A first in history: PHL Philharmonic Orchestra to play at President Duterte’s SONA 2019

Courtesy CCP


(Eagle News) – For the first time in its history, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the fourth State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The 65-piece orchestra will start playing at the Batansang Pambansa starting 11:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22, to welcome the President for his 2019 SONA, as well as the lawmakers and guests that will arrive that day.

Included in the songs to be performed by the orchestra are songs representing various regions including the Kapampangan folk song

“Atin Cu Pung Singsing, the Hiligaynon song “Ay Ay Kalisud”, the Tagalog’s “Dalagang Pilipina,” Cebu’s “Usahay” ; Pamulinawen and Ti Ayat Ti Maysa Nga Ubing from Ilocos region; the Ilonggo folk song “Dandansoy” and other songs of National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will also play President Duterte’s favorite song, “Ikaw” and Freddie Aguilar’s “Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago”, and the presidential anthem, “We Say Mabuhay,” and the Tagalog classic “Dahil sa Iyo.”

The PPO will also play the Philippine national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang.”

The orchestra will be placed at the Batasan Pambansa’s left lobby.

The PPO is the country’s leading orchestra and is widely regarded as one of the top musical ensembles in the Asia-Pacific region.

It was established on May 15, 1973 as the CCP Philharmonic Orchestra and was initially intended to accompany performing artists at the CCP Theater.

Its first music director was Prof. Luis Valencia with Julian Quirit as concertmaster.

“In 1979, then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos asked Prof. Oscar C. Yatco to reorganize the orchestra. Three years later, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra was born with a new vision – to be ranked among the best in the world,” according to information provided by the Cultural Center of the Philippines.