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2018.08.11 16:37

4816(II)_Ichi, Ni, San! (1, 2, 3!)

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Boscorale’s overture reaches the Land of the Rising Sun


By Mr. Francisco Pantaleon


Makati City, the Philippines, 9 August 2018 -- The Boscorale, Don Bosco Technical Institute--Makati’s word class choir, embarked to Japan for its third international tour last July 19 to August 9, 2018.


We participated in two international competitions: The 1st Tokyo International Choir Competition where we won Gold in both Youth Category and Equal Voices Category and in the 34th Takarazuka International Chamber Chorus Competition where we bagged Gold in the Contemporary Category, won the Audience Choice Award in the Open Category and placed 3rd overall.


However, these accolades would not have been accomplished without some sacrifices and hardships. Over the course of our five-month preparation for Japan, we endured several conflicts during the rehearsals but our perseverance and determination led us to what we claimed from the competitions.


Our first few days in Japan were spent in the Iwata Catholic Church Parish where we were hosted by Fr. Rogelio Cardenas, a Filipino Vincentian priest based in Japan.


This was the second time Fr. Roge has accommodated us since the Boscorale's tour last March 2017. While we were there, we had concerts in Kakegawa City and Fuji City. The communities were overwhelming--especially the Filipinos--whose hospitality is as warm as the summer weather of Japan.


As the Tokyo competition drew closer, we eventually had to bid goodbye and leave Iwata. Leaving behind the people of Iwata was difficult because we've built a strong bond and relationship with them. We came to a point where we began calling them "Titas of Iwata" (translated to "Aunts of Iwata") as they treated us as families.


In Tokyo, the Salesian formation house in Chōfu became our home. Fr. Nobuyuki Tamura, Rector of the community, looked after our needs, along with the Salesian Cooperators who belong to that district.


Even though there were not a lot of Filipinos there, we still felt the warmth and love of those people who took care of us.


There we prepared rigorously--striving to perfect our repertoire for the Tokyo competition. Our days grew short and there came the competition day. We were anxious as it was the first international competition for most of us but we managed to pull off a good show.


The results would be announced via phone call later that night. We waited for that phone call, but nothing came--our hearts sank--we did everything we could, but unfortunately, it was not enough--we were not able to qualify for the Grand Prix. But then we kept in mind that this was God's plan. Maybe we weren't meant for this competition--we were meant for something else.


This reminder gave us encouragement for our next competition in Takarazuka. It was difficult though; all competitors were extremely talented. They were intimidating but we held our heads up high. We poured our hearts into our songs and we're proud of what we did. Yet it still was not enough. Although we did not score the 1st place, at least we were able to land 3rd and we are happy with it. It was not what we expected but were grateful.


Even though we were not able to win 1st place on the competitions, what really mattered is that we touched people's hearts.


We were able to show them what music is really about—expressing what you feel but cannot put into words. This is channeled through music. Music is also a nexus between the audience and musicians—what they are feeling is mutual.


Music is a very powerful form of art: it makes you laugh, cry, jump, grieve, sleep, and a lot more verbs. And I believe that the Boscorale was able to accomplish this and will continue to despite our shortcomings.


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