“We want the audience to be singing Christmas carols all the way home after the show,” says Kimwell del Rosario, lead violinist of Rosario Strings, who has generously agreed to produce the whole program. Kim has just returned from Manila where he performed at several concerts at the Philippine Cultural Centre. He arranged the music for “The Singing Nannies and Friends,” who will sing the Pasko na Naman Medley of four popular Philippine carols as well as Gabing Tahimik, the Tagalog version of Silent Night. The choral group will also lead the audience in a sing along of such favourites as Joy to the World, Jingle Bell Rock, Feliz Navidad, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
“The Singing Nannies & Friends” are former and current caregivers Carina Alamil, Mary Love Bantique, Cathy Bernabe, Lotis Caluza, Judith Diesta, Cherryl Flores Ramilo, Teresa Ginodepanon, Vivian de Guzman, Ludy Inting, Nora Lagunzad, Rowena Lagunzad, Lorina Serafico, Rose Taruc, Revielynnne Tucay. Their “Friends” are community volunteers Marilyn Cunanan as choral director with Darla Tomeldan and Eleanor Laquian as guitarists.
Featured soloists in the program are Leanne McLaren who will sing What Christmas Means to Me, Lotis Caluza with Himig Pasko, Revielynne Tucay with All I Want for Christmas, Ludy Inting and Mary Love Bantique with Christmas is in Our Hearts and Michael and Leanne McLaren, with Silent Night Lord Make us Worthy and Mary Did you Know. Lotis, Ludy and Mary Love are former caregivers who have “graduated” from the Live-in Caregiver Program. Revielynne, who has been winning prizes in singing contests since childhood was sponsored by her husband who came as a caregiver. Leanne is the daughter of painter and flamenco dancer, Esmie Gayo McLaren and her husband Michael.
An exciting feature in the program is the popular bamboo dance (Tinikling) and the skillful balancing of drinking glasses on heads and hands in the Binasuan. The folk dancers are Kyla Rose Edejer, Rebecca Banzon, Andrea Banzon, Aimee Jo Fines, Rachel Ambrosio, Macy Santa Elena, Clyde Velardo and Felix Capitulo from the Philippine Cultural Arts Society (PhilCas). Lady Maridel David, John Sanggalang and Homer Reyes, who make up the METRO BAND will perform Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
In line with its fund raising goal, the Christmas celebration includes a 50/50 Raffle where the lucky winner will get 50% of the proceeds from all raffle tickets sold. Tickets for the raffle are 2 for $5.00, 5 for $10, 12 for $20 and $30 by an arm’s length (about 25 to 30 tickets depending on the length of the buyer’s arm). Julie Diesta, CDWCR Coordinator, encourages people to pool their money and “buy tickets by the arm’s length” to maximize their chances of winning. The awarding of door prizes will feature the popular Filipino game of Pera o Kahon (Money or Box) where winners will be asked to choose between a box containing a surprise gift or an envelope with cash or a gift certificate of varying amounts. Mable Elmore, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver- Kensington will award the prizes.
Strong Community Support for Fundraiser
Officers and members of CDWCR are overjoyed at the generous support for the fundraiser from members of the Greater Vancouver community. The assistance of Ding and Marilyn Cunanan, Mel Tobias and the enthusiasm of the members of ACAT (Anyone Can Act Theatre) were key elements in the early stages of the project. The CDWCR Steering Committee and community volunteers were vital in the planning and development of the program. Artist Leonