Archdiocese of Manila presents Patron of the Arts 2017 benefit concert for mothers in need

The “Maria: The Most Beautiful Sound” set featuring different portraits of Mother Mary

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, in partnership with Jesuit Communications Foundation Inc. (JesCom), delivered a splendid early Christmas treat at the annual Patron of the Arts concert held December 12, 2017 at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City.

Appealing to the Filipino people’s staunch devotion to the Blessed Virgin, this year’s musicale entitled “Maria: The Most Beautiful Sound” creatively depicted the humble and pious life of Mother Mary through a series of spectacular virtuoso performances. That evening, critically-acclaimed director and Philippine cinema icon Laurice Guillen was honored as “Patron of the Arts’” 2017 awardee.

Directed by Rem Zamora, with musical direction by Ejay Yatco, “Maria” was headlined by truly world-class and proudly Filipino artists. The evening’s opening act featured Star in a Million finalist Frenchie Dy and standout The Voice contestant Poppert Bernadas belting stirring ballads “When you Believe” and “Maria” respectively. Celebrated folk singer and composer Noel Cabangon serenaded fans with a soothing medley of “Ugoy ng Duyan” and “Payapang Daigdig”.  Renowned theater actors Rod Nuestro and Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo captivated the gallery with their powerful renditions of “Better than I” and “Arise”. Asia’s Got Talent-winning group El Gamma Penumbra dazzled audiences with its shadow-play set to the tune of “Mary, Did You Know?” Not to be left out, Cardinal Tagle and JesCom’s Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ performed two songs, “You’ll Be in My Heart” and “When You Believe” together with the cast members.

Awardee Laurice Guillen onstage with Archbishop of Manila Chito Tagle

Inspired by the centennial celebration of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, the selected beneficiary of “Patron of the Arts” was the Archdiocese of Manila’s Mothers-in-Crisis Fund which gives assistance to indigent and suffering mothers who have been widowed and victimized by the government’s war on drugs. In line with the concert’s theme of Mary’s loving motherhood, the Archdiocese of Manila has kept these mothers and their families all under its care by providing for their basic needs and psychological treatment.

For JesCom Executive Director Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso, SJ, their support for the Archdiocese of Manila extends beyond the staging of the annual concert. “This marks our sixth straight year of producing Patron of the Arts. From this position, we assist in systematizing the fundraising programs of the Archdiocese to gather much-needed support for Cardinal (Luis Antonio) Tagle’s various initiatives, including drug rehabilitation.”

JesCom executive director Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ (right) presents a check representing the funds raised for the Patron of the Arts 2016 beneficiary, the aging and infirm priests of the Archdiocese of Manila. The Patron of the Arts fundraising campaign is a year-long activity.

Proceeds from “Patron of the Arts” will be utilized for the development of the Mothers-in-Crisis Fund and placed under the sole authority of the Economus or Treasurer of the Archdiocese. Together with the generous aid from benefactors and donors, the special fund is seen to greatly uplift the lives of these mothers and over 1,000 families across the five Metro Manila cities belonging to the Archdiocese.

Photographs and video (see link in 3rd paragraph above) courtesy of Roma Escaner