By Roy Lie Atjam
December 1st 2022. The Embassy of the Philippinnes presented the Nightingale concert to the Diplomatic community and friends. It has been an indelible evening with the Nightingales.
Filipinos are known for their contribution to international law, their polyvalency, and their musicality.
The Nightingale’ Himig ng Pasko Christmas concert at the Kalayaan Hall Embassy of the Philippines The Hague on 1 December 2022 was a delight, it lifted ones spirit.
The Nightingale duo, Bernadette Mamauag and Katrina Marie Sagad.
Their repertoire included opera, Broadway classics, folksongs and popular melodies, all presented fantastically. Notably the glorious rendition of Granada. The Nightingale’ Himig ng Pasko Christmas concert has been a radiant success, a demonstration of Filipino culture.
In his remarks at the Embassy’s Kalayaan Hall, H.E. Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said, “tonight’s Himig ng Pasko, A Christmas Concert, is our way of saying thank you for your support, kind understanding, and for being part of our collective work this year 2022. We hope that through the wonderful music of the Nightingales, we can help spread the joys and cheers of the Yuletide season and convey our heartfelt appreciation.” The Kalayaan Hall was decorated with colorful Parol Christmas lanterns for the occasion.
The Nightingales stunned the crowd with their operatic opener “Pie Jesu” (Holy Jesus). It was followed by equally appreciated renditions of “Granada,” “Habanera,” “Hymne a l’amour” (The Hymn to Love) “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Yannis Aria,” which comprised their first set of songs. These were followed by the contemporary songs “I Know Him So Well,” “Runaway” and “Someone Like You, and Christmas classic “Oh Holy Night,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time,” “Stille Nacht,”“Kumukutikutitap” (Flickering) and “Payapang Daigdig” (Peaceful World).
In a surprise number, Ambassador Malaya took to the piano and accompanied the Nightingales’ in singing “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” (It’s Christmas my dear).
Filipino-Dutch artist Ms. Sarah Jane Verouden also provided a piano intermezzo of traditional Christmas carols.
Thai Ambassador Chatri Archjananun and his spouse Mme. Nataya said that the concert was a “fascinating performance which showcased the excellent performance of Philippine artists.” “It is indeed a great way to start the Christmas celebration. I also felt the very warm hospitality of the Embassy officers and staff,” the Ambassador added.
“It was a lovely concert in a nicely renovated Embassy Chancery,” remarked Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities.
Fr. Sjaak de Boer delivered a Christmas message underscoring the importance of “taking care of our shared earth and fellowmen and women which is not only measured in material gain but of people’s happiness.”
The event was capped off by the community singing of the popular Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
The event was in collaboration with the Music for Environment and National Development (MEND) and the Philippines-Netherlands Business Council.
Well-attended by members of the diplomatic corps and other key officials from The Netherlands’ Government and other international organizations based in The Hague, the event was the Embassy’s way of conveying thanks and appreciation to those who extended support to its initiatives and programs for the year 2022.