|MASAYA Choir performs at Poperinge|
MASAYA Choir of Virlanie Foundation performs at Poperinge
Brussels, 14 May 2016. --- Philippine Embassy personnel representing Philippine Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, H.E. Victoria Bataclan, joined around a hundred Belgian benefactors and sponsors in an exclusive concert of the Masaya Choir of the Virlanie Foundation at the "Trefhuis" hall at De Lovie in Poperinge, Belgium on 14 May 2016.
Twenty-three (23) children and young adults, aged 10 to 23, from the different Virlanie Homes delighted the audience with their refreshing renditions of inspirational songs as well as Filipino folk and ethnic songs from Luzon (Manang Biday, Pen pen di sarapen, Kalesa), Visayas (Ang alibangbang, Ili-ili tulog anay, Waray-waray) and Mindanao (Pong-pong piyangaw).
Ms. Ma. Lourdes V. Hermo, Choirmaster, skillfully steered the children throughout the concert and displayed the children's passion for music as they sang, danced and even imitate animal sounds. Ms. Hermo, an alumna of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, is a professor of music at St. Scholastica's College and is a former Choirmaster of the Ateneo College Glee Club. Ms. Hermo is being assisted by Margarette Kean Villarin, a Bachelor of Music, Cum Laude graduate of St. Scholastica's College, Manila.
Ms. Najee Chua, Choir coordinator, said that the Choir was created in August 2004 when they had to perform at a benefit dinner in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover. Since then, the Choir had sung at more than seventy (70) events. This year's tour, their third in Europe, would cover thirteen (13) cities in Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.
Mr. Albert Barroo, President and Ms. Johanna Vandamme, Secretary General of Enfance Tiers Monde, respectively, and organizers of the concert in Belgium are happy that the reactions to the Choir's performances are all overwhelming. They see the concerts as another way to develop the children's self-esteem, assertiveness and confidence. These children are either street children who now live in Virlanie Homes or children from urban poor communities.
Among the Choir's achievements are a Spring Tour in 2013 in France, a Spring Tour in 2015 in Belgium and France, singing for French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault and his wife when they've visited the Philippines in 2012, being one of the Filipino Choir representatives at the World Choral Day 2012, and a performance at a reception to honor Andrea Casiraghi, member of the Royal Monegasque family in 2006.
The Virlanie Foundation is a non-government organization helping street children in Metro Manila. It was founded in 1992 by Dominique Lemay, a French social worker who was, in April 2014, awarded Knighthood in the French Legion d'honneur for his twenty-six (26) years of work with the street children of the Philippines.