Tag: shrine of jesus

12 months in 12 photos

Happy New Year 28 days late!

You probably noticed my slight hiatus on the blog. But I’ve been rather active on Instagram (follow me @touringkitty!) so you might have known the reason/s. One word: BUSY! But very happy.

2015 was definitely a great year. If there is a word to describe it, it would be “miracle,” just like how His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales describes life. Yes, life is a miracle, and so is each passing day that we’re able to wake up to.

I challenged myself to post the best photo of the month. But I chose those which are very memorable. They may not be frame-worthy (some may even be blurred!), but as they say, a picture means a thousand words. In this case, I will post 12, so that’s 12,000! But trust me, the descriptions I will write will be very brief and meaningful.

Here goes!

JANUARY: Pilgrimage

Pope Francis' Pope Mobile passing by the EDSA Extension (near Roxas Blvd.). We're THAT close!
Pope Francis’ Pope Mobile passing by the EDSA Extension (near Roxas Blvd.). We’re THAT close!

January last year was very important to the Roman Catholics, and probably to some believers as well. Pope Francis visited the country for a spiritual and political reason. Our family of three treated his visit as a pilgrimage, wherein we can be seen waiting in the crowded lines for the arrival of his Pope Mobile wherever he may go.

FEBRUARY: Long and meaningful life

Nanay Pining Canlas is our Rector, Monsignor Bobby Canlas' mother. She celebrated her 96th birthday last year, with about 40 priests concelebrating the Mass, along with Archbishops and Bishops.
Nanay Pining, with her youngest, Mons Bobby, plus the clergy who concelebrated the Mass.

Nanay Pining Canlas is our Rector, Monsignor Bobby Canlas’ mother. She celebrated her 96th birthday last year, with about 40 priests concelebrating the Mass, along with Archbishops and Bishops (yes, Cardinals Tagle and Rosales were in attendance). Great to witness God’s blessing of life to Nanay.

MARCH: Finding my voice

Meeting her was one of the best things that happened last year!
Meeting Nelly Miricioiu (and taking a three-day masterclass under her) was one of the best things that happened last year!

 

 

 

Attending Nelly Miricioiu’s masterclass last year was definitely one for the books. Her expertise, talent, humility, and positivity was a great source of inspiration for us, masterclass students, and even the observers and our audience during the two night concert. I definitely found my voice, and slowly getting back on track.

APRIL: Saving Lives

To my right is my uncle (brother of my father), and to my left is Dr. Buddy Ostrea, the man behind Ostreavent, along with his colleagues.
To my right is my uncle (brother of my father), and to my left is Dr. Buddy Ostrea, the man behind Ostreavent, along with his colleagues.

God has put me in every aspect of a production last year–from artist to audience to production staff. Here’s one, where I was part of my uncle’s production team, to give life to a fundraising concert by pianist and CCP President Raul Sunico for OstreaVent, a lower-cost ventilator which was invented by Filipino doctor Dr. Buddy Ostrea (who happened to be one of our hosts in the Madz during a US tour).  I know I could not avail a ventilator, but being part of this project made me realise how noble Dr. Buddy’s invention was, knowing that there are premature infants who will benefit in this equipment.

MAY: Gift of Life

Honoring my own mother in this special month for mothers.
Honoring my own mother in this special month for mothers.

Bloggers were given this opportunity to bring in our own mothers in this event by a fabric conditioner brand. Timeless beauty my mother really is! Three generations in that photo!

JUNE: Wanderlust

When in Italy, do jumpshots!
When in Italy, do jumpshots!

I haven’t been able to blog about the entire trip! But I still hope to, before the trip turns one year in June! Anyways, this was one unforgettable trip. Two weeks, five countries, ten singers, one great work premiered and showcased to the world. Wow. Just wow.

JULY: Homeschool mom at work

One of her first photos as a bonafide homeschooler. Some days, it's still like this. Other days, well... But still fun!
One of her first photos as a bonafide homeschooler. Some days, it’s still like this. Other days, well… But still making the most of each session!

After the European trip, I got sick, but we had to begin homeschool because we have a preschooler enrolled! So we did, albeit slowly and surely. We’re now at the homestretch of the first homeschooling year, yay!

