Sunday, June 10, 2012

A life without love songs



This afternoon was the last show of Ang Bagong Harana, the excellent cultural show of Philippine love songs through the ages that was produced by the Philippine Opera Company on a limited run. If you were thinking of going but then you ended up not going for one reason or another, allow me to confirm that you missed a completely enjoyable afternoon and an amazing cultural experience. This was certainly not just any kind of Philippine musical afternoon.

GOOSEBUMPS ALL AROUND



The Philippine Opera Company is talented and dedicated, and their production this week of Ang Bagong Harana was truly an uplifting, enriching and inspiring experience. At the end of the show, there were few dry eyes in the house because of the beauty of the performances. We were all choked up and emotional by what we'd seen, heard and experienced.

We Filipinos in the audience all felt so proud of our culture; for many, it was the first time to witness our musical and romantic culture via such a well-done historical perspective. The production was made even better because the Philippine Opera Company -- headed by the indefatigable Karla Gutierrez -- teamed up with five-time Palanca awardee Floy Quintos and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group for this set of performances. It was truly a sensory extravaganza in every sense.

A MINI UNITED NATIONS TODAY



Travelife Magazine blocked the first half of the center of the auditorium for a Travelife afternoon of music. And for our guests, I invited all my ambassador friends and foreign friends because I felt this was such a wonderful opportunity for them to see the best of Philippine culture. There are so few such experiences in Manila, and this was one of them. I told them all: "No speeches, no protocol. Just a casual and relaxing afternoon for pure enjoyment."

About 20 ambassadors and their spouses joined us, together with heads of foreign chambers of commerce, country managers of multinationals and other dignitaries.



Everyone enjoyed immensely even if the foreigners could not understand the language or the meaning of the songs. Almost like a mini United Nations, they attended the show today and left so touched by the music and impressed with what they saw. Everyone said things to me like: "Why don't we see more of this in the Philippines?" Many people also suggested bringing this wonderful production abroad both for more of the world to see, and also for the enjoyment of Filipinos abroad who are not able to return home.

AN EXPERIENCE TO BE SHARED

Instantly, I regretted not inviting more people, including more friends, as this was an experience to be shared with people you care about.



As for me, I just loved the music. And especially towards the end, when the Philippine Opera Company began singing contemporary songs, it was such a joy to hear many Philippine love songs I knew. What happiness it is to have music (or love songs) in one's life -- it makes all the difference and truly makes one feel alive.

Congratulations to the Philippine Opera Company. We hope you have a re-run soon. Too many people missed a beautiful experience today. And I will never be able to imagine a life without love songs again.

Just another day in a never-ending, and never-endingly romantic Travelife.

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Contemporary Philippine love songs


ANG BAGONG HARANA:
A glimpse of our ethnic past

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
A look at the time of the Katipunan


ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Songs from the American occupation

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Songs from the American occupation

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Contemporary Philippine love songs

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Contemporary Philippine love songs

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
Contemporary Philippine love songs

ANG BAGONG HARANA:
The encore song was sung right from the audience
and many sang along.


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