Aug 112017

The University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble (UPLBCE) dominated the 10th Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival held at the School of the Arts in Singapore, beating finalists from five other countries to bring home the Grand Prix title.

UPLB Choral Ensemble

University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble [via Facebook]

The Philippine state university’s official choral group won the following titles from the 10th Orientale Concentus:

  • Grand Prix Champion
  • Category Winner (Gold II) – Mixed Choir Category A2
  • Category Winner (Gold II) – Sacred Music Category
  • Special Prize for the Most Promising Young Conductor – Roijin Suarez
  • The 26-member choir received a trophy and $20,000 after their winning performance in the Grand Prix finals against choral groups from Hongkong, Taiwan, South Africa, Indonesia, and Czech Republic.

    The UPLB Choral Ensemble was founded in 1991 by former members of the UP Rural High School Glee Club. It is now composed of UPLB students and alumni. On campus, it is recognized as a student cultural organization and performs regularly at university functions.


    The post UPLB Choral Ensemble bags Grand Prix in Singapore appeared first on Good News Pilipinas.

    Jul 292017
    Kammerchor Manila bags grand prizes at Italy and Spain

    Kammerchor Manila has brought home 3 grand prizes from international choral competitions in Europe. Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo P. Nolasco, competition jury member Nancy Roman of the Philippines, and members of the Kammerchor Manila at the 8th Musica Eterna Roma held from 05 to 09 July 2017 at the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Italy. [via DFA] The church-based choral group won 1 st Prize at the 63rd Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia in Torrevieja, Spain. The Filipino choir was also awarded the Grand Prix at the 1st Leonardo Da Vinci Choral Festival held in Florence, Italy. The group of 35 young professionals also received Gold Diplomas during the 8th edition of the Musica Eterna Roma International Choir and Festival Competition in the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Italy. Kammerchor Manila received the awards during their 4th European tour held from June-July 2017 where they performed in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. In Torrevieja, Kammerchor Manila won: 1 st prize in Habanera, prize money of 12,000 euros 2nd prize in Polyphony with the prize money of 4,000 euros They performed "Marinero" and "Niña Mersé" for Habaneras. Their pieces for Polyphony were "Kaisa isa niyan" and "Gloria" in Polyphony. In their Italian leg which brought them to Florence, Kammerchor Manila won various categories and bagged the overall grand prize: CATEGORY WINNER: Mixed Choir Category – Gold Diploma Level 3 (96.25 points) Modern Contemporary Category – Gold Diploma Level 3 (97.81 points) Folk Gospel Pop Category Read More …

    Apr 282017
    First Jollibee in Europe to open in Italy

    Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) signed a deal with Singaporean company BlackBird Holdings to operate the first Jollibee store in Italy, the first store in Europe for the popular Filipino food chain. JFC Group president Jose Miñana Jr. said in media reports that the company would start in Italy where there are many Filipinos to mark its foray in Europe. “We’re looking at possibly Italy to be our (starting point) in Europe. We’re not in Europe yet. We will follow where the Pinoys are,” he said, adding that the company’s target Europe debut is between 2017 and 2018. BlackBird will own 25 percent of the proposed joint venture while the Jollibee group will own 75 percent through its international unit Golden Plate. The two companies have agreed to invest one million euros, of which up to 750 thousand euros will be contributed by Golden Plate, in proportion to its ownership in the business. Jollibee Foods Corporations strategy is to make a territorial franchise like in the Philippines, for Italy with the ability to develop and expand the brand in the market. The joint venture partnership will facilitate the entry and the opening of the first store will create the desired awareness for the Jollibee brand in the market. Jollibee has been planning to go to Europe because of the growing resident Filipinos in the continent. There more than two hundred thousand Filipinos living in Italy, which is said to be the largest population of overseas Filipinos in Europe. Jollibee has already Read More …

    Jan 312014
    Aquino meets with Head of Pontifical Council in Malacañang

    President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, during the Courtesy Call at the Music Room of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (January 29, 2014). Also in photo is Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines His Excellency Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto. (Photo by Rolando Mailo / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO) MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III received Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of Pontifical Council Cor Unum, in a courtesy call in Malacañang on Wednesday. Accompanying Cardinal Sarah during the event were Rev. Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, undersecretary for the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Rev. Msgr. Chibuike Onyeaghala, Deputy Head of Mission, apostolic nunciature in the Philippines, and Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines Giuseppe Pinto. President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, during the Courtesy Call at the Music Room of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (January 29, 2014). (Photo by Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau) The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development is a part of the curia of the Catholic Church established by Pope Paul VI on July 15, 1971. It is based in the Palazzo San Callisto, Piazza San Callisto in Rome, Italy. The name of the pontifical council means “one heart”. Its mission is care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and manifested through the charity of Christ. The council carries out humanitarian relief Read More …