AUGUST: Turning five

This charmer turned five!
This charmer turned five!

I blinked my eye and saw five blissful years as a mother. No words can express the joy my heart feels. Probably, those five emotions in her favourite movie, Inside Out, could. Still, joy over everything.

SEPTEMBER: Another year

I turned 32!
I turned 32!

Happy. Blessed. Overwhelmed. Fortunate. Contented.

OCTOBER: Stage Nanay

My loves rehearsing. Something they do best--music.
My loves rehearsing. Something they do best together–music.

Instantly I became a Stage Mother. And why not, I had to accompany my daughter in five separate Halloween and All Saints’ Parties all over town! She even performed for her homeschool’s party (video in this link).

NOVEMBER: Seventh heaven

Celebrating seven years, on to forever!
Celebrating seven years, on to forever!

Time flies when you’re having fun, indeed. Very lucky girl to have him as my partner for life.

DECEMBER: Christmas Musical blessing

Music is God's gift to our family. We're happy and ready to share it to the world.
Singing Belen. It went something like that during Christmas Eve.

Each of us had separate singing engagements. Ton with his choir, the Ateneo Chamber Singer, who had mall shows and Masses. I at some private functions– for retired and elderly priests and for a Sacerdotal Anniversary. Aria sang at church and with my choir for a caroling event. Together we sang at church on Christmas Eve. Music is God’s gift to our family. We’re happy and ready to share it to the world.

 

The beginning of the year gave so many surprises. I definitely was fulfilled as a wife, mother, musician, teacher, traveler, advocate, and servant of God. I actually didn’t expect 2015 to be as busy, as fun, and as packed as I imagined. And this year, I just pray that more meaningful things will happen to me and to my family.

Here’s wishing you all the best and praying for all of you this 2016.

 

~ Touringkitty

Christmas for our Lolo Pari

Our beloved priests. They can be happy, kind, calm, strict, or masungit, especially when it comes to decorum inside the church. But, as they say, it’s all in a day’s work.

But what if old age hits them?

For the past 13 years, Msgr. Bobby C. Canlas, Rector of the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, hosted an annual gathering for our dear Lolo Pari–the retired and elderly priests. One of his advocacies is supporting retired and elderly priests. Mons Bobby holds this the Monday before Simbang Gabi, just before the busyness of the celebrations kicks in.

I was once again invited by our Rector for this year’s event, and was asked to render a couple of songs for our dear Lolo Pari. I remember my husband and I have sung for a couple of events in the previous years as well. This year was special, and I will tell you why as we go along in this post.

The Christmas Party for the Lolo Pari starts with the Celebration of the Holy Mass, which they concelebrate with His Eminence, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, D.D., the Archbishop of Manila as the Main Celebrant.

I was seated in a table for FREPS, or Friends of the Retired and Elderly Priests, a group of individuals who support this annual project through their time, talent, and treasure.
I was seated in a table for FREPS, or Friends of the Retired and Elderly Priests, a group of individuals who support this annual project through their time, talent, and treasure.
And here are the priests after Mass, with the FREPS seated in front.
And here are the priests after Mass, with the FREPS seated in front.

Then, it’s time to partake of the feast. In between dinner, there were gifts and raffle prizes given to the priests (appliances, among others), which put smiles on the faces of our special guests and honorees.

At some point after one raffle draw, I was called to sing. Our kind Rector introduced me as a Shrine volunteer and an alumna of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. I chose to sing Filipino classics–Gaano ko ikaw kamahal and Mutya ng Pasig, which definitely were appreciated by the priests. And how I was humbled by their response!

The good Archbishop-Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was asked by Mons Bobby to give a few words, after which, he led the honoring of the Blessed Mother, whose Immaculate Conception was celebrated last December 8, a day after this event. In his speech, he mentioned that he was talking to his seatmate, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, that it was fine if he didn’t win the raffle; hearing my singing makes him a winner already, and that hearing my voice is a miracle. Such nice words from the kind Cardinal. (He actually won a personal ref after saying that. God is great!) He said also in his speech that life is a miracle. Indeed, it is.

