, January 29, 2005  (STAR)  C‘EST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop  -  The Cebu chapter of the Children’s Hour recently launched a fundraising campaign, entitled "A Weekend for the Children" at the Ayala Food and Entertainment Center where they tapped friends and generated much-needed funds to support programs and projects for special disadvantaged children.

Founded in the United Kingdom under the stewardship of Prime Minister Tony Blair and brought to the Philippines in 1999 by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, the association, now in its fifth year, continues to offer opportunities for the community to share its blessings through the Children’s Hour.

Souvenir booths at strategic locations were mounted within the complex, which gave patrons a corresponding gift item for every donation. Kiddie rides, face painting, and on-line gaming were likewise available. In the evening, there was a mass turnover of corporate and company donations with surprise presentations and performances from the beneficiaries of the Children’s Hour. Gracing the affair were Cebu City First Lady Margot Osmeña, Cebu chapter chair Bernie Liu of Penshoppe and Club Pen models Cogie Domingo, Vince Cañizares, Matteo Guidicelli, Dawn Balagot, and Ala Paredes.

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To highlight the celebration of its golden jubilee, the Sacred Heart School-Jesuit, in cooperation with SHS-Jesuit Parent Teachers Association, staged Oliver, one of the best-loved musicals of all times based on Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, at the SM Theater One.

Fr. Ernesto Javier, school director, who also serves as chairman of the steering committee, noted in his welcome remarks that the production marks two returns: "A return to an old Jesuit school tradition, and a return to Sacred Heart School practice."

Multi-awardee Guam-based Cebuano director and choreographer Benjie Diola successfully molded untrained young talents to masterfully deliver their respective roles.

Special mention and congratulations go to: Lorenzo Urgel, Jovie Buot, and Justine Gorne, who alternately portrayed Oliver with such equal conviction and ease; Lorraine Dytian, and Analiza Romaguera, as Nancy, with their powerful voice; the dynamic acting of Anthony Sacris, and Kenneth Acap, as Fagin, the master of pickpockets; the Artful Dodger played by born thespian Gerauld Rivera, smart John Paul Fernandez, and soft-spoken Andrew Tiu. How can one forget the gifted Dr. Shawn Espina as the evil Bill Sikes? The proceeds of the much-applauded show aims to contribute to a state-of-the-art theater at the school’s new premises.

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The Magnificent Russia concert held recently at the Philamlife Auditorium had Moscow-based Mark Kadim guest conducting Rodel Colmenar’s Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, which played classic compositions of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. International pianist Cebuana Ingrid Sala Santamaria, the piano soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, a warhorse of a composition demanding 45 minutes of nearly nonstop playing, sailed through with unfaltering stamina and technique, earning the performance a standing ovation and two curtain calls.

The following day, Ingrid was feted to a brunch at the Intercon Jeepney Coffee Shop by dear friend and avid supporter Delia Jurado. Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, daughters Crispy Laurel and Cathy Escaño, and Sue Gray also joined the lovely intimate gathering of social pleasantries.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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