Mrs. Amelita D. Guevara, indefatigable founder and head of our well-known Coro de San Antonio, has been named this year’s chairman of the yearly FRANCISFEST. She immediately called an informal meeting on Friday, July 10 to announce the good news that the long-awaited and world-known Cecil Licad had accepted our invitation to be the honoured guest performer at our Francisfest Concert.
Amelita then briefly mapped out ways and means, over-all strategies and other concerns to be taken up in greater detail at subsequent meetings to make this year’s Francisfest a great success, since it fortunately coincides with our Parish’s Ruby Anniversary.
Present at this initial meeting were Fr. Reu Galoy, OFM, Parish Priest, Rosalinda Orosa, well-known music critic and columnist, members of the Parish Council Jaime Blanco, Edmund Lim, Dee Chan, Tina Teehankee, Girlie Sison and Lourdes de Leon. Also present was Suzette Gatmaitan, so generous about the printing needs of the parish and in charge of Souvenir Program.
A second meeting was held on Thursday, July 16 and included Marilou Consing and Jeannie Bitanga of the Parish Bulletin, Menchu Bautista, Scholarship Committee, Carina Lebron and Lyn Rivilla.
Taken up in greater detail were matters concerning program and production, publicity and promotion, sponsorship, tickets, souvenir program, technical and physical arrangements, traffic and security, and a host of other matters which will be ironed out in greater detail.
The meeting also discussed important committees and their members, details of which will be published when completely finalized. Beneficiaries of our Francisfest celebration have been asked to submit articles to our Parish Bulletin describing their invaluable community work.
Amelita comes from several generations of Church involved families. Her grandmother Pacita Roxas de Katigbak was a daily communicant and used to play the organ in their Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Lipa. So was her mother, Imelda Katigbak Dayrit. She also was a daily mass goer and was the official organist of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Amelita was commandeered by Diding Panlilio, then head of the Christian Family Movement, thus becoming the unofficial conductor of small choir of the then Shrine of St. Anthony in 1962. It was then made up of a spritely 10 or so volunteer member from CFM. The rest is history.
Amelita has always been involved in the Francisfest since day 1 when it was conceived by Fr. Hugh Zurat, then Parish Priest, in 1986. She was mostly in charge of the program and has produced major choral works like Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mendelssohn’s Oratorio of St. Paul and Elijah and many others.
This year Francisfest will feature Cecile B. Licad, who is not only a world acclaimed pianist but happens to be also the niece of Cards Guevara, Amelita’s husband. The Chairmanship of this year’s Francisfest was first offered to two other probable Chairpersons, who first agreed and then regretted because of other commitments. What is God’s message here, she asked Fr. Reu. Little did she realize that she has been “divinely” chosen. It is with great pride therefore that Amelita, in her stint as Chairperson for the first time in her long service to our Church that Francisfest presents such an outstanding artist.