A Magical Evening
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra pays tribute to Sen.Edgardo Angara
The illustrious senator Edgardo Javier Angara, who established the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) Society Inc. in 1985, was recently accorded a special tribute by the PPO, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the University of the Philippines. Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Society president Nedy Tantoco headed this invitational concert, with maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura as conductor. Two commemorative sculptures by famed artists Ramon Orlina and Impy Pilapil were presented by the organizers to the family of the late senator, represented by his genteel wife Gloria Angara and dashing son Sen. Sonny Angara.
Internationally acclaimed pianist and former CCP president Raul Sunico rendered George Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” together with the PPO. It was significant that National Artist for music Dr. Ramon P. Santos conducted the PPO with his composition “Awit ng Pagdiriwang,” a piece he made for the inauguration of Senator Angara as president of the University of the Philippines. The three choirs who joined the Philippine Philharmonic were The UP Concert Chorus (Jai Sabas Aracama), UP Singing Ambassador’s (Ed Manguiat), and UP Cherubims (Elena Mirano).
Sen. Edgardo Angara carved out a place for himself in the history of music as a steadfast and generous supporter for both the PPO and the programs of the CCP. His leadership was unparalleled. He was president of the Senate of the Philippines, chairman of the Philippine National Bank, secretary of Agriculture, senator from 1987-1998 and 2017-2018, and special envoy to the European Union from 2017 to 2018.
For Sen. Angara’s work to revive a sense of nationhood and social cohesion, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts granted him the “Dangal ng Haraya” award, the NCCA’s highest distinction given to an individual for his significant contribution to arts and culture. Also notable was Sen. Angara’s concern for the welfare of the PPO members, with gratuity funds for retiring members. Six months before he passed, he awarded two PPO members with grants to attend a master class in the US and a doctorate degree in music at UP. As patron of the arts and culture, he kept alive public appreciation for music and performing arts.