Former Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches, Bishop Ted Bacani, invited me to reprise the two songs the following week, during the reception for his 50th Sacerdotal Anniversary as a priest. I reported this to our Rector after the party, and he said it was great to hear. He concelebrated Mass along with the Bishop’s priest-friends, which I was also able to attend. Our Rector supported me in that performance as well, in a gym filled with priests and guests. So much love for the ever jolly bishop.

As souvenir for his Golden Sacerdotal Anniversary, Bishop Bacani gave out these books as souvenir to his guests.
As souvenir for his Golden Sacerdotal Anniversary, Bishop Bacani gave out this book, Mercy Alone, which he authored, to his guests.

As we were handing out the gifts to our Lolo Pari, some priests would talk with me and thank me for my singing. Also, they were very appreciative of the gifts that they received and the gathering that was, saying that this doesn’t happen everyday, that’s why they treasure it so much.

It was humbling that our Rector sent me a text message the following day, thanking me and saying that I won the hearts of our Lolo Pari. I replied that I was blessed to be part of that celebration, and to share God’s gift to them.

Our Rector was right. It isn’t easy to be a priest. Aside from the commitment to God, he is also committed to God’s people–saying Mass everyday, hearing confession, performing other Holy Sacraments and church duties. It takes so much to be a priest and these few chosen ones heeded the call, and remained steadfast in their commitment, until they reach retirement, until the end of their days. Pari Magpakailanman! (Priest forever!)

And we're in the news! TV5's Pambansang Good Boy Mon Gualvez covers the said event.
And we’re in the news! TV5’s Pambansang Good Boy Mon Gualvez covered the said event. Here he is doing a short interview with our Shrine Rector.

And here’s a news clip of that event at the Shrine of Jesus, done by our co-Shrine volunteer and TV5 reporter, Mon Gualvez. (Click this link)

So, make sure you greet your priests every chance you bump into them. Thank them, especially this Christmas Season. Their lives are perfect examples of self-sacrifice and service. They are considered Alter Christus, or another Christ, as Mons Bobby mentioned. May we see Christ in their lives.

 

~ Touringkitty

The SOJCC turns nine!

What better way to celebrate than with food! After a filling lunch and an obligatory photo with our ever supportive Rector, Mons Bobby Canlas, and Youth Ministry Coordinators Gela and Justin.
What better way to celebrate than with food! After a filling lunch and an obligatory photo with our ever supportive Rector, Mons Bobby Canlas, and Youth Ministry Coordinators Gela and Justin.

Nine years. Wow. I am super happy to have served at the Shrine of Jesus all these nine years, along with these super kids! We still have three pioneer members who started in 2006. Many have come and gone, but the group remained steadfast in our duty as church servants.

We thank everyone who have trusted us all these years: wedding clients, organisations, companies, institutions, and to the choral festivals we have participated in (Madz et al, San Sebastian Basilica Musica Sacra Festival)–to whom we have shared our music with. We look forward to working with more people in the future.

We thank our parents for being ever so generous of their time, support, love, and care. For bringing the kids to each and every rehearsal and performance. For selling tickets to our shows. For preparing our costumes.

We thank our Shrine Family–our beloved Rector, Rector’s Council, Organization Officers and Volunteers (especially of the Youth and Music Ministries), for assisting, supporting, and guiding us as we serve the Shrine community. To the pianists who have taken my place when I am absent for Masses, your assistance is much appreciated.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my own family–my mom and sister–for being present in almost all performances of these kids.

I would like to give special thanks to the co-founder of this group, my husband, for seeing this vision with me. We only wanted to continue our church service after years of hiatus, and having our own choir to nurture and teach and starting again with a new community is a good comeback for both of us.

Lastly, the singers, past and present. I know God had a purpose for bringing the group together. I had my own doubts because you come from different schools, communities, and cities. But you managed to be friends, be good to each other, and sing well together. I have been blessed!

The song in our AVP shown earlier was perfect fit for your friendship you’ve built:

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do.

Here’s to nine years, and beyond! Looking forward to our tenth year next year, and the projects we are about to launch.

And while we’re at it, it is our pleasure to invite you to join us!

AUDITION FOR THE SOJCC!

