Bukidnon singing priests draw ‘standing ovations’ in Canada, crowds in US

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/17 September) Pinoys gave Bukidnon singing priests “Paring Bukidnon” standing ovations in all their six concerts in Canada dubbed “concert of faith and prayer” Lantapan Nuestra Sra. De Guadalupe parish priest Conrado Casas Jr. told Bukidnon News.

He said they held four concerts in Vancouver and two concerts in Toronto, where they were hosted by a family from Bukidnon. In all those cities, he said, the priests were invited to perform again next year.

Some of those who watched their concerts shed tears of joy, Casas said.

“Maybe they missed our country, especially for those from Bukidnon,” he added in his private message via social network.  So far, Casas said, they received 95 percent performance rating by their audiences.

“We are so happy,” he added.

Casas recalled that the best part of their tour is when they perform in cities where they were hosted by families of fellow Bukidnons.

The US leg of the tour, where they were joined by Bishop Jose Cabantan, started on September 6 at the Philippine Consulate Office in New York. Paring Bukidnon performed in Detroit, Michigan on September 16.

Casas said they drew the biggest crowd so far in Queens, New York City. Queens has the largest area and second biggest in population among the Big Apple’s five boroughs or districts.

He added that their first stop in Richmond City, British Columbia, Canada had the lowest number of audience so far.

Casas added that the tour, part of the Diocese’s fund-raising initiative to complete payment for the P10-million Diocesan Pastoral Center in Malaybalay City, is “our way of evangelizing the Pinoys through songs.”

According to the Church-run Ang Bandilyo, the diocese raised part of the amount from pledges generated from local concerts in Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro.

The diocese launched its Project 555 to raise P5 million from local donors. So far, the diocese was able to raise about P3.62 million from local concerts, where Bishop Jose Cabantan joined some of the concerts.

The Paring Bukidnon, a group of 13 priests from different parishes will perform from August 22 to October 8 for their 29-city Canada and United States tour.

From Detroit, Casas said they will have 15 concerts before coming home.

Based on their pre-departure schedule, the priests will perform in Chicago (Sept. 18), El Dorado Hills Sacramento (Sept. 19), Our Lady of Lourdes, Colusa (Sept. 20), ELK Groove Sta. Maria Goretti, Sacramento (Sept. 21), Reno, Nevada (Sept. 22), Stockton (Sept. 24), Oakland (Sept. 25), Deli City or San Jose (Sept. 27), San Ramon (Sept. 28), Los Angeles (Sept. 29), Orange County (Sept. 30), National City, san Diego (Oct. 4), Mira Mesa, San Diego (Oct. 5), Bremerton (Oct. 7), and Seattle (October 8). (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)