When the world renowned Loboc Children’s Choir started to sing at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, the entire audience was enthralled. It seemed as if every member of the crowd was eager to listen to the angelic voice of the choir, whose members all hail from Loboc, Bohol. The choir has toured all over Europe and earned Hall of Fame status in the NAMCYA (National Music Competitions for Young Artists) for its world-class performances.
Afterwards, the Pundaquit Virtuosi serenaded the audience with classical pieces. The group is composed of leading music scholars of CASA San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales. What sets the group apart is that its members are children whose ages range from 7 to 14 and are mostly either marginalized or children of farmers and fishermen from the art center’s surrounding communities. Armed with violins and violas and inspired by the genius of their mentor, world-renowned Coke Bolipata, the kids have reaped awards from national musical competitions, like the prestigious NAMCYA, and the admiration of international audiences.
Together, the two ensembles of young music artists staged “Light a Million Mornings” last January 6 and 7 in support of Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village. The charity event hoped to benefit around 650 children from Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation. To some members of the audience such as me, it was more than a charity: It was a musical occasion that lifted our spirits closer to heaven while at the same time reminded us that we were once children.
The performers touched showed heartfelt renditions of Filipino classics “Habang May Buhay”, “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan”, “Batang-Bata Ka Pa” and “Ikaw” sung to the delightful accompaniment of Pundaquit’s strings. Australian Pops Orchestra conductor Julian Quirit and his19-year-old daughter, solo violinist Eliza, joined the concert which culminated in an inspiring number with program host Cris Villonco.