If you have kids 8-14 years old, we welcome them in our tribe. Message us on our Facebook Account and let’s schedule your audition. Please prepare two minutes worth of two songs sung a cappella–one must be a Mass song.

Let’s sing and serve for our Divine Master and His people!

~ Touringkitty

Touringkittyps: Five ways for a meaningful #MerrySMChristmas

Christmas is just around the corner, literally. Eight more days and we once again feast, celebrate, gather family and friends, and feel God’s abundant blessings.

Are you fond of making Christmas lists? If you haven’t yet, maybe you could include these five things that I hope would make Christmas more meaningful to you.

A meaningful Christmas is:

1. Thanking God for His gift to mankind. Have a few minutes of reflection at the start or end of the day, and recall how God’s love is manifested through the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

2. Giving back. As you complete your Christmas list, don’t forget to set aside for your favourite charity.

Our church, the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life near SM Mall of Asia, has an annual Christmas fundraising project for the Shrine’s maintenance and repairs. Last year, my children’s choir donated and we’re planning to do the same this year, hopefully with a higher amount. Your P1,000 donation will go a long way. Contact our Shrine Office from Tuesday to Sunday for details.

3. Serving others with gladness. Be it volunteering for an institution, visiting the poor and sick, or sharing your talents and skills for the church. Sharing is serving.

4. Doing good. In the simplest forms, like not littering, recycling, supporting local products, showing courtesy, following traffic rules. There are a thousand and one ways to do good anytime, anywhere.

And teach others to do good. MY daughter did her own share of doing good by donating to the SM Cares’ Bears of Joy. P200 for two bears, in which one is given to charity. She chose to give both.

Do good and teach others to do good.
Do good and teach others to do good.

5. Connecting with family and friends. Especially those whom you have not connected with for a long time, even enemies! Give love on Christmas Day may just be a song, but it holds the real essence of Christmas, which is God’s love for us.

And from the mall chain that has got it all for us, here’s how they make a very #MerrySMChristmas! Visit http://bit.ly/MerrySMChristmas for more details, and watch “How #MerrySMChristmas Begins.”

Have a good one!

~ Touringkitty

Caritas et amor in the noblest way

I have been wanting to write about this for weeks now, but I was not able to create the best title for this, until I found this:

Caritas et amor (Gregorian chorale) by Z. Randall Stroope (*1955)
Sung by the Philippine Madrigal Singers
Church of St. Matthias, Munich-Fürstenried, Germany, 2010.
Video credits: isispartners

And that’s what I experienced during my visit to two institutions last month: Elsie Gaches Village and Kinder Zoo (now known as Adventure Jungle).

Caritas

Christian love of humankind. Charity.

The Shrine of Jesus volunteers visited Elsie Gaches Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa as our outreach activity. As we arrived, we were briefed by one of the social workers there, as to what to expect. They only have a few social workers taking care of some 500 people, young and old, with physical disabilities and special conditions, specifically the mentally challenged. If I recall it right, the proportion is two social workers to one cottage with about 50 persons. That’s too much! A salute is not enough for their noble work.

We were ready. The patients trickled in, and so did the rain. We would have wanted to take a peek of the 16-hectare area donated to the government that used to be a summer villa of philanthropists Samuel Gaches and Elsie McCloskey. One of the volunteers cracked the ice by teaching the patients an action song, which I accompanied with the guitar my husband brought. We were asked to render some songs for them later in the morning.

Randomly, some volunteers would pull me out of a group to play guitar for the others. And they were all delighted to listen to the guitar! Some patients have amazing voices, like the girl who sang Journey popularized by Lea Salonga. Some requested songs and I tried my best to play them well. Mind you, I had to play everything without sheet music, and I did it! What power and love music can give.

One specific reminder that was mentioned to us is that these people appreciate being touched as a sign of love, because of the lack of it. High fives, handshakes, and hugs filled that rainy morning, and were generously given by the Shrine volunteers, and reciprocated by the patients.

We capped the visit with snacks and a simple gift-giving. Theirs are such appreciative and kind souls. We, for sure, are the strangers in their special and blessed world. And as we part, we can’t just help but wonder when they will feel that love again, and from whom. The social worker told us that since the holidays are coming in, a number of organizations wanted to pay the village a visit to do an outreach as well.