    Dec 072013
    Mariel remains happy even without kids

    Mariel Rodriguez (MNS photo) Years since marrying Robin Padilla, TV host Mariel Rodriguez still has no plans of having a baby. She said that being happy with what she has now could be a reason having kids is far from their minds. The celebrity couple has been traveling a lot lately with stops in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Venice, Italy. “Robin is really big star. We cannot really go around here in the Philippines ‘di ba? Kasi do’n, naglalakad kami sa kalye, ang saya namin. We’re not doing anything just walking, ‘Ang ganda dito no?’ Enjoy kami,” she said. Her relationship with Robin is on its third year and she describes the relationship as her longest and one that she hopes would last forever. As for work, Mariel neither confirmed nor denied her rumored return to ABS-CBN. (MNS)

    Sep 072013
    Flights between Phl and Italy to increase after EU air ban lifted

    MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippines and Italy recently agreed to increase the number of air flights bound for both destinations after the European Union lifted its ban on Philippine air carriers last July, a senior official said here today. The development would be a boost to the country’s tourism sector and a relief to Filipinos working in Italy, said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. Under the new terms, the Philippines and Italy would have 14 flights per week. This number of flights is a tremendous increase from one flight a week since 1969. “This is one of the good news particularly to the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). They do not need to make long trip, (because) they could now take direct flights,” Valte said in an interview over a state-run radio station on Saturday. At present, there are 170,000 Filipinos working or staying in Italy. Valte said the increased flights between the two countries will boost the Philippine tourism front, which has been posting continuous increase in the number of visitors entering the country. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The Philippines’ Civil Aeronautics Board said earlier that the Philippines and Italy had agreed to increase seat entitlements between the two countries during the air service talks held in Rome on Sept. 5 and 6. The air service talks between the Philippines and Italy came after the European Union lifted its ban on Philippine air carriers, starting with Philippine Airlines, on July 10. 

    Sep 062013
    Phl, Italy agree to hike flights

    MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Italy have agreed to increase weekly flights between the two countries, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said. “We got 14 flights per week between the Philippines and Italy,” CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in a text message to reporters. The agreement was reached during the air talks held in Italy on Wednesday and Thursday. Under the previous agreement entered into in 1969, only one flight is allowed per week between the two countries. Arcilla noted that there are 170,000 Filipinos in Italy. “Rome and Milan can also be a jump off point for traffic between Southern Europe and the Philippines,” he added. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The development comes as the European Union (EU) lifted in July a ban it imposed three years ago which prevented airlines from the Philippines, led by flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), from operating in Europe. EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said the ban was lifted as the European Commission and the Air Safety Committee were encouraged by the actions being undertaken by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and PAL to address outstanding aviation safety issues. PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang announced after the lifting of the EU ban that the airline intends to fly to Rome as well as other popular European destinations such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Madrid. The air talks are being held in line with the open skies policy. Executive Order 29 which Read More …

    Aug 252013
    Gov’t to roll out P53-B foreign-assisted projects

    MANILA, Philippines – The government plans to roll out P53.297 billion worth of foreign assisted projects (FAPs) next year, 36.47 percent higher than this year’s P39.04 billion. According to Department of Finance data, the Philippines is seen to receive P29.11 billion worth of donor financing in 2014, an increase of 11.75 percent from the expected P26.05 billion this year. Japan remains the largest source of financial aid with P14.31 billion, 36.5 percent more than this year’s P10.48 billion. Of the programmed FAPs, P23.87 billion would come from counterpart funds while P169.16 million will be in the form of grants. The Japanese government extends financial support through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan Export-Import Bank, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The Asian Development Bank is the second largest donor for FAPs with P5.5 billion. It is one of the country’s biggest sources of dollar-denominated program loans. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Korea is extending P3.38 billion while the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing P2.84 billion. France is contributing P2 billion while Italy is lending P424.5 million. Most of the FAPs are infrastructure-related which include the construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, expressways, airports and railways. The government has been scaling up infra spending to further pump-prime the local economy. Other projects cover flood control, water irrigation and food production.  Other funds would go to the development of sub-specialty center for heart, lung and kidney diseases in Luzon and Visayas. The rest of the loans are distributed Read More …

    Feb 262013
    Stocks sink as investors worry over Italian vote

    MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua)- Profit takers pulled down the Philippine stock market today. The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 1.35 percent or 90.66 points to 6,630.67. The broader all-share index retreated by 0.77 percent or 32.07 points to 4,144.87. Trading volume reached 2.03 billion shares worth P10.49 billion ($257.83 billion) with 111 stocks declining, 55 advancing, and 43 unchanged. All six counters closed in the negative. Analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said investors took note of the 216-point drop of the Dow Jones industrial average index to start booking their gains. “It was a day filled with a menu of negative news from Europe,” Calaycay said. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Among the negative developments cited by the analyst was the latest election in Italy. Investors are worried over projections in Italy that showed no political coalition is strong enough to form a government. This might lead to political deadlocks that could lead to another Euro-zone crisis. Italy is divided between those pushing for austerity measures as a means to restore the economy back to health and the populists, who oppose such measures. In the US, Calaycay said investors are growing apprehensive over the developments in Europe and ahead of a spate of economic data this week. Stocks in the 30-company index were mostly down. These issues were SM Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Ayala Land, Inc.