By Ben Rosario
President Rodrigo Duterte will score a first in Philippine history when his fourth State of the National Address will also have the internationally-acclaimed Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) performing live from the Batasan Pambansa plenary hall on July 22.
Movie and television director Joyce Bernal disclosed that Congress has agreed to invite the PPO to render some of classic Filipino music to welcome lawmakers, key government officials and foreign dignitaries who will troop to the plenary hall on Monday afternoon.
Bernal said the presence of the 65-man ensemble will be a first in SONA history.
The PPO is the country’s leading orchestra that has carved out a name as among the best musical ensemble to perfrom around the world.
“Compared to the previous SONAs, medyo magugulat sila na mayroong Philharmonic na sasalubong sa kanila…Tama doon si Director Joyce Bernal, maiiba yung SONA (this year). This is an added something na binibigyan ng significance ang art, because we need that, said Cultural Center of the Philippines president Arsenio Lizaso. (They will be surprised because there will be the Philharmonic to welcome them. Director Joyce Bernal is correct, this SONA will be different. The significance of art will be added because we need that)
“We need to announce to the different Senators and Congressmen that we are around. We can be available to them,” Lizaso added.
The CCP will not charge any fee for the performance of the PPO.
Bernal has also reportedly waived her usual directorial fees as she applies her artistic talent in directing one of the grandest political events in the country.
Under Bernal’s direction, last year’s SONA was deemed the most dramatic compared to previous years.
Bernal, who condujcted an ocular inspection of the SONA venue, told reporters that the performance of the orchestra is a realized dream as she envisioned the SONA to be characterized with hope and its mood lively and grand.
“Medyo bago sana yung mga perspective natin. We want it grand, sana nga may magandang music na live. Pangarap lang po ito. Kung may budget at may nanglibre, okay sana,” Bernal earlier said during her ocular visit at the House of Representatives.