I can’t explain how I felt but I was just grateful to the Divine Master for this opportunity not only to do our apostolate to those in need, but also for the chance to do this with some of the nicest people I know — the Shrine volunteers and our Rector, Mons Bobby. They are all inspirations to us as we continue to do our ministry in the Shrine. Challenging days in the Shrine are always outshined by days like this.

It was also a great opportunity to meet the social workers and listen to their stories. They are the patients’ heroes. They are our heroes! No one can match the caritas they selflessly give.

Amor

Love. The greatest gift.

Love for animals. They say that animals are a man’s best friend. For zookeepers, this love is so pure.

I took my daughter to Adventure Jungle, found in nearby Manila Zoo, through the invitation of their PR officer, Grace Nicolas, a fellow mom blogger. We’ve been to Manila Zoo before, but this is another facility inside the zoo. And we saw new animals and Aria even got to ride the horse! Truly a highlight for my little champ.

There also, we met and talked with two people, Neng, who has been a zookeeper for more than a decade already. She explained to us that a zookeeper should be mindful of the animal’s feeding schedule, diet, and the like. She had studied these animals on her own, and she’s not even a veterinarian! It was just pure love dedicated to these animal friends.

We also met Mr. John Chua, brand ambassador for Canon Philippines, and a volunteer elephant keeper at the Manila Zoo. He frequents Manila Zoo and he loves Mali the elephant so much, that Mali follows his commands! The kids during the tour were able to feed Mali with some bananas, and Mr. Chua asked Mali to hug one of the media people who covered the event. And he is not paid for this.

If these animals could only talk, I am sure that they will profusely thank Ms. Neng and Mr. John, and their loving zookeepers.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. God is defintely there, in these two places.

~ Touringkitty

15 and 1

Yesterday, after a full day of work (faculty meeting in the morning then choir rehearsal in the afternoon), I headed off to two important celebrations: the Shrine of Jesus’ 15th Anniversary of its consecration and dedication, and OA’s first death anniversary.

These two events coincided on the same time, so I had to fix my schedule. I sang for the Mass at the Shrine, missed the boodle fight dinner, and went to the dinner gathering albeit super late, where I missed the earlier memorial ceremony and Mass for Ma’am OA.

15: Falling in love…with a church

It is no secret how much I love serving at the Shrine of Jesus. For the past eight years of serving as children’s choir conductor, and eventually, as music ministry coordinator, I was molded into the person I am now. Thanks to my mentor, Monsignor Bobby Canlas, the Shrine Rector, from being a mere choirgirl, I am in the helm of the children’s choir now, and have handled important projects of the Shrine.

The past 15 years have been a true testament of God’s love to this church. With no parishioners living around the area, the Shrine community started with tens, then hundreds, then now, thousands. From that barren land stood only that church where no public transport dared to travel. Lay people from nearby provinces were called to serve. The Shrine eventually became a popular wedding, baptism, and reception venue, and a favourite among churchgoers when important church feast days like Holy Week and Christmas seasons come nearer.

Mons Bobby explained during the Mass how the Shrine of Jesus came to be. In 1995, during the 10th World Youth Day held in Manila, Philippines, then Pope John Paul II proclaimed to build a church in honor of that well attended and successful event. After four years, the church was inaugurated and named Shrine of Jesus, the Way the Truth, and the Life. Quite a mouthful for a church name, I first thought, but it originated in John Paul’s message during that Mass, that Jesus is our way, truth, and life.

What keeps us loyal to the Shrine? It’s the community it built. It’s the welcoming atmosphere among its volunteers. It’s the solemn and meaningful celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. It’s the “pakulo” we tirelessly prepare during special occasions.

Most of all, it’s a church that gives back. In 2008, my wedding year, some music ministry members were starting to plan projects for the benefit of the church. A simple concert will do, we said. Our Rector dreamed bigger for us. And out of that dream, we were able to have the Philippine Madrigal Singers perform at the CCP, and we were able to raise 1 million pesos for the PGH pediatric cancer patients. It was more than what we dreamed of. Of course, we were able to raise more than our target amount, so the rest went to several other institutions, and whatever was left went to the Shrine. We were just humbled and proud of that project.

