3 July 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his appreciation to the 26 members of the Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP) Rondalla after watching their song and dance presentation during a courtesy call at Malacañan Palace.
The President said that he “really enjoyed” the IP Rondalla’s rendition of the songs ‘Isang Dugo/Kay Ganda’, ‘Pobreng Alindahaw’, ‘Palladio’, and the ensemble’s signature song ‘Maria Cristina.’
The IP Rondalla’s last visit to the Presidential Palace was on July 1990 for a special performance before President Corazon Aquino. On that occasion, the ensemble was given a yellow mug printed with “I had coffee with Cory.”
The IP Rondalla was established as the performing arm of Iskwelahang Pilipino, a non-profit and grassroots organization founded by a group of parents in the Greater Boston area. Run by volunteers, it aims to create an environment where children can learn about their Filipino heritage and culture. It has performed in various colleges and folk festivals in the eastern part of the United States and has gone on concert tours in a number of European countries, as well as the Philippines. Caroling is its main way of raising funds and it had an opportunity to serenade the Aquino family in its Boston residence where Senator Ninoy Aquino, Jr. gave a $100 donation.
In brief remarks, President Aquino thanked the ensemble for “keeping base with the country” and encouraged the young members of the IP Rondalla who are visiting the Philippines for the first time to enjoy their vacation.
He also informed them of his earlier meeting with several Cabinet members regarding Typhoon Pablo where 186,000 families are affected. Government will be spending between Php 11-12 billion to ensure that the typhoon victims get to rebuild their lives and get back to normalcy at the soonest possible time.
After the song and dance presentation, President Aquino gave a traveling bag/organizer with the presidential seal to the IP Rondalla members, as well as the new P500 bill featuring Ninoy and Cory and signed by the Chief Executive.
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