Fil-Am rondalla program thrives
SAN JOSE,California—A Filipino American musical organization based in this city has continued to promote a diverse, local musical culture while helping improve the lives of many young people.
Pagyamanin Likas Musika (PLM), an informal not-for-profit group established by George Gange with friends and former schoolmates, has a unique Rondalla Instrument Lending Program for interested children of a nominated village or school in the Philippines.
From its humble beginnings in February 2010, the PLM rondalla instrument lending rogram has reached 46 community/institution beneficiaries.
This number includes an orphanage in Davao, a foundation for street children in Quezon City, an elementary school in Payatas and Southern Leyte, GK Villages in Angat, Bulacan, and Imus Cavite, indigenous tribes in Roxas, Palawan, a Philippines National School for the Blind in Pasay and a similar school in Davao serving hundreds of underprivileged children.
Seven of the program’s beneficiary groups’ performances at the 3rd Pagyamanin Likas Musika Rondalla Festival (“Kwerdas Sa Kaunlaran”) last Feb. 23 proved the value of the PLM program.
Held at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila University Activity Center the free event showcased newfound rondalla talents of many underprivileged children.
An added highlight of the festival was the special participation of what is considered the best rondalla group today, Celso Espejo Rondalla (CER) of Las Pinas City.
“Hopefully our participation in this festival has inspired many budding Rondalla groups,” said CER’s soloist, UP Prof. Elaine Espejo-Cajucom.
President Benigno S. Aquino III sent a message to the festival,” lauding the event as “an affirmation of our artistic legacy, as our youth now come together to fill the air with the classic songs of the Rondalla. Pagyamanin Likas Musika’s civic contributions have given hope to many of our kababayans.