Apart from it, and Mons Bobby does this all the time, he fervently asks the community to dig deeper into their pockets to give more during calamities. Give until it hurts, that’s what he reminds us always. Whatever is collected, he sends straight to the affected diocese.

The Shrine has been blessed because of its priests, its talented and generous lay people and churchgoers. The church is always misconstrued as strict, or sometimes, snob, especially when kids roam around during Mass. I’d say, disciplined is the proper word for it. And I would not have it any other way.

1: In memoriam

A year ago, Ma’am OA, as we would call the founder of the world-renowned choral group, the Madz, passed on.

The Madz is the Philippine Madrigal Singers. Ma’am OA is Prof. Andrea O. Veneracion, its founder. I wrote about her necrological rites last year here, and another blogpost months prior her passing on as my tribute to her here.

I, along with two more Madz alumni, came almost at the end of the program, but we’re glad to have made it. As OA would say, Just do it. So we braved EDSA traffic (which was unusual at already eight in the evening!), were served dinner, and listened to more singing and more testimonials to our dear Ma’am OA.

And the highlight of the night: this song.

Justice Magdangal de Leon and THE Sal Malaki who originally did the guitar and flute, er, should I say, whistle of the very first Madz song I learned in my church choir in high school. Happiness.

Happy 15th Anniversary to the Shrine of Jesus, and happy first year in heaven’s choral community, Ma’am OA.

This was the fundraising concert the Shrine co-organized. It was held two weeks before my wedding, that's why I was not able to sing anymore for this. I "resigned" from being Madz member in the middle of 2008, with much sadness but much fulfillment and memories in my heart.
45 and 10: Madz’ 45th Anniversary and 10th Shrine Fiesta. This concert was held two weeks before my wedding. I “resigned” from being Madz member in the middle of 2008, with much sadness but much fulfillment and memories in my heart.

~ Touringkitty

Madz @ 50: The Baby is now 30!

Madz et al: a big choral family indeed.
Madz et al: a big choral family indeed.

The “golden harvest” is now 30 years old!

The Madz et al, the first and largest network of Filipino choral groups, celebrated 30 years of singing together through a weeklong festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last April 1-6.

Composed of over 50 choirs, the Madz et al network gathers in an annual choral festival which gained a regular following with its varied themes per year. As part of the Philippine Madrigal Singers family, the choirs are also invited to guest in different projects and concerts of their mother choir.

The choirs, by themselves, are equally exceptional. Trained, mentored, and handled by members and alumni of the Madz, the Madz et al choirs have toured and won competitions both here and abroad.

Madz founder, Prof. Andrea O. Veneracion, considers this her “golden harvest.” With her ultimate goal of having a Singing Philippines, the Madz et al is a testimony that our country is indeed blessed with such riches in choral music.

Being a Madz alumna, I am blessed to handle my own choral group, the Shrine of Jesus Children’s Choir. As I trace back my choral conducting journey, I consider myself an accidental conductor.

Almost eight years back, I just want to serve again in the church, after being inactive because of school and Madz duties. Ton (my husband, who was then my boyfriend), had started serving for the church in the Reclamation area, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus. When I found out that there is no children’s choir at the church, I opened up the idea of forming one, so we both set an appointment with the Rector, Monsignor Bobby Canlas, and he welcomed the idea very much.

Mons Bobby assisted us in setting up the group, through announcements during the Mass, and he even assigned one of his staff to assist us during auditions. After which, we had literally a handful of members–ten of them, whom we started training to serve for the monthly children’s mass every Third Sunday of the month. Unfortunately, I was about to leave for the Madz tour then, so Ton took over the kids. And on June 2006, during Father’s Day, those ten kids had sung their first mass as a group.

Since then, the kids grew in numbers, and literally grew bigger than us! Currently, we maintain a regular membership of 30, composed of students aged 10-18, from nearby cities and municipalities. The members are still singing treble voices, but we are slowly on the works of transitioning to a youth choir with mixed voices, God-willing.

