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Songs sung from the heart mark KAMMPI anniversary

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : The 14th anniversary of the Simbayanan-KAMMPI was celebrated with song from the heart. Held at Mother of Good Counsel parish in San Po Kong on October 14, the feature event of the day, which was attended by around 550 people, was a choir competition.

Each of 10 groups sang Sing to the Mountain, competing for creativity in presentation, interpretation and musical excellence. The winner was judged on overall presentation, apparent preparation, quality of accompaniment and costume.

The Saturday Group from the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos (DPCF), or the Mother of Good Counsel group, bagged the championship, while Queen of Peace, from Epiphany parish in Peng Chau, was runner up, with the Weekday Group of the DPCF judged third.

Anna Theresa Bongco, the guitarist of the DPCF Saturday Group, said she was delighted to have the opportunity to give thanks to God in song. “As the song is to praise God, we were happy even while practicing,” she said, adding that she chose the guitar as the sole accompaniment, to highlight originality in voice.

The group’s orange costume was designed by the conductor, Donette May. “I like the colour myself. It is bright and lively, representing the love of God. So it fits the song,” May said.

She explained that the group had been working on their costumes for three weeks and only finished them that morning.

The DPCF Sunday group also made special outfits for the occasion. Marilou Pungtillan designed a blue and white sailor-style uniform. She explained that the thanks for it go to her employer who donated the fabric.

Father Mark Anthony Serna, from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who came from Cotabato to Hong Kong just 10 months ago, was one of the judges.

He said that although he has done one year of musical training at university, he does not believe he can be regarded as a musician, but he does believe the performance of all the groups was generally of a high level.

“They put in the effort to prepare and master the song. When you heard them sing, you could not help but sing with them a bit,” he mused.

He explained that because of the across the board high quality of the performances, the champion, runner up and third place were only separated by a few points—88.6, 87 and 84.

Only 1.6 points separated first from second.

Kornelius Bardata, a seminarian of the Society of the Divine Word from Macau, who also offered his services as a judge, said people showed their talent and confidence well. He said that he was happy to see them united in praising God in song.

Mass was celebrated by Father Serna, Father Helmut Peter, Father Jay Flandez and Father Charlton Plateros.

Father Serna said that the cross that Jesus shouldered is the greatest sign of God’s love for us, so we should not have doubts or keep asking for more signs.

The officers selected for the 2013 to 2015 term pledged their loyalty during the Mass and were blessed by Father Serna.

The current president, Connie Padilla, was re-elected for a second term, together with the vice president, Remedios Araguil, and the treasurer, Adelita Ariza.

The new faces on the committee are the secretary, Milyn Manalansan; auditor, Eladia Sareno; and public relations officer, Thelma Belleza.

Padilla said she is grateful for the trust expressed in her by those who voted for her and that she gladly accepted the reappointment, as she is the type of person who cannot rest.

She warned people to expect changes in the regular activities of the KAMMPI, as she is always on the lookout for new ideas and believes that it is variety that keeps people’s interest up.

She pointed out that a choir competition is a first at the anniversary celebrations and she believes it is a good way for people to display their talent.

At last with a smile on her face, she admitted that she was one of the few who did not smile during the day, as she only had time to watch one complete performance.

She pointed out that the president’s job ranges from major things, like finding new themes for celebrations to small details, such as logistical problems at the venue and even hygiene.

A responsible president, she said she would stay until the end to help with the cleaning up and make sure that there would be nothing for the parish to complain about, as she really appreciates the hospitality they were offered with the use of the hall.

Belleza said she feels blessed and challenged to serve such a large community. Her predecessor on the committee, Gemma Aragones, added that one of the challenges of the public relations officer is to spot guests of honour coming to activities in a hall thronged with people and acknowledge them as soon as possible.

“Another difficulty is making them accept the refreshments and drinks, which they often politely decline,” she chuckled.

Sister Felicitas Nisperos, spiritual adviser to the group, said she was glad to hear different interpretations of the hymn. She said she was touched, as she could feel that everyone sang from the heart and out of love for God.

She told the gathering that she was thankful for their support and hopes that more and more people will come each year.


As the song is to praise God, we
were happy
even while

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