A night of 'food for the soul'

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Saturday, February 9, 2013


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Standing ovations and a good dose of “food for the soul.”

Unexpectedly, it was the call of the night as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra of the Cultural Center of the Philippines wowed a packed crowd of culture and art patrons on Saturday night during a special, rare Kaganapan 2013 concert that mixed classics with pop that rocked the Mini-Convention Center of Heroes Hall.

The 85-piece orchestra under the baton of Professor Olivier Ochanine opened the night with a string of classic tunes, moving to favorites like the theme from the movie Superman, to mesmerizing covers from Sound of Music to rocking pop and top picks like Gangnam Style to surprisingly superb renditions of the Eraser Heads hits El Bimbo, Pare Ko and Ligaya.

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Kapampangan Herman Santiago from Betis, Guagua on flute, put the magical touches on closing with the Himno Fernandino, as intently listening audience called for an encore.

“This is the best that has come to Pampanga. It was really a night to remember. The Philharmonic Orchestra rocks. Superb!” exclaimed Capitol’s General Services Officer Royce Pring.

“This is food for the soul as we take time out from our hectic routines. It’s what we mean when we say we should not be busy making a living but rather, we should be living a life. Definitely, we could have more of such performances in the future,” Mayor Oscar Rodriguez added.

For Prof. Ochanine, performing in San Fernando was a worthy and unforgettable experience.

He told Sun.Star Pampanga: “I was surprised on how receptive the audience was. On first note I knew we had a lot of them classical orchestra music lovers. Then we really had a lot of fun when we started playing our renditions of favorites and covers from Filipino music. It was really great!”

“We hope to return someday to reach out to more patrons of the arts and culture and play for them our mix of this food for the soul,” said Prof. Ochanine.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 10, 2013.

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