Thousands of music lovers from Los Baños and surrounding areas flocked to the UPLB Freedom Park on May 4 to enjoy a free open-air concert by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, entitled “PPO Symphonic Sunsets @ Makiling”. The concert started at 6 pm and ended past 9 pm.
In his opening remarks, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio Lizaso said that the orchestra is owned by the Filipino people, with the CCP as its caretaker. “Kayo ang boss namin. Kami ay katiwala lamang,” Lisazo said. The concert is part of the PPO’s outreach program, which aims to promote music appreciation in different parts of the country. “Art does not only belong to the people in Metro Manila, we have to take them to the provinces,” Lisazo asserted.
The first part of the concert, conducted by PPO Conductor Herminigildo Ranera, featured Philippine folk songs, selections from Les Miserables, Terre e Luna (arranged by Pipo Cifra), Eraserheads Suite (arranged by Ryan Cayabyab) and a medley from Bohemian Rhapsody/Queen. The second part, conducted by PPO Musical Director Yoshikazu Fukumura, included Gioacchino Rossini’s Overture to La Gazza ladra, Johann Strauss Jr.’s Annen Polka and Emperor Waltz, and finished with Nicanor Abelardo’s U.P. Naming Mahal (arr. Edwin Lumanug).
The concert also featured an introduction of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections, as well as a short demonstration from each type of instrument under each section. “The PPO is a community of instruments, playing as one unit towards one goal, which is to make music for you to enjoy,” Ranera said.
Meanwhile, the Manila Symphony Orchestra will perform on May 18, 2019, 5:00pm at the Tanghalang Maria Makiling of the National Arts Center.
According to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the PPO, formerly known as the CCP Philharmonic Orchestra, was established on May 15, 1973 and was initially intended to accompany performing artists at the CCP Theater. It was reorganized and relaunched as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in 1982.