“Musika-mustahan Para sa Kalayaan, Kalusugan at Kaligtasan”

Moving forward to the Friday of June 12, the Philippines’ 122nd Independence Day, the Filipino Music & Arts Association of Canada Inc. (FMAACI) also pushed through with its own nearly-cancelled annual event, the 3rd Filipino Folk Music Festival. In past years, the concert was held at the Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre. Due to the pandemic, however, FMAACI retooled the event into a free, live-streaming concert.

This year’s theme was “Musika-mustahan Para sa Kalayaan, Kalusugan at Kaligtasan” to reflect the pandemic era. The program ran from 7 PM to 10 PM with Aida Madridejo, past president of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg, and Ernesto Ofiaza, FMAACI president, emceeing the affair. As the concert streamed from its new, leaner venue at the FSG Event Hall in Winnipeg, the slate of performers included a who’s who of the Winnipeg folk music and contemporary music scene, with artists such as Levy Abad, Manny Araullo, Azel Navarro, Zaldy Ordonez, Cynthia Soriano, Christine Mazur, Daniel Tabo-oy Jr, Joyce Colada, Shirley Platon, Yzza Lijauco and Roni Rigor and Rodel Olesco. John Lopez of JLopez Photography looked after the photo coverage as performers took the stage with the Philippine Super Flag as their backdrop. The event culminated with the emcees and all the performers up on stage singing a stirring rendition of “Bayan Ko” (My Country).

Viewers across Canada and around the world had the option of watching the musical spectacle on the FMAACI Facebook page or through the special webpage of event partner Barangay Canada at https://barangaycanada.com/fmaaci. As of press time, parts 1 and 2 of the concert video were both nearing 7,000 views. In a statement on FMAACI’s Facebook page, Ofiaza thanked all the performers, the viewers who watched around the world, and all the medical frontliners and essential workers to whom the concert was dedicated.

Photos by John Lopez Photography