Performances of the UP Symphony Orchestra (UPSO), University choral groups, and several militant artists on a set-up dominated by an art installation brought the spirit of the First Quarter Storm (FQS) to life on February 7, 2020 on the historic AS Steps of UP Diliman’s Palma Hall.
The event, “FQS: Konsyertong Bayan sa Ika-50 Taon”, was written by Bonifacio Ilagan and directed by Chris Millado, with musical direction by UPSO Conductor Josefino Chino Toledo. It featured an art installation of Toym Imao, called “Nagbabadyang Unos”, inspired by the barricades of the UP Diliman Commune of 1971, and upon which flowers were offered for dead activists by University officials and National Artists from UP.
A crowd composed of FQS and Diliman Commune veterans, University constituents, and the general public converged for the evening concert, shielding themselves from the rain with jackets and umbrellas, but staying glued to their seats and places for the entirety of the show.
The numbers were linked together by spiels by Bonifacio Ilagan and atmospheric soundscape from the FQS recreated by Teresa Barrozo, beginning and ending with orchestral variations and community singing of “UP Naming Mahal”.
The featured songs were “Baligtad na ang Mundo”, “Di Pangkaraniwan”, and “Anak ng Bayan”, all performed by the band, Musikang Bayan. These were followed by “Awit ni Bobby”, “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa”, “Jocelynang Baliuag”, “Tagpi-tagping Kundimang Hibik ng Bayan”, “Sulong Gerilyero”, “The Internationale”, “Kalatas ng Manggagawa” (excerpt), an FQS medley, “Alamat ng Lahi”, “Bella Ciao”, and a “Bayan Kong Hirang” medley. These were performed by the vocal groups AUIT Vocal Chamber Ensemble, the UP Singing Ambassadors, the UP Staff Chorale, and the UP Cherubim and Seraphim; and vocal soloists Greg de Leon, Becky Demetillo, Stefanie Quintin-Avila, Malvin Macasaet, Upeng Fernandez, Rody Vera, and Michelle Mariposa.
Dance and theatrical performances were rendered by selected students from the UP Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts; Sarah Samaniego, Leong Sil Rose Panuelos, and Louise Grace Nightingale Meneses of the UP Dance Co.; Panday Sining, Alay Sining, and the UP Repertory Company.
Lester Demetilo and Dodgie Fernandez provided guitar accompaniment, and Janine Samaniego of the UPSO played “The Internationale” on the violin. Joel Lamangan and Monique Wilson recited the names of the FQS heroes and martyrs, while the UPSO played Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”.
Messages were delivered by UP President Danilo Concepcion, outgoing UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan and incoming Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo near the end of the program.
“Gaya nang naganap limang dekada na ang nakaraan, hinaharap din ng ating administrasyon ang mga hamon ng panahon sa pamamagitan ng pagtatatag ng mga institusyon at polisiyang sisigurong walang makalilimot sa ating kasaysayan bilang isang pamantasan, isang pamayanan, at isang bayan [Like what happened five decades ago, our administration faces challenges of the times, by establishing institutions and policies that will ensure no one forgets our history as a university, a community, and a nation],”Concepcion said. He cited UP’s annual Day of Remembrance in September and the ground-breaking for a martial law memorial on campus as examples.
The concert was an offering of the Offices of the UP President and of the UP Diliman Chancellor, organized through the UP Diliman Office of Initiatives in Culture and the Arts and Surian ng Sining, in cooperation with the College of Music and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.