Still part of 60th anniversary celebration of the Buklod organization, the Himig ng Kaligtasan (Songs of Salvation)-Buklod Edition 2022 ended on high note with the successful staging of the grand finals on January 15, 2023 at the EGM Hall of the EVM Convention Center in Quezon City, Philippines.
The choral group representing the Ecclesiastical District of Quezon City bested the other five finalists to emerge as grand champion. The choral groups from the districts of Tarlac City, Tarlac and Batangas North landed 2nd place and 3rd place, respectively. Rounding up the list of finalists were the chorales from Davao City, Leyte West, and Manila districts.
Before the contest proper, the message of Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, was read by Brother Charmil Castro, a minister with the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) Office.
Brother Eduardo Manalo commended all the participants for joining the musical competition out of their sense of unity and strong faith.
“May God guide you as you perform Christian songs that express our hope as His chosen people. May this give further inspiration to all who are witnessing this event not only of the married couples but also their whole family for them to uphold a holy life pleasing before God,” the Executive Minister’s message, as translated from Filipino, further stated.
In an interview, Brother Castro said, “This activity is part of the continuing commemoration of the 60 years of Buklod. This is called Himig ng Kaligtasan because through Christian music, the brethren continue to express their faith and activeness. This is also what our Executive Minister desires for the Church that all of us may be taken care of and reach the promised salvation.”
Each choral group presented two musical pieces: their selected piece and the contest piece Tapat Hanggang Wakas (Faithful Until The End). The selected piece accounted for 40 % and the contest piece 60 % of the total score.
The choir of the districts of Batangas North; Tarlac City, Tarlac; Davao City; and Quezon City sang their selected musical pieces Ikaw Na Aking Hinawakan Mula Sa Mga Wakas Ng Lupa (a song about God’s Messenger in these last days), Arise, O Lord!, Malapit Na! Malapit Na! (a song about the nearing promised salvation), and Salamat Po Sa Pagmamahal (a song of gratefulness to the Church Administration), respectively. Leyte West and Manila districts both performed Tangi Naming Kaaliwan (Our Only Comfort).
The panel of judges comprised Edgardo Manguiat (founder and conductor of the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors); Ryan Solitario (musician and recording engineer with the INC Music Department); and Rhodora Megia (a district choir director from Washington State District and a staff member with the INC Music Department).
“We are overjoyed because we’re given the chance to join the Himig ng Kaligtasan as representatives of our district and have won,” expressed Arzen Perdon, conductor of the winning choral group from Quezon City District. “We thank first our Lord God for His guidance to us. We also thank the Church Administration through the leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo and our CFO Coordinator, Brother Angelo Eraño V. Manalo for their continuous concern for our spiritual life.”
The musical event, hosted by couple Aljohn and Annaliza Lucas, was capped with a moving rendering of Ang Nasa Kahalalan Ay Namumuhay sa Kabanalan (God’s Elect Strive To Live In Holiness) by the ensemble of the finalists, together with the Sanctuary Choir. — With reports from INC News Section