank you, thank you.
Ninong Mark handing over the certificate to me. It’s as if I’ve graduated all over again! Thank you, thank you.

The choral groups may have different backgrounds and reasons for participating, some of them have mentioned this during the opening ceremonies. But to me, they are definitely champions by just being a good solid group, thirsting for knowledge that will help improve themselves and their choirs as they sing for God and for their schools, churches, companies, and communities. They’ve worked hard for those five days, which seemed really short, but all did and went well.

For us, trainors, nothing is more gratifying than seeing the choirs take what you’ve taught them to heart. We’ve witnessed this during the culminating activity. And as we look back at the first day we met them, a lot of good had happened. We’re successful enough to shared a piece of the Madz way. And we hope we could share this to more choristers in the generations to come.

Huge thanks to the Madz family for the opportunity to work with these great choristers and for what seemed to be a reunion of sorts among us alumni especially during break times. Likewise to my former workmates at the CCP and the Artist Training Division for being a venue for these choirs to create more wonderful choral music.

*All photos, save for one, are from the CCP, as posted in their Artist Training Division Facebook Page. Follow them on Facebook and be updated with their upcoming projects.

~ Touringkitty

Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir hosts Children’s Choir Festival

A gathering of the best children’s choral groups in the metro will happen this Sunday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

In its desire to showcase the talents and musical excellence of Distinguished Children’s Choirs from all over the Philippines, the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir (HMTQCC) conceived of an avenue to bring together these exceptional choirs. As such, in 2009, the Halina’t Umawit – a Philippine Children’s Choir Festival was born. The festival also gave the opportunity for other choirs, conductors, music teachers, music lovers and students the occasion to listen and learn the different styles, and performances that make each choir unique in a way that defines them.

The Festival derives its name from Psalm 95 and Psalm 98 of the Bible. It is an invitation to come and sing praises to the Lord for His wondrous deeds. The festival song, “Halina’t Umawit,” composed by Jude Roldan completes the event with all choirs singing on stage interspersed with hand clapping and feet thumping.

This year’s festival will be held on October 26, 2014 – Sunday at 7:00pm at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and will feature top choral groups from all over Metro Manila:

Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir, host choir
Maria Theresa Vizconde-Roldan, Conductor
Jude B. Roldan, Music Director

Himig Bulilit of St. Paul College of Paranaque
Losaida Gonzales, conductor

Miriam College High School Glee Club
Nancy Roman, conductor

St. Scholastica’s College High School Glee Club
Danny Monte, Conductor

Tiples de Santo Domingo
Eugene delos Santos, conductor

The Festival will also feature “We Are All God’s Children,” the official theme song for the Papal Visit in January 2015, with music by Noel Espenida, lyrics by Jamie Rivera, and arranged for treble choir by Jude B. Roldan.

The Festival has featured in the past years these outstanding children’s choirs from all over the Philippines:
Ateneo Boys Choir
Baao Children’s Choir from Baao Camarines Sur
Calasiao Children’s Choir from Pangasinan
Colegio de Sta Rosa – Makati Himig Roseña
Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children’s Choir
Immaculate Conception Academy High School Glee Club
Kilyawan Boys Choir and the Voces Aurorae
Las Pinas Boys Choir
Mandaluyong Children’s Choir
Samiweng Singers from Ilocos Norte
St. Paul Pasig High School Chorale
St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina High School Glee Club
Vox Angeli Children’s Choir

The organizing choir, Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir is one of the most awarded Filipino children’s choir internationally. It is the 1st ever Children’s Choir of the World at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, July 2013 in United Kingdom. They have extensively toured and competed in US and Europe, and recently, recorded the Official Theme Song, We Are All God’s Children for the 2015 Papal Visit with Ms. Jamie Rivera.

Tickets for the 6th Halina’t Umawit are available at the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 and Ticketworld at 891-9999. Tickets are sold at P1000, P800, P500 and P300. Special Discount: Students 50%, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability, Military and Government Officials and Member of the Philippine Choral Director Association 20%.

For more ticket inquiries please call/text: Patrick Yap 09178050079 or Dinna Sarmiento 0917-540-8787.

