Noche de Musica 

Behind the Scenes…Beyond Music…

We didn’t know anything about concerts or LED walls.  Our mission often brings us to poor children in the barrios, who sing their own little concerts. The challenging life before them is sometimes like a huge wall.  It is in this same littleness that we wanted to have a fundraising dinner for the construction of the new Apostolic Priory of the Brothers of St. John in Tabo-an Cebu.  All we wanted was a nice dinner and invite people to come and be part of the mission.  That’s it.  But after several meetings with Mr. Noel Alicaya and Mr. Amado Go, we decided that there should be performances to entertain the guests during the dinner.  We thought about what the St. John Youth groups can perform, and the question of rehearsals since the event is quite close, etc.  But God has much bigger plans.  When we surrender our poverty to Him, He fills us with His unimaginable richness.  Sir Amado called Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria and to our surprise, she readily accepted the invitation. Not only that, she even offered to bring an orchestra to play with her!  Zsarie Vidal was also invited, and she was more than happy to perform.  In less than no time we had two musical artists and an orchestra!  Instantly, Noche de Musica was born.  I wouldn’t say it was a premature birth.  In fact it was a birth by the power of the Holy Spirit.

True enough, the Paraclete brings people together to a certain unity.  And Noche de Musica is a living testimony of this great gift. We practically started with nothing.  But with the help of many people – friends of the community, friends of friends, even people we didn’t know before, people who generously gave their time, talent and treasure, in unexpectedly excellent ways, the event became truly successful.

It all happened last Nov. 23, 2019 at the Sinulog Grand Ballroom of City Sports Club Cebu.  The program started around 6:30 pm with an already superb singing of the invocation by the St. John Choir and dance interpretation of the St. John Scholars.  This was followed by the presentation of the future Apostolic Priory by Fr. Steban Savary, the brother in charge of the project. Afterwards, His Excellency Bishop Midyphil Billones gave a very uplifting message to all the guests.  The sumptuous dinner followed.  During the meal, Br. Samuel Mary from the Community of St. John and Aiana Ungang, one of the scholars, entertained the guests with very good music.  Br. Samuel sang his original compositions, which were mostly spiritual songs – fruits of his contemplation.

Around 7:45, the emcee and stage director, Mr. Roy Empleo, introduced Ms. Zsarie Vidal.  Zsarie sang beautifully five classical pieces.  Finally, came the most awaited performance of Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria with the Classic Youth Orchestra Quintet.  They played the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2, 1st Movement and Chopin Concert No. 1, 3rd Movement.  One of the members of the orchestra, Mr. Rey Abellana on violin, was a scholar of the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation.  He was one of the fruits of the 10-year Music Development Program spearheaded by Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria, which produced the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO).  The crowd gave a standing ovation to their splendid performance!

Indeed we are very grateful to our core team with Mr. Noel Alicaya and Mr. Amado Go, the staff of City Sports Club particularly Ms. Kim and Ms. Dee, to Mr. Roy Empleo for his big help in stage directing, to the different working committees, to all the volunteers who gave their selfless service, and to everyone who attended the event and participated in this mission, only God knows how you have touched our hearts.

Indeed, it was not only a fusion of talents and resources.  Behind the scenes, it was really the Holy Spirit who brought us together in that one splendid evening of excellent food, high class technology, world class performances, and generous hearts.  From nothing, God made everything possible.  The Noche de Musica is really an inspiration.  Beyond music, it is a sign of God’s work in our lives.  If we were able to make one grand event possible from our hundreds of limitations, then I believe that the construction of the Apostolic Priory will also be possible in spite of the many obstacles we expect to encounter.  After all, this isn’t our Apostolic Priory.  This is God’s priory.  He will make it happen!

If you wish to be a part of this mission that God has entrusted to us, then don’t hesitate to let us know.  Click on the link below.  Know of the joy and fulfillment, of being able to participate in building God’s kingdom here on earth.  Rest assured that God cannot be outdone in generosity.  Blessings and prayers!

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Our vision is a city where young people can grow in their faith, in the sense of their responsibility. Inspired by this vision, we want to establish a new house for the mission of the Brothers of Saint John in Cebu City.