Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beautiful Children Concert

I was able to watch the Beautiful Children Concert last night courtesy of my friend from UNICEF.

I read about it from Ticket2Me and grew curious. It was presented by the Beautiful Mind Charity, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, UNICEF, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines and is sponsored by the United Korean Community Association of the Philippines.

It was a benefit concert for the UNICEF Child Protection Fund. Some of the performers were people with disability, and they were very inspiring. Sang Jae Lee, a visually-impaired clarinetist, made my heart sing with his music. I had goose bumps when Hee Ah Lee, who only had two fingers in each hand and walked on her knees as she had 1st grade Congenital Limb Deformity, played Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu brilliantly, followed by Anak, which she also sang in Tagalog. I asked myself, how many of us, with all of our fingers intact, do not exert enough effort to hone our skills. I can play the piano some and sing some, but not do both, while there she was, so small yet so powerful with her message of love and friendship.

I forgot to get our copies of the program, but was lucky enough because my date could name the pieces being played from memory. I brought him because I knew he could appreciate music and art. We went around the galleries in CCP before the show started and I asked him, not for the first time, to buy a painting for our living room. He said he'd just commission my eldest brother to paint one. I do hope that happens.

The Filipino artists who performed were soprano Alexis Edralin, who successfully survived a bout with Leukemia, and UNICEF Ambassador Gary Valenciano, the man after my own heart. I think it would have been better had Gary used live music to accompany his rendition of "I Will Be Here" and "The Warrior is a Child". He was supposed to be the surprise special number, but the other artists outshone him because they played live music.

I think nothing compares to going to a concert. Even the most high-tech sound systems and iPods cannot beat the raw emotions of the music emanating from the instruments like the piano, clarinet, flute, violin, cello, and drums. The performers might commit some mistakes but it adds to the authenticity of the experience. I was mesmerized by the movements of the violin, the most romantic musical instrument in my book. I'd like to own one someday even if I don't get to play it.

We ate at one of the restaurants in Harbour Square and remembered Darling Harbour, one of our favorite spots in Sydney. I made a mental note to tell my sister that Manila also had a nice harbour, especially at night.

It was getting late so my father and I went home to tell my mother about the concert. You must have guessed by now. My father, the Koreanovela lover and silent UNICEF sponsor of many years, was the perfect date for that special evening. The concert reminded me of many dreams I had, of helping the children, working for UNICEF, playing the piano, and singing for a cause. After watching a concert like that, I took this with me, that it was not too late to reach my dreams.

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