For this Madz et al performance, we were asked to commission a new piece for our choir. Then we chose two other pieces. Click on the titles for our video links below:

1. Ave Maria (Alejandro Consolacion II). This was AJ’s old work, from 1996, which he wrote for our school choir.

2. Alamat (Augusto Espino). We premiered this commissioned piece with poetry written by Ramon Devora and the magnificent music of Augusto Espino.

3. Ano Kaya ang Kapalaran (Francisco Santiago). With a couple of weeks left before the performance, I hurriedly wrote arrangement and did a little choreography for this Filipino favorite. I had a very willing volunteer who sang the solo.

Here are some snapshots during the concert night:

I have very supportive parents, and this is important to a children's choir. Thy willingly assist the kids in putting makeup and fixing costumes.
I have very supportive parents, and this is important to a children’s choir. Thy willingly assist the kids in putting makeup and fixing costumes.
Ready for the show!
Ready for the show!
On to their last number, we did it!
On to their last number, we did it!
Certificates were awarded to the conductors, all Madz alumni: Elsie Eranista of Letran Singing Ambassador, Me (with my daughter tagging along!), Robert Delgado of UMAK Chorale and NGCP Chorale, and Mavic Llamas of Coro San Sebastian. Mark Carpio of the Madz who served as the Festival Director also conducted Pansol Choir that night.
Certificates were awarded to the conductors, all Madz alumni: Elsie Eranista of Letran Singing Ambassador, Me (with my daughter tagging along!), Robert Delgado of UMAK Chorale and NGCP Chorale, and Mavic Llamas of Coro San Sebastian. Mark Carpio of the Madz who served as the Festival Director also conducted Pansol Choir that night.
The kids were so glad we finished another et al season! Here is one of the members, Hans Bariring, proudly showing off the certificate I received for them.
The kids were so glad we finished another et al season! Here is one of the members, Hans Bariring, proudly showing off the certificate I received for them.
One of our staunch supporters, Mons Bobby, who happily posed with us after the concert. Thank you, Mons, for supporting these kids as much as we do!
One of our staunch supporters, Mons Bobby, who happily posed with us after the concert. Thank you, Mons, for supporting these kids as much as we do!
My family, Mons Bobby, and two of our members, siblings Anna and Hans. They are Irish twins, meaning born less than 12 months apart.
My family, Mons Bobby, and two of our members, siblings Anna and Hans. They are Irish twins, meaning born less than 12 months apart.

We’re glad to be part of the 30th anniversary. We have consistently taken part in the et al festivals and other Madz et al projects since 2008. We are blessed with the many opportunities the Madz et al had brought about to our kids, like performances at the CCP Main Theater, and even TV guestings.

To our dear composers, AJ and Sir Agot, thank you for sharing with us God’s gift of music. To our ever dearest pianist, my good friend, Michelle Nicolasora, thank you for always being humble and available for me and my choir. To Ton, needless to say, thank you for being with me through all of this, and for assisting again in guitar.

I’d like to thank the Madz for this opportunity. Indeed the mission of Ma’am OA, through the Madz et al, is alive through all the choirs and future choirs that will be born out of love for singing.

I thank likewise Mons Bobby, for training me to be a leader, especially in the church ministry. Thank you for the constant guidance, support, and inspiration, especially when challenges arise.

To the parents of our members, a million thanks once again. We are happy that you have chosen the Shrine for your children’s church service. Thank you for believing and supporting our endeavors.

The SOJCC is rooted in church service, but as artists, we have the responsibility to also teach them to sing well so they could serve better. I am glad to be doing both things that I truly enjoy–serving the church through music making.

To the Madz et al choirs and conductors, congratulations! Here’s to 30 more years and maybe twice more the number of choirs that will be born and be minstrels of music around the world. Until the next performance.

Congratulations as well to the organizers, the Madz members themselves, for being at the forefront of this project. To Ate Pearl Reyes, coordinating all those choirs and conductors is one tough job, and you have done it well every year! To the members who served as stage managers, backstage persons, reception persons, and whathaveyou, kudos to all! To Sir Mark, for giving us challenging themes every year. This year, we really were made to THINK!

 

~ Touringkitty