LOCAL performers took centerstage in a two-hour variety show entitled “San Roque, A Tribute,” in honor of the patron saint of San Roque, Northern Samar.

The performers include pianist Ariel Rebadulla, harmonica player Enriquito Galero, Sr., saxophonists Eric Quimbo and John Paul Quimbo, ukulele player Erlinda Ronda, UPAO Band rondalla, and Manila-based flamenco dancer Angelito Pangilinan.

“As part of our social responsibility and our unique way of giving tribute to San Roque, our patron and patron saint of the sick, we have picked 16 indigents, seriously ill residents from the 16 barangays of San Roque as beneficiaries of our financial and medical assistance,” said MaryJane Salomon, creator/director/producer of the benefit dinner show.

“As producer and director of this event, It was a challenge for me to raise the bar higher and elevate the sense of appreciation in our town and in our province with the intention to integrate culture, the arts, and food so we can get involved in the promotion of local tourism in this part of the Philippines,” added Salomon, who is also the founder and CEO of Stratoppo Global, an international business consultancy firm headquartered in HongKong.

The socio-cultural religious show highlighted the use of musical instruments, making it the first of its kind in the history of cultural performances in the province of Northern Samar.

"We made sure to showcase bamboos as part of our stage set up and decoration to support its local production and help local producers in San Roque market, not to mention its symbolism which is strength and flexibility, which is exactly what we need now in these uncertain times,” Salomon said.

“The 'sinarungsong,' a local food delicacy, was also included in the dinner menu as part of the town's effort to promote food tourism. I want to give hope and inspire others. This is my gift to the people of San Roque," she added.

Meanwhile, the organizer lauded the support of Secretary Christina Frasco of the Department of Tourism, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Tingog party-list and its Representative Jude Acedre, Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ong, Congressman Paul Daza, Congressman Harris Ong, the local officials of San Roque, those who attended, and other individuals and private sponsors for the success of the tribute show on August 14, 2022, at the municipal auditorium of San Roque, Northern Samar.

“The relevance of arts to the appreciation of culture, most especially in the time of the pandemic, is the inspiration behind the birth of this monumental event, to commemorate the celebration of the Feast of San Roque, the patron saint of the sick,” said Salomon. (SunStar Philippines)