Utzurrum: SP and ‘Agak’

The Scene
SunStar Utzurrum
SunStar Utzurrum

Sistemang Pilipino (SP) is designed to be a program for the protection of childhood. The concert called “AGAK - Carried through Generations and Genres of Cebuano Music” held in March 16, 2024, was made possible through a grant by The Kabilin Center and in partnership with Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

GUESTS. Faculty and honored guests join in the tutti at the end of the concert.
GUESTS. Faculty and honored guests join in the tutti at the end of the concert.
MELODIES. University of Cebu (UC) Chorus.
MELODIES. University of Cebu (UC) Chorus.
ANTHEM. The guitar ensemble playing “Lupang Hinirang.”
ANTHEM. The guitar ensemble playing “Lupang Hinirang.”

As a background, SP provides free musical training for underserved children and youth in Cebu in either choir, orchestra or guitar. The organization is part of a worldwide network of choirs and orchestras under El Sistema, a movement of social action through music.

Through their partner organizations, they are able to extend different forms of basic needs assistance to students, starting with those most committed to their musical studies and most in need of assistance. Each year since they started in 2013, SP holds two recital concerts - summer and Christmas. They are carried mainly by private donations and a great deal of volunteerism and partnerships.

Instead of operating at a fraction of funding and staffing needed, they are happy to announce this evening’s milestone: the staging of “AGAK’ here at Ateneo de Cebu, bringing a minimum of 105 students and seven trainers together to perform a wide range of Cebuano and Visayan music for about 450 audience members.

SP is deeply grateful to the musical arrangers who generously shared their talent with AGAK: Maestros Roberto (Obette) del Rosario and Jeffrey Solares; Guitarists and arrangers: Reginald Bernaldez, Jose Valdez and Anton Solomon; songwriter Jude Gitamondoc and arranger Ron Cabalhug.

We would also like to add some of the following composers and their masterpieces: “Amahan Namo” - the late Msgr. Rudy Villanueva; “Lupang Hinirang” - Julian Felipe; “Mga Awit nga Binisaya” - Nilo Abella; “Kinabuhi Mo, Kinabuhi Ko” - Fr. Arnold Zamora; “Sto. Niño, Gugma Ko” - Manny Lapingcao; “Pobreng Alindahaw” - Tomas Villaflor; “Usahay” - Gregorio Labja; “Matud Nila” - Ben Zubiri; “Rosas Pandan” - Minggoy Lopez; “Visayan Airs” - arranged by Roberto ‘Obette’ del Rosario for Orchestra; “Hahahahasula” - Jude Gitamondoc; “Paglaum” - Fr. Fritz Malinao and “I Love Cebu” - Russell Alegado.

We can’t leave this article without praising Sistemang Pilipino foundress and executive director — the talented, vibrant, youthful and ever-tireless Lianne M. Sala, heiress to the musically rich Escaño-Sala clan, who’s proud of their organization. They are now designing the next three years of programming and searching for companies to help build up their Ambassadorial Choir and Orchestra program. It took many partners and volunteers to achieve the success of AGAK.

It also showed their key stakeholders what SP can do when they receive much needed support from the community. Would you like to volunteer or make a donation to keep SP going? Thank you!

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