Letran Singing Ambassadors mark PHILTOA comeback with third title

September 5, 2017


The Letran Singing Ambassadors announced their return to the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) Eco-Chorale competition with familiar fanfare, besting other schools to bag their third championship last September 3.

Now in its 28th year, the Philippine Travel Mart, a tourism event organized by PHILTOA, features special events such as a cultural dance contest, a tourism quiz bee, Patimpalak ng Kasuotang Pilipino, the chorale competition, and Himig ng Kundiman.

After sitting out last year due to a lack of members, the Singing Ambassadors came back strong with their performance of “Himig Pasko” by Arnel de Pano, which was the contest piece, and “Chua-Ay”, a Philippine folklore song, the group’s choice piece. Interestingly, the latter was also the song they used when the Singing Ambassadors clinched their back-to-back PHILTOA title in 2015.

While the choir is elated with its recent achievement, Elsie Eranista, the Singing Ambassadors’ conductor for almost five years now, said that they had to cope with the fact that majority of her choristers were new, all of them coming from the Senior High department.

“They had to adjust and be at par with [our veterans]. They had to reach that level,” she said.

With less than a month to rehearse, the Singing Ambassadors, despite having ‘untested’ members, performed like professionals. Alumni who were present during the competition even acknowledged the outstanding potential of the group, said Beverlyn Cueva, the choir’s president.

“If they will be committed to their craft, they will still get better,” she said of the future of the choir.

Ivan Kaye Bantigue, the lone Senior High faculty who is part of the Singing Ambassadors, said that the participation of the Senior High School is a good opportunity for both students and teachers to showcase their other skills.

“[I hope] I can inspire my students to discover their other talents,” she said.

In addition to the championship, Communication senior Christian Robles was declared the first runner up in the Himig ng Kundiman contest, with his performance of Nicanor Abelarde’s “Bituing Marikit” and “Pakiusap” by Francisco Santiago.

“It was very challenging. Kundimans are hard to sing; they’re really technical,” said Robles. “My win was really a miracle.”

The Letran Singing Ambassadors are eyeing a slot in the Manila Broadcasting Company National Chorale Competition which will happen in December. One of their goals also is to compete in Singapore in 2018.

Their current members are Bantigue, Cueva, Robles, Krysene Bello, Angelica Santuile, Paula Satimbre, Jenny Dinauanao, Patricia Villamarzo, Francine Molina, Raign Bueno, Shaine Cariño, Jem Santos, Abigail Arendain, Jamil Crescini, Reden Loyola, Lenard Delgado, Christian Merle, Daniel Kitma, Anthony Rentoy, Nilo Molina Jr., and Aerich Balanggao.