by Andrea Montalban
They say music is the language of the soul. True enough, many listen to music with no lyrics, or songs with lyrics they do not understand. Oddly enough (or not) people still understand theses songs’ meaning, the notes still touch their hearts, the songs still speak to them. Why? Because if there is one way to communicate with the rest of the universe it is through notes—the breaker of language barriers. Proof of that was seen in one of the noisiest places in the world—the mall.
Last January twenty-eight (28), in celebration of the coming of the year of the chick—er rooster, a concert was held in Shangrila Plaza, EDSA. No, Ken Chan was not there nor did Jackie Chan make an appearance, and Richard Poon did not serenade anyone. Despite the venue, it was not an event promoting a celebrity or brand, but a celebration of a happy race living with another equally joyful kin. An event promoting the bond between Chinese and Filipinos.
The performers were Philippine Cultural College Glee Club, Mr. Jhonvid Bangayan, Mr. Albert Cedric Tan, the Hope Chorale,
Ms. Angel Ko, Ms. Ellen Pao, and the 3 Sirens (read more about them here). All talented singers who serenaded shoppers with Chinese songs.
What makes this concert beautiful and unique is the emotion conveyed through their singing. It takes confidence to stand up on a stage, much more with the knowledge that the audience may not bother listening because of the language difference. Music speaks to any soul, even through Beethoven’s deafness, but it takes a passionate performer to penetrate the noisy consciousness of people. And that is what exactly happened—passion won through it all.
In a place where entertainment and business is the focus, where people rush from one place to another searching for something they want to claim as theirs, there is one thing that they already own yet take for granted. Something that does not have a price tag and will never go on sale. It has no label nor does it need one. In this one day of January, through arrangement of notes and composition of words, shoppers of Shangrila Plaza, EDSA were reminded of the priceless culture they have, and if they think they only have one—this event where cultures clashed in harmony proved them wrong.