God works in mysterious ways! I helped Fr. Reu do a thorough search for this year’s Chairperson for FrancisFest 2015, but every effort failed. So I finally went to see him and asked, “What is God’s message to me?” He just smiled.
Because time was running short, I texted him the next day and said that if no one who had been asked could accept the job, I would be willing to do it. He texted me back, “I knew yesterday that it is YOU!” Thus began this “Fantastic Journey!”
Our Lord handed me, as it were, a magic wand that must have touched the hearts of this incredible pianist Cecile Licad, who happens to be my niece on the Guevara side, and Piki Lopez, a business executive who happens to be my nephew on my Dayrit side, and owner of the incredible ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra! Everything has been incredible since this incredible job landed on my lap!
I witnessed Cecile bloom from a chubby little girl of five into the glamorous, accomplished woman that she is today. It has been a joy to have witnessed much of this. Cards and I were at her inaugural concert with Zuhbin Mehta at the Lincoln Center in 1981 just as we had promised her when she excitedly left Manila at age 11. She received the Leventritt Award which launched her career. I was also there when she received a phone call announcing that she had been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Frederic Chopin in 1985. There have been many other happy occasions!
This evening Cecile will play Bartok’s Concert No.1. which I know is not easy to introduce and much less to be appreciated even by our very discriminating audience. But in the hands of Cecile Licad and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gerard Salonga, I am confident that it is going to be an exciting experience. Even Bartok, famous composer of this Concerto readily admitted that “its style is to a point difficult, and even very difficult for the orchestra and the public.” For the sake of our numerous charity and outreach programs, Piki right away agreed to partner with us with his Orchestra to perform this incredible Concerto! We are all truly excited!
God has led us every step of the way! Many challenges came our way, some seemingly insurmountable, but we survived them all as we reached out to God and to each other in love and worked endlessly. Our Working Committees were incredible as nothing seemed to faze them!
You, our dear Parishioners and Friends were one with us too! You also are so incredible! I can’t seem to find a better word than INCREDIBLE to describe every aspect of this “Fantastic Journey.”
We have come together this evening to give glory to God in the music so meticulously and enthusiastically prepared for you! THANK YOU ALL WHO HELPED US TO COME TO THIS NIGHT.
GOD LOVES YOU AND WE CERTAINLY LOVE YOU TOO! IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE THAT WE PRESENT CECILE AND GERARD AND THE ABS-CBN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA!
Amelita D. Guevarra