Canto Cinco and my Closing Remarks

25 12 2006

For several years, I have been giving liturgical music seminars to different parishes in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, and also in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro where I was assigned as a young priest. Many of the participants of these seminars — since it was free — were poor choirs. In these seminars I noticed a need: the need for trainers to give liturgical music and vocal training seminars to choirs especially in the parish. Not the grandiose music seminars for members of the academe or the vocal training for music majors or the high-flying liturgical events organized annually for a fee. But simple modest seminars easily grasp by youth choirs below 20: high school level, even elementary. These youngsters comprising most choir membership comprise 51% of the Philippine population. Moreover, I was giving the seminars alone and it needed some animation. But most importantly, I needed a choir who can not just sing the examples, teach simple vocal exercises, but a choir that is available anytime; and who is willing to go to the kanto without the red carpet. And I also need people who are skilled and can teach (many of our members are actually teachers and organizers). Thus, Canto Cinco or C5.

I love the songs borne from the Ateneo spiritual life: it has facilitated my vocation as a priest and as a Jesuit. But when I was assigned to UP, I came to realize that there is a God outside of the Ateneo, and a beat that reaches to the kanto: as the songs of UP bands such as Eraserheads has influenced many hearts even Ateneo-bred. UP has a certain kind of music: often raw but alluring, learned and classical but daring. Music that is promising for liturgy: perhaps more masapwedeng pang-kanto; pwedeng pangkabataan! The Ateneo songs continue to inspire, but I would like to experiment on doing new things: we might hit on a gold mine. If only trust is present among kin.

And so this group of performers was formed. Formed from originally five choirs from our apostolate areas and our parishes: and many of them continue to be part of the choir they handle. Because this is what Canto Cinco is all about: that whatever they learn from training in the Jesuit Music Ministry, they are able to share it to the parish choirs they belong to. And thus, they are not encouraged to leave their choirs; C5 provides further training, experience and empowerment. The Philippine Church has described itself as the Church of the Poor (PCP II) and believes that even those who are poor can also share. There is one thing that I learned from my work in the Jesuit Music Ministry: that part of the ministry is to train people who have the talent but needs the resources which JMM has.

This is the reason why we are here. Tonight, I am proud of them. That despite our disbelievers, we continue to do God’s will with the marks of a Jesuit: availability, competency, and the fearless creative missionary zeal as Francis Xavier who experimented on methods and ways to bring the word of God to the natives of Malacca. Kung kailangang kumain ng apoy para kay Kristo, sabi ni Persia, “why not?” And tonight, I am also honored to be with you, our loved ones. When at times we doubted our ministry in God’s vineyard, your support and encouragement has pulled us through and will pull us in the future.

Merry Christmas and a meaningful New Year!

*C5 in their first concert for their families and friends: Pasko sa Canto; 23 December 2006 @San Jose Seminary, Ateneo de Manila University. see http://cantocinco.multiply.com and http://jesuitmusicministry.multiply.com

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BukasPalad Christmas Concert at SM Megamall

24 12 2006








The Jesuit Music Ministry’s mall tour organized by the office of JMM and Ms. Madde Marante, Marketing Manager of Jescom, featured BukasPalad in a Christmas Concert at SM Megamall, 22 December 2006.

BukasPalad, who celebrates 20 years, sang their signature Christmas songs in their album, Pasko Na! Songs like Pasko Na! Gumising! and Pamaskong Anyaya were performed with their all-time popular hits I will Sing Forever and Humayo’t Ihayag. More photos at http://jesuitmusicministry.multiply.com (check EVENTS icon). Palan Reyes accompanies them on the piano.





The JMM Christmas Concert at Shangri-la EDSA

18 12 2006







15 December 2006. The overwhelming success of the Jesuit Music Ministry’s Christmas Concert at Shangri-la Plaza EDSA Mall is evidenced by the audience who stayed to listen to 7 groups, singing 5 songs each. The show began with Mr. Noel Cabangon, and followed by Himig Heswita & friends, Jay Gomez & Bong Rosario for the Vespers album series, Canto Cinco (C5), BukasPalad, Hangad and the UP Singing Ambassadors. The event was organized by Madde Marante, our marketing director, to promote our Christmas albums as well as providing venues where all JMM artists come together in thanksgiving to God who is with us. The title of the concert was Child Emmanuel. In the audience was crooner Basil Valdez who popularized Hindi Kita Malilimutan, a JMM original.





The San Jose Manggagawa Concert

18 12 2006




8 December 2006. Frs. Arnel Aquino SJ, Manoling Francisco SJ and I helped at the Christmas Concert of the San Jose Manggagawa Parish at Riverbanks Mall, Marikina City. Fr. Manoling Francisco was the Musical Director of the concert. Here are a few pictures.





The Christmas Concert of Hangad at SM Megamall

9 12 2006




The Jesuit Music Ministry Christmas Concert featuring Hangad last Friday, December 1, 2006 at SM Megamall Activity Center.





The Cast of Idol: Pagasa ng Bayan

9 12 2006


Fr. Jboy with the cast of the movie, Idol: Pag-asa ng Bayan shown at the Irwin Lee Theater. The movie was co-produced by the Jesuit Communication Foundation. Cesar Evangelista and Cedric Jose, the director and main actor respectively, are with me in the picture. This movie is highly recommended for students.