Ella Orencillo and her interpretation of Women Empowerment. John Varughese/Gulf Today
In the run-up to the 48th founding anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and in celebration of the twin commemoration of the UAE’s “National Martyr’s Day” and the Philippines’s “Bonifacio Day” on Nov. 30, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai hosted three recitals of a globally-recognized multi-awarded piano virtuoso/teacher late last week and on Saturday evening.
Adolovni Acosta first performed “Western classical pieces before the (Diplomatic Community)” on Nov. 27 (Wednesday) and a repertoire of Filipino classical music before her countrymen in the capital on Nov. 28 (Thursday) at Al Bayt Al Filipine, the official Abu Dhabi residence of Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana.
The evening recitals titled “Lantay na Perlas” (“Pure Pearl”)—A Tribute to Martyrs” is part of the Embassy’s cultural diplomacy in the UAE in commemoration of “Bonifacio Day”—Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897), “Father of Philippine Revolution” and the Tagalog Republic president—and the UAE’s Martyrs Commemoration.”
Quintana WhatsApped Gulf Today: “As a pianist of high caliber, Ms. Acosta played a big role in paying musical tribute to those whose blood was shed for lofty ideals and love of Motherland.”
Interviewed on Saturday evening, prior to her 45-minute concert and before the audience of “A Night of Heroes and Music” at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB), the “Ten Outstanding Young Women of America for 1982” awardee, stated: “Our ambassador asked me to also perform before you. I am grateful for Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes for hosting me.”
“I requested Ms. Acosta to perform also in Dubai as I know her classical renditions will inspire more people to reflect on the values that our heroes have lived up to and to imbue among our kababayans (countrymen) an appreciation for musical traditions that promote pride and honour for our country and people,” Quintana said.
The first piano teacher of the “Pamanang Pilipino (Philippine Heritage) recipient at the Presidential Awards 2006,” was her mother Ernestina, when she was nine. With ingrained musicality, the Manilena grew up spending her entire life learning, understanding and most important, internalizing the vast range of decrescendos and crescendos, larghissimos and allegro vivaces under the tutelage of notable professors and mentors not only at the University of the Philippines-College of Music but also from The Juilliard School at Lincoln Centre in New York on the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Tuition Scholarship. On Saturday evening, the woman behind the “Malaguena” and “Piano Music from Cuba and the Philippines” albums captured her mixed nationalities audience at the PCGDXB. She who has showcased her well-developed talent at well-attended /standing ovation recitals across five continents not only through Philippine missions but which also included special invitations of other countries.
Her expressive renditions of “Jocelyn ng/(of) Baliuag” (the most popular kundiman/ Filipino love song during the Philippine Revolution of the 1890s against Spanish Rule), the Francisco Buencamino compositions of “Maligayang Bati” (“Good Tidings”), “Ang Larawan” (“The Photograph”), “Mayon” (a melodious impression of the pastoral life on the slopes of active volcano Mount Mayon including her unexpected rumblings), and her encore of Frederic Chopin’s “Etude No. 3 in Op. 10 (“No Other Love”), was appealing.
Acosta pulled a surprise on the consul general when she requested him to render the audience the patriotic song “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) by composer Constancio de Guzman. It was an ace.
Consul General Cortes himself was not only to be applauded for his innate musical talent as true to his commitment to make the consulate general not only the place for complaints and other sob stories, “A Night of Heroes and Music” proved to be the breakthrough for another group of Filipino visual artists in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to be appreciated more.
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