Thursday, August 14, 2008

Double Blessing!

CelebrationI just want to thank God for being so gracious to my two good friends: Kuya Harold and Kuya Mark. Last Thursday Kuya Harold went to his review center to check the results of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam he took a week before. Meanwhile, Kuya Mark went to the agency to check the status of his application for a job in Dubai.

That same evening they both went home with great news. Kuya Harold passed the exams with flying colors while Kuya Mark got the go signal from the agency saying that he can leave in a couple of weeks after attending a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS).

For Kuya Harold passing IELTS will take him a step further towards taking the AMT (American Medical Technologists) Exams and fulfilling his plan to work in the US and be with his girlfriend. For Mark, his trip to Dubai will be a big help towards supplementing the family income. I know very well he needs this job because his son TJ is growing and pretty soon he'll be off to school and need a lot of things.

For Me, Diane and Shiela it would be sad to see them go because of all the times we've been together, sang together and even the times we fought with each other. Those seemingly dire and explosive confrontations have just made us stronger.

Now the time has come for them to seek new paths and find where God would lead them. They both promised to support us in one way or another by way of instruments and gadgets necessary for our performance or by helping to provide for new uniforms.

For our fans and clients the burgeoning question now is, who will replace them? Will the sudden change in membership affect the quality of our performance?

It is a good thing that we prepared well for what might happen. That is why we already figured out their replacements months before this. As to the implications the sudden change of membership may have regarding the quality of our performances we have made sure that the new replacements would either be at par or perhaps better skilled than their predecessors. I can strongly attest to this due to the fact that I already sang with these guys quite some time and I have been a frequent recipient of their genuine kindness and good camaraderie. I have no doubt we'll make a great team.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pretty Busy Day

Last Saturday we were at the Hagosojos-Monera nuptials. Unfortunately no one brought a camera :and I have to borrow these pictures from other sites to let you see how the church looks like.

Inside the Church

The glorious facade

We arrived two hours early. The Church compound is quite similar to St. Joseph's in Las Pinas (Bamboo Organ). It even has an historical marker which says that it was formerly called the church of San Juan del Monte. The Domnican priests of the Most Holy Rosary built this magnificent place of worship from 1602 to 1604. The original church was set on fire during the Chinese uprising of 1639. It was rebuilt in 1641 only to be burned by the British Forces in July of 1763. The present church that you see today was rebuilt in 1774 and it says that it became the refuge of the Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution.

To set the mood I'm listening to Palestrina's Missa L'homme arme as I'm writing this. It's a typical piece that I would love to sing inside this august Church. Ate Glo had a difficult time picking songs for the ceremony because the church strictly forbade secular music (love songs for that matter) from the entrance of the entourage up to the recessional. It's a good thing that all of us in the group started out as choir members in our parish or else we would be in the same predicament as our good client. I think this was the only church among the many churches we sang as a group that has this policy. I really have no problem with it at all because I believe that the church is a sacred place and it is an edifice that is consecrated to God. I still remember when I was in my early days with the Children and Youth Choir I was reprimanded for singing a Rivermaya song with my guitar inside the church. There was no Mass during that time but the point is that song didn't belong there.

A Catholic wedding in particular is not a social event or private function. Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament and the wedding ceremony is part of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church. I'm not sure if the CBCP or the Archdiocese of Manila has its own guidelines for music used at weddings but I have a bad feeling that a lot of abuses have already taken place (us included). I shall dedicate my next post towards discussing proper music for weddings.

Now where was I? Oh, by the way before the start of the ceremony the Parish secretary thoughtfully asked us how many microphones do we need? Shiela answered four. However when we went to the designated place for the choir we found only one microphone. I guess they were expecting us to sing acapella? Hehehe. We were left with no other choice but to cram our faces - guitar included - in front of the mic. Despite the awkward setup we still managed to deliver everything beautifully.

Satellite View of Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse

The reception took place at the Valle Verde Clubhouse in Pasig. and everybody had a ball. The music we provided was great, the food (Josiah's catering) was awesome and Glo according to Mark gave us a thumbs up. It was a total success through and through. It was one of the rare occasions where most of the guests stayed long even after the program. Congrats and best wishes to the new couple!