Armed with Passion for Performing, MCGC Wants to Slay Gov’t Choral Match
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Armed with their strong passion for singing and performing, the Marikina City Government Chorale (MCGC) is aiming to sing its way to win the much-coveted Government Choral Competition that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) holds every year.
“Our target is to compete in the Civil Service choral competition. It’s prestigious. It’s a national competition at malaki ang prizes,” says Boyet Cruz, choirmaster of MCGC.
“We plan to join this year, but we were not able to submit a video in time for the June 15 deadline. So we look forward to joining next year.”
Janet Obispo, city personnel officer and adviser of the choral, is supportive of joining the competition since that will bring honor and pride to the City Government and the entire Marikina.
Started in 2000, the competition is one of the activities lined up for the anniversary celebration of the CSC every year in September. It aims to showcase the talents of various government agencies in choral singing. This year, the grand prize winner will receive P200,000 cash prize; first runner-up P150,00; second runner-up, 100,000; third runner-up P75,000. All the winners will also receive plaques.
In the meantime, the MCGC, composed of 28 members (18 females, 10 males) who are all city-paid employees of the Marikina City Government, is busy honing their singing and performing skills. They practice every Tuesday for two hours (3:00-5:00 pm), and sometimes, when there are engagements and events where they are going to perform, they also practice after office hours.
Their most recent performance was during the visit of Davao City officials led by Mayor Sara Duterte to Marikina to sign the sisterhood agreement. He says they were given only a few days to master some songs, including the Davao City Hymn. Luckily, they nailed the performance and received an enthusiastic applause even from the visiting officials from Davao.
Before this, they also performed during the celebrations of the 388th Founding Anniversary of Marikina and the Ka-Angkan Festival in April held at the Kapitan Moy, where visitors from Sakai Town in Japan, led by its Mayor Masahiro Hashimoto, were also in attendance. Sakai Town is another sister city of Marikina forged under the term of Mayor Marcy Teodoro.
Boyet says the choir members are all doing this for the love and passion for singing and performing, as well as to serve the Marikenos. They get a high, not only when they are performing before a live audience, but more so when they hear loud applause and cheers from the audience.
Five-Year Old Choir
The choir is still on its baby steps, so to speak, but is already making some waves.
Formed in March 2013, the choir has performed not only within the City Hall but in other government offices as well. They have been invited to sing at events by the Civil Service and the Philippine Red Cross.
“The MCGC is a brainchild of mam Janet (Obispo). After the inter-cluster choral competition during the Christmas Party in the City Hall in 2012, she thought of institutionalizing a choir for the LGU of Marikina," says Boyet.
"So she commissioned Romulo Cruz and Eddie Dizon to organize it after getting the approval of the then Mayor Del. Kaya siya itinayo dahil walang choir dito. So kapag may function na kailangan nila ang choir, kumukuha pa sila sa labas,” adds Boyet.
Eddie was a former assistant personnel officer in the City Hall, while Romulo used to be the secretary of the City Council. Both are now retired.
Boyet, who studied BS Commerce, has been passionate about singing and choir mastering since he was young. He took up voice at the University of the Philippines and has been managing the choir group of the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ since he was in high school.
During an inter-high school choral competition sponsored by the Marikina City Government, he met Romulo and Eddie and they invited him to form the MCGC. Members went through rigorous auditions and trainings before they landed a slot in the choir, he says. The rest, as they say, is history.
Until now, the MCGC still holds auditions and welcomes walk-in applicants every time there is an opening in the choir.
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