In celebration of the rich Philippine and Korean culture, Filipinos and Koreans came together once again at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) last October 15, Saturday, for the 2016 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival to showcase performances that best reflect their vibrant cultures.
The free-entry event was composed of two parts: the Concert for Peace and the K-Pop Contest, which were both held at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, the main theater of CCP.
The Concert for Peace was opened with a heart-thumping nanta performance from the Serotonin Performing Arts Company, which was then followed by a medley of Korean folk songs played by the Seoul National University (SNU) Korean Music Ensemble.
Striking the audience in pure awe, the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra joined the SNU Korean Music Ensemble onstage to perform the Korean classic “Arirang Semachi”, and were conducted by none other than multi-awarded musical director, conductor, and arranger Gerard Salonga.
Meanwhile, soprano Park Min Jung took the stage and delivered a stunning performance of “Beautiful Korea”. The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra then treated the audience with a number featuring the Filipino folk song “Salidumay”.
Bass baritone Lee Sung Min gave a show-stopping performance, singing “Nin Piu Andrai” from Le Nozze di Figaro. Ms. Park Min Jung then returned onstage, joining Mr. Lee Sung Min, finishing the first part of the Concert for Peace with a sweet duet of “One Fine Day in October”.
The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra opened the second part of the concert with Mozart’s overture from “The Magic Flute”. They were later joined by soprano Rachelle Gerodias-Park, alto Krissan Manikan Tan, tenor Arthur Espiritu, baritone Park Byeong In , and a jaw-dropping 300-member choir to conclude the show with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.
The K-Pop competition lifted everyone’s mood even more. Performances from actor Derrick Monasterio, singer Yohan, and idol group The King sent the crowd’s hearts aflutter, while pieces from the Tagalog and Korean Speech Contest finalists kept the audience engaged and entertained.
However, it was the Talent Competition that made the attendees go wild. The spotlight was turned to three cover groups and seven soloists, who all battled it out onstage to emerge as the day’s champion.
In the end, it was cover group PHP that won the ultimate prize with their fiery dance remix number, while Anna Jean Fernandez (“You Are My Everything” by Gummy), F.S.E. (dance remix), and Sofia Therise Capili (“Arirang”) bagged the first, second, and third prizes, respectively.
A day of remarkable performances and priceless memories, the 2016 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival is definitely the perfect conclusion to the eventful Korea Week in the Philippines.
Written by Krew Member Andy Nina