In celebration of the 2019 Filipino-American History Month, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in Hawaii (UPAAH), with the support of the University of the Philippines (UP), the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), arranged to bring the University of the Philippines Rondalla (UPR) from October 3-7, 2019 to showcase rondalla music, a unique musical genre in the Philippines. . A rondalla is an ensemble of stringed instruments composed of the bandurria, laúd, octavina, guitar, and double bass. Originating from medieval Spain, the word rondalla comes from the Spanish ronda, which means "serenade". It was introduced in the Philippines by the Spaniards in the 15th century.
The UP Rondalla is composed of Dr. Marie Jocelyn Marfil, Artistic Director; Prof. Elaine Juliet Espejo, Musical Director; and members Prof. Solaiman Jamisolamin, Roda Ladringan, John Leonard Burdeos, Mariefrance Ballester, Jory Jan Delgaco, Prince John Barnal, and Chick Ramas.
The UP Rondalla staged free concerts at the Ala Moana Center Stage, Honolulu Central Seventh Day Adventist Church, and Farrington High School Auditorium. Their repertoire included Philippine folk songs, kundiman or love songs, classical as well as contemporary music. The musical ensemble also gave lectures and workshops at the University of Hawaii, East-West Center, and Filipino Community Center. The group also had a TV guest appearance on KITV-4’s “Good Morning Hawaii” and was guest performer at the Bayanihan Fundraiser of the Filipino Community Center. During their concert in Farrington High School, the UP Rondalla performed with the Farrington Orchestra led by Dr. Karen Miyamoto, delighting the audience with their joint rendition of a medley of Philippine folk songs.
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