Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BUBBLE (April 06, 2009)

Internationally acclaimed musician Ryan Cayabyab was introduced by Philippine High School for Arts Director Fernando “Nanding” Josef as the Executive and Artistic Director of the San Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts.

But everyone in the guest house, even the Net 25's Tribe crew, was “shaddened” or saddened/shocked to learn from him that his beloved orchestra and chorale were or are both dead.

One of them was called by one of the higher-ups only to be told that their contracts would not be renewed.

Just like that.

No separation pay whatsoever.

So the world-class San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale that were created in 2001 disappeared like the proverbial bubble.

Be it a speculative bubble, a market bubble, a price bubble, a financial bubble, or a beer bubble!
Some suspect SMC would diversify into energy business.

Others see it prioritizing basketball.
So when they would advertise San Miguel play – it would mean “laro” not “tugtog.”
Play sport not music?
Unless, our largest publicly listed food, beverage, and packaging company prefers rock and roll!
As a Philippine Basketball Association fan, we were glad to hear that San Miguel, Ginebra, Coca-cola and Purefoods teams would last forever.
As an artist, on the other hand, we sympathize with Mr. C, especially, when he talked about the extra effort exerted in putting up such powerhouse cast in Philippine music.
Its first solo album – Great Filipino Love Songs – got a gold record when it was released in 2004 like their followup -- Great Original Pilipino Music – the latter received three nominations in the 18th Awit Awards plus the Best Musical Arrangement for Cayabyab's Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka.
Another gold was their Pasko 1.
But it was their Pasko 2 that garnered the Best Christmas Song for its Isang Taong Lumipas during the 19th Awit Awards.
Then they had Spoliarium: The Opera based on Juan Luna's life, with Cayabyab's music and Fides Cuyugan-Asensio's libretto.
The Filipino Classics was next featuring Basil Valdez doing the hits of the 20s to the 60s that became another big hit for an entire month after its release.
Who would expect that could bring home a Catholic Mass Media Awards?
Well, they did it with The Sacred Works of Ryan Cayabyab that bagged the Best Religious Album in 2004 – after its Misa 2000 earlier won the Onassis International Cultural Competition in Greece as the Original Music Composition for Dance in 2000.
Collaborating with the likes of KC Concepcion, Pinky Marquez, Luke Mijares, and Jett Pangan, they had the Philippine run of the Beauty and the Beast.
Once more, back to their old habit with their Great Original Pilipino Music from the Movies – before they did a live recording on August 2006 of their Dancing in the Rain.
Until that one fateful day in January 2007 came.
Perhaps, the Big Bosses disliked the shape of thingumajigs to come when they lined up such folk songs as Atin Cu Pung Singsing.
Or they despised attacking novelty songs like Ocho-ocho, Pito-pito, or Boom Tarat-tarat the symphonic way.
Well, all we could do was speculate while waiting for the 31th Commencement Exercises to take place at the National Arts Center's Tanghalang Maria Makiling last March 30.
Dr. Peralta Rosario Bitanga-Peralta simply and silently waited for Dean Raul Sunico, Denisa Reyes, and other PHSA Advisory Council members like us to arrive. Malate Church's Fr. Mickey Martin could do nothing but say Ironggo (or Irish/Ilonggo) prayers for the Filipinos. Magna Kultura Foundation's Executive Director Ricardo “Dickie” Aguado promised to do great things with us all. Mrs. Tessie Jose just smiled.
Mr. C was supposed to give an Inspirational Message and he did it his way, with a little help from his RCS, Ryan Cayabyab Singers, while he touched a bit about his life and love for music.
The commencement speaker actually was none other than our National Artist for Literature – Francisco Sionil Jose – who could not help but cite the San Miguel Orchestra and Chorale's plight as an example of how our society treat our artists.
No artist's heart, not even Nick Joaquin's, was broken though.
That day nobody could stop the PHSA Batch 2009, a.k.a. Class Lopez Jaena/Guerrero, from dreaming on!
That night Tata Nanding probably inspired them so much.
His speech in Filipino touched even their V.I.P. guests led by Ambassador Jaroslav Ludva of the Czech Republic representing the Presidency of the European Union.
Or the show's director, Victor Emmanuel Flor, whose folk dance majors, Japhet Mari Cabling and Rizel Miko Dampog, are this year's crème de la crème among the 24 graduates with Janine Dimaranan, a theater actress.
Other honor students who made their parents proud are Megumi Anne Acorda (Visual Arts), Clariane Liz Avila (Music-Voice), Kristel Lin Cabalona (Folk Dance), Angella Betina Carlos (Ballet), Justin Owen Francisco (Visual Arts), Trista Isobelle Gile (Folk Dance), Jeremiah Padilla (Music-Piano), Patricia Erika Poblador (Music-Violin), and Joelle Marie Therese Yuvienco (Theater).
Our advisee, Inshallah Montero, was short by a point in Math, to make it to the list, but she was proclaimed Outstanding Student Artist with Clarianne Liz Avila (Music – Voice), Nika Melissa Anne Bola (Folk Dance), Japhet Mari Cabling (Folk Dance), Janine Dimaranan (Theater), Justin Owen Francisco (Visual Arts), Jeremiah Padilla (Music-Piano), Patricia Erika Poblador (Music- Violin), and Erl Emmanuel Sorilla (Ballet).
Shallah – as if promoting the Women's Month -- was also among Clariane Liz Avila (Music – Voice), Japhet Mari Cabling (Folk Dance), Angella Betina Carlos (Ballet), Janine Dimaranan (Theater), and Justin Owen Francisco (Visual Arts) as MARIA Scholars.
It all began during Class 1980-1981 for outstanding graduates who are given free hand to choose any college as long as they will pursue a degree in the arts.
Then again why do we still wish to become an artist?
What's in the arts?
Pablo Picasso, for one, has a point in saying that art is nothing but a lie that makes us realize the truth.
And the truth is...
Artists like Amado Tamayo, a German-trained violin maker will create globally competitive violins, violas, and cellos here in the Philippines.
Come hell or high waters.
What is the difference between the haves and the havenots? The money of the rich is like a Pepsi. Either Max or Mega. The money of the poor is like a Coke. If it's not Sakto, it's Zero.
Lord, enlighten what is dark in me. Strengthen what is weak in me. Mend what is broken in me. Bind what is bruised in me. Heal what is sick in me.
straighten what is crooked in me. And revive whatever peace and love have died in me.

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