Friday, August 26, 2011

Hataw sa Kalikasan

There were two shows: gala at 2pm and matinee at 5:30pm at the UPLB Dioscoro L. Umali Hall, yesterday, 26 August, 2011.  In both shows, the DLU Hall was SRO.  No surprise about that.  It was Noel Cabangon’s concert for a cause, Hataw sa Kalikasan.  The gala show was for the general public, while the matinee show was exclusively for The Learning Place (whose students from Grade I-VI are called Earth Ambassadors).  Jegs and I attended the matinee show and got caught in the frenzy with the students of TLP running all over the place prior to the start of the concert.  It was actually TLP’s show, with Noel Cabangon as guest, one could say.  Well, the Directress of TLP, Ms. Veronica Quintana-Arioder,  is a neice of Mr. Cabangon.  I suppose that makes all the difference.  There is a very significant connect there.  But I’m digressing.

I’ve attended musical concerts before (I prefer the R&B and ballad types), but this was something I enjoyed.  It was full of energy.  I didn’t realize Cabangon is such a good concert artist.  I like the guy’s style.  He’s both good composer and performer.  “I was the only member of the family that went seriously into music,” he said.  He also emphasized that his music has a purpose.  Well, he’s an environmentalist.

I did not count, but he did perform quite a number of songs the great majority of which were environment-oriented.  One of the highlights of the show that I did like was Mr. Cabangon’s duet with Jong Sumangil, native of Los Baños – he’s currently Bgy. Kagawad of Batong Malake, Los Baños, and brother of the current vice mayor of the town.  His tenor voice was just right in combination with Cabangon’s in their rendition of Pagmasdan Ang Kapaligiran.  I’ve always loved that song, an original by the disbanded group called Asin in the 70s.

Since this matinee show was an exclusive show for the TLP, there was significant participation of students of this school.  The show was designed as a concert program with the participation of TLP students.  The entire show could be subdivided into the following: a video presentation with two TLP student-hosts annotating.  This video presentation was an environmental promotion show, through and through.  After the video show, lower grade students (Grades I-IV) performed environment-oriented songs.  Then the show went on to Jong Sumangil’s performance (two songs), and a sister-brother act of Nicole and Carlo, who did four songs (they were good).  Then the main show with Noel Cabangon.  The last portion was also a TLP dominated portion, but Jegs and I didn’t finish this portion anymore.

I was touched by the performance of the TLP students, together with Cabangon, of a song that he (Cabangon) specially composed for the kids to perform.  Things like that, to me, demonstrate the kind of values the man has.  Most likely, that was pro-bono.  That, to me, adds more significance to what an artist stands for.

In previous pictures of Cabangon that I’ve seen, he was clean cut.  During his concert at UPLB, he sported a mustache and beard.  I thought he looked artist-ty with it.  By the way, he has a lean but good band comprised of a lead guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, base guitarist, and a percussionist.  They were all very good.

To me, the only downside was the size of the DLU Hall.  It’s small for this kind of concert, therefore the accompaniment sound drowned the performers’ vocals for the most part.  Such kind of concert should have been done outdoors.  But, then again, they wouldn’t have been able to sell tickets would they?

Sponsors of Noel Cabangon’s Hataw sa Kalikasan Concert for a Cause at the UPLB Auditorium were the following:  The Learning Place (TLP) in cooperation with the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies, UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management, and the UPLB Environmental Society.

The concert went very well, never mind the glitches in terms of disorganized management of the public prior to entrance to the concert hall. Since people who went to watch the Cabangon concert paid for the their tickets, they should have been ushered in the moment they arrived and not made to wait in line fronting an entrance door that also served as exit door.

Many of the volunteer ushers and usherettes were members of the UPLB Environmental Society, one of the co-sponsors, and they weren’t briefed on what to do by the TLP group, which was clearly calling the shots for the matinee show.  But, I guess, for those who paid to see the concert, it was worth it.

So, just the same, congratulations to the sponsors for such a good show.  The Los Baños community needs this every now and then.


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