50 & 500:
Teresian Tribute
of the
Philippine Madrigal Singers

The 50 & 500 concert of the Philippine Madrigal Singers was held last March 28, 2014. It was the 50th anniversary of the premier choir group and the 500th birth anniversary of the Catholic mystic and first woman Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila. She was also the founder of the Discalced Carmelites. My partner knew exactly how I love music and this wonderful saint, so we went to the Gala performance.

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For this particular event, I decided to wear a simple pink dress with a bit of black frills… This was just 50 pesos, bought by my mom somewhere. πŸ˜›

Unfortunately, the grey shoes was a horrible choice for this event. T_T The pink scarf from Ma’am Gina tied by my friend Alexis worked to offset the impoverished state of my footwear. I had an equally bright pink Jansport shoulder bag to go with that so it’s all good.

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What I lacked for footwear, I compensated with a happy smile, as usual. I know it’s not an excuse to wear hideous shoes, but I am more excited than repentant at the upcoming concert to even bother. πŸ˜€

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My beloved went with me in this tribute to our dearly beloved saint. I am brimming with gratitude and happiness that he invited me to this event.

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It was a Friday so we arrived early at CCP complex area to avoid traffic and stress.

We decided to dine al fresco at Army Navy beside Manila Bay and took some nice pre-sunset photos after.

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There were a lot of joggers in the area. It looks like a prime spot for exercise, too.

We also had enough time to gallivant around the opulence of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It’s really majestic with its chandeliers and the awesome thing about the large complex is the presence of paintings and exhibits. The French photographer’s exhibit was closed so we went to Framed Abstractions Exhibit instead:

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I think this exhibit is still open.

And aside from the exhibits, there were also paintings all over the place, along the hallways and surrounding the large chandeliers. (Sorry, I really have this thing for shiny objects!)

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Of course, the highlight and crux of our visit here is the musical tribute to the wonderful saint:

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Prior to this, I’ve read her works: The Way of Perfection, Interior Castle, and Life of St. Teresa: an Autobiography. I guess I can say I am a huge fan of Catholic mysticism and Carmelite spirituality. I admire her valor and the prolific way which she described the Prayer of Quiet and the 7 castles of prayer that culminates with Jesus at the center.Β  So hearing the songs depicted by the Philippine Madrigal Singers was so meaningful and affecting.

The choir serenaded the audience, a mix of lay people like me and Paulo and the religious people. During their performance, you can hear a pin drop from the audience because it was so quiet. They also sang their novelty adaptations like The Coconut Nut…

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When the audience begged for more songs after their bow, they indulged. It was a full two hours of classy entertainment at its finest. There were some dancers from Douglas Nierras Powerdance who interpreted the music. My partner did not like the dancing so much because he felt it interfered with the music. But I liked it! πŸ™‚

There was also this giant slideshow of images. The singers were adorned in gold and sat at glittering chairs, their voices just as golden and sparkling as their appearance.

It was one of the most meditative concerts I have ever seen, like a glimpse of heaven or some glory of the interior castles just as St. Teresa described in her writings.

Nada de Turbe (Spanish for “Let nothing perturb you”) was the catch phrase that continued to resonate with me after I left the concert hall. It was a good precursor for Holy Week, and a perfect way to meditate on God’s goodness expressed in music. The concert is offered for St. Teresa and her descendants– the Carmelite communities in the Philippines.

A performance of Love. The person I love. The saint who loves God in a mystical way. The choir group who sings like angels…

And from experiences like this, I realize that sometimes, we already see glimpses of His perfection in the tiny patches punctuating our lives.

Thank you, Philippine Madrigal Singers, for bringing not just a musical performance, but an experience to last your audience for a lifetime. πŸ™‚

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