LOOK: Manila Philharmonic Orchestra Filled the Crowd’s Hearts with Love

Words and photos by: Stacey T. Lee

Love and music filled the air inside Alabang Town Center’s Activity Center last February 10, 2018, as they held a special pre-Valentine concert. Hosted by the San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra, together with Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, this concert was envisioned to support the Manila Boys Town organization, a non-profit that provides shelter and comfort to the homeless and abandoned children, teenagers, and senior citizens of Manila.

The Activity Center buzzed with excitement as preparations were taking its course⏤the stage being set, lights and sounds being tested, and the performers warming up. Sponsorship tarpaulins decorated the pillars, showing how much support the event had gathered for their wonderful cause.

Members of the San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra warm up

The event started with opening remarks by the Alice Panerio, the Great President of the Rotary Club of Pasay and Southeast District Governor. Panerio welcomed everyone warmly, thanking them for spending their evening to appreciate both beautiful music and our brothers and sisters in Manila Boys Town.

Alice Panerio, Rotary Club Great President and Pasay Southeast District Governor

As the opening act, Rises Band gave the crowd a chance to excite themselves even further with their passionate, upbeat music. They played a couple of their songs and included a bonus cover of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

Rises Band

The stage dimmed and San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra appeared onstage, instruments in hand, along with their conductor, Melvin Rioveros. Their orchestral rendition of Rihanna’s We Found Love and Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do impressed the audience, the pop hits rounding familiar applause. They played to the crowd with a joyous and fastpaced Mamma Mia medley, including Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia as well.

San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra

Special guests Moira Lacambra and Hans Dimayuga performed covers of their own. Lacambra sang Someday by Nina, and also her new single, entitled ‘First Date’. Dimayuga took a more classically localised track, covering old-time OPM favourites like Harana and This Guy’s In Love With You, Pare by Parokya ni Edgar, Mister Swabe, and more.

Moira Lacambra

Hans Dimayuga

It was time for the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra to finally perform, gathering applause as the onlookers from the upper levels peeked over the open space for a glimpse of the prestigious group. Deviating from their usual playlist filled with classical orchestral compositions, they played friendlier and more casual covers, like Bamboo’s Hallelujah.

Manila Philharmonic Orchestra

MPO Music Director Rodel Colmenar explained how they wanted to play more modern songs, because of the younger people they were collaborating with. He even joked around that he should’ve added more classical, seeing a number of elders in the crowd; and that the rest of the orchestra was still stuck in traffic.

He humbly praised the San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra, saying that the spotlight should be on them, and not MPO, because they were as good as any in itself.

The concert wrapped up with MPO’s collaboration with Moira Lacambra for the popular song, A Thousand Miles; and an Ariana Grande themed playlist with SBCASO to serve as a grand finale to the wonderful concert.

Awards were received and photographs were taken as the Rotary Club and San Beda College Alabang, along with other associated organisations, were honored and thanked for the event.

The night was filled with gracious people who gave their time, talent, support, and most of all, love.

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