JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Monday 25 February 2013
Last update 25 February 2013 7:26 am
Serenata, a Philippine children's choir in Jeddah, recently celebrated their eighth annual musical performance at the premises of the American International School of Jeddah (AISJ).
This year Serenata’s string chamber orchestra and choir group entertained the audience with high caliber music, keeping in line with their mission to provide help in uplifting the socio-economic standards of marginalized segments of the Filipino community.
Uriel Norman Garibay, Consul General of the Philippines, and a number of diplomats and dignitaries were present on the occasion, to support the noble cause of giving scholarships to Filipino children who wish to continue their high school and university education.
Serenata annually organizes musical performances to support charitable causes that promote the Filipino culture and values, with the aim of enhancing the global image of their country.
“We seek to transform our society through the integration of musical excellence, refined values and socio-cultural sensibility. Our mission is to provide education to underprivileged youth through Bantay Bata 163,” said Charo Y. Hipos, chairperson of Serenata.
“Serenata provided 21 students with the chance to pursue higher education and we are especially proud of three of our students who will graduate from college this year. Congratulations to Rotsen Jay Medina, Radzma Abdulhalim and Cristel Nicolas,” she added.
She further elaborated on the objectives of Serenata, describing their initiative as one that aims to deliver musical performances to sustain charitable causes as well as instilling humility and team work traits within the choir members to compliment their excellent vocal qualities and expressive singing style.
The Serenata children’s choir group performed numerous hits, such as “Be our guest, opening night,” “Pure imagination,” “Can you keep a secret,”” Lightning”, “Aquarius, let the sunshine,” “Spiderman theme,” "Give me a Kit,” ” Leron, leron Sinta,” “I’ll be there,” and “Btuno Mars: Hitmaker,” delighting the audience with their musical talent.
In part two of the evening, the Serenata chamber orchestra performed a musical medley of the Philippines folk songs entitled “Medley 3” as well as “Can can,” “Viva La Vida,” “Blazing Bows of the West” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
The audience was pleasantly surprised by the special appearance of Percy Ann C. Cua who performed “Think of Me,” while the Knight Movers equally thrilled the attendees with a delightful dance to the beats of the song “Circle of Life” from the sound track of the Lion King and “Ako Ay Pilipino (I am a Filipino) by Orlando Dela Cruz, a tribute to nation.
Sylvia De Sylvia Delos Santos was the music director for the evening.
Tina Monzon Palma, program director of Bantay Bata 163, expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted by Serenata, saying “We are blessed to have such a group of dedicated individuals offering a more promising future to Filipino children in need.”
Meanwhile, Mark English, superintendent of AISJ, speaking on behalf of the school community conveyed his pride in taking part in such an honorable cause.
“Serenata is celebrating eight years of success and I am confident that it will continue to inspire and uplift us all. We are honored to provide the venue for such a noteworthy cause that continues to provide educational opportunities for deserving students. I look forward to what promises to be yet another wonderful evening of entertainment from Serenata,” said English.
Serenata is a non-profit organization formed in 2005, through the pioneering efforts of Sylvia de los Santos, the musical director of the Serenata group, Desil Manapat and Louis Bautista. It consists of a working committee, a string chamber orchestra and a choral group composed of 45 Filipino children.