Touringkitty’s Top Ten Mr. C songs

On May 3, Filipino composer Ryan Cayabyab, or Mr. C to many, celebrated his birthday eve with a tribute concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The concert, led by conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, featured true OPM gems like Hajji Alejandro, Kuh Ledesma, Martin Nievera, Ogie Alcasid, Celeste Legaspi, Mitch Valdes, and the newer ones like Noel Cabangon, Bugoy and Morisette, Piolo Pascual.


I was a proud wife and aunt, happily watching with my mom and daughter. My husband was invited to sing with the Ateneo Chamber Singers, while my niece (daughter of my cousin), Leana Tabunar, sang a song from the musical Katy, where she acted as the young Katy last year. It was first time for her to sing with a full orchestra, that’s why the whole Macanaya clan is proud of her. Check out a video of her performance here:

As part of the orchestra’s Spotlight Series, they featured an all-Mr. C repertoire, which brought so much nostalgia to many OPM babies, like me. But not all Mr. C songs that I like are OPM, or Original Pilipino Music. I also liked his choral works, some we have sung with the Madz, and some with my children’s choir.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite Mr. C songs in random order. Full credit goes to the owners of these videos. Thanks for sharing and posting on Youtube, especially the older video clips:

1. A questa me guiaba/O noche que guiaste. The text of this piece is from the poems of St. John of the Cross. We sang this in the Florilege Vocal de Tours in France in 2006, the competition where we earned the spot for the European Grand Prix the following year. Listen to the sudden unisons and key changes, they are quite challenging to approach.

2. Aba Po, Santa Mariang Reyna. Another favorite of competing choral groups, I first heard this song when my husband (then suitor) sang this with the Ateneo College Glee Club back in 2000. I immediately fell in love with the dissonances of the female in the beginning. I remember the story of this song. Madz founder Prof. Andrea Veneracion, or Ma’am OA, asked Mr. C to write a new work for the Madz, and this was it.

UPDATE: This is a most recent version of the Ateneo Chamber Singers. Have always loved their rendition of this.

3. Kailan (Smokey Mountain). I was a young seven years old then, and we were in a trade fair at then PhilCite at the CCP Complex (don’t compute my age!). I was a super fan of Smokey Mountain (yes, Geneva Cruz, James Coronel, Tony Lambino, Jeffery Hidalgo, I was a fan!!!) and of their songs. My dad entered me in a mini-talent showcase in one of the trade fair’s events, with the late great Pepe Pimentel as host. I told him I will sing the song Kailan (When, in English), but he teases me as to when I will sing! I got to take home gift packs after I finally sang…after all the teasing!

4. Paraiso (Smokey Mountain). Another Smokey Mountain song I like is Paraiso. I loved it more when I sang it with the Madz. Here’s our New York performance in 2007:

5. Gloria (from Misa).  My husband was the soloist for this song during their 2000 Ateneo College Glee Club tour for one of their competitions. I was able to watch it during their farewell concert, and he definitely gave a great performance! (Now, if only there was a video of it!). But here’s an audio recording from their 2000 tour.

6. Hibang sa Awit.  Umiikot, sumisirko. (Twirling, tumbling.) This is definitely a “Tatak Korus” song. Korus is the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, who adds challenging choreography in their singing. Here is their performance during the group’s 50th Anniversary and reunion concert in 2012. Check out the inset, same choreo and energy through the years!

7. Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika. An award-winning song synonymous to a singer named Hajji Alejandro. This won the 1st Metro Manila Popular Music Festival (Metropop) in 1978, and as this song opened last Saturday’s concert, it still proves timeless, beautiful, and classic.

8. Can this be love (Smokey Mountain). This was sung again by Sarah Geronimo as theme song for the Sandara Park-Hero Angeles movie of the same title.

9. Kumukutikutitap. Famous director Joey Reyes wrote the lyrics of this Christmas favorite. Check out a video of my choir’s performance during the Christkindlmarket in 2012 (the beginning of the song was not taken, though, and this video included other repertoire). To whoever uploaded this on Youtube, many thanks! (PS: Spot my little princess!)

10. Prayer of St. Francis (from Mass for Peace). I first encountered this when I was a freshman at the UP College of Music. The librarian was selling only a few copies of Mass for Peace and I immediately got one. My choir still sings this during our masses. Here was our performance in our concert at the GSIS Museum last October.


What’s your favorite? Any other Mr. C. songs in mind? Would love to hear from you!


~ Touringkitty