A CHORAL group in the Philippines again won the Grand Prix prize in the recently concluded 2021 Busan Choral Festival & Competition (BCFC) in South Korea. The country was represented in the virtual choir competition by the Jose R. Gullas Visayas Chorale of Cebu City.
The BCFC organization of South Korea started the festival and competition in 2005, and this year was its first virtual setting with the tagline “Nothing can stop us from singing together.”
The festival was streamed online from Oct. 21 to 24, 2021 represented by 21 participating choirs from South Korea, Indonesia, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The winning piece of Jose R. Gullas Visayas Chorale was Saunder Choi’s “Dindikan” from his set of Three Philippine Children’s Songs (Tatlong Awiting Pambata) adapted from a Maguindanaoan folk theme. The group was conducted by Anna Tabita Abeleda-Piquero, the choirmaster, supported by Nena Gullas and the late Sir “Dodong” Jose R. Gullas—the founder of the group.
In its official facebook page @JRGVisayasChorale, the members expressed their deepest gratitude to all who contributed in making this group world class and to all who showed their love and support to the group. The JRG Visayas Chorale group shares this milestone to all Filipinos.
Three other participants from the other categories earned an award representing the Philippines. They are Ryle Nicole Custodio with “Tagu-taguan” Gold Prize winner under the composition category, Mapua Cardinal Singers with “Leron, Leron Sinta” Silver Prize winner under the acapella category and a special prize for Baao Children & Youth Choir as the Artistic Director Prize.
Despite everything the Philippines is facing today, our country has stayed resilient and has thrived on the international stage. Not even a pandemic can stop the authentic talents of the Filipinos. We continue to soar high, just like the message of the winning piece of JRG Visayas Chorale “Dindikan.”
“If I were a bird, I’d fly with the wind, So I’ll leave all sorrows behind.” (ARCHIE S. BIGNO)