By MARK LORENZANA
At a Christmas party that I attended with my wife here in Mexico City on Sunday, Dec. 4, organized by the Philippine Embassy in Mexico, something caught my attention: not just the Filipino food, which my Mexican wife and I both enjoyed immensely, or the fun games and activities, but the Filipino choir that sang during the mass that was offered before the event.
As Filipino choirs are wont to do, the Choir of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Mexico — as they are officially called — sang both English and Tagalog songs. I found myself singing along unabashedly to one particular Tagalog song that’s one of my favorites as a kid — “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit” or, when translated into English, “Christmas Has Come” — to my wife’s amusement.
Spearheaded by vice consul Marisa Rosauro-Winkler, the Filipino choir, which is supported by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, aims to promote Philippine music in Mexico.
The choir was organized this year by Filipino-American choral director Dany Mioskowski Cámara, who is also a Mexican resident. Mioskowski Cámara, who studied piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and who currently works as a music teacher, is no stranger to promoting Philippine music and culture in the country, being in charge of a community children’s choir in Querétaro, where he taught the group to sing one of the most famous Filipino children’s songs — “Bahay Kubo” (palm hut) — in a concert in Quéretaro.
Incidentally, Mioskowski Cámara is also choral director of the Mexican choir Ensamble Coral Orígenes (ECO), whose repertoire — among others — includes music from the Renaissance, Gregorian chants, music from Hildegarde von Bingen and traditional carols.
Mioskowski Cámara and the Philippine Embassy in Mexico are inviting everyone to a two-night Advent-Christmas concert in Mexico City, which will feature both ECO and the Choir of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Mexico.
The first concert, featuring ECO, will be on Friday, Dec. 9, at 8:30 p.m. in Néctar Café, at Álvaro Obregón 185, Roma Norte.
The second one, which will include the special participation of the Choir of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Mexico, will be held a week after the first concert, on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7:00 p.m., in the church of Santa María de la Natividad, at Colonia Narvarte Oriente.
Admission to both concerts is free of charge, and everyone is welcome.
For more information, visit the Philippine Embassy in Mexico’s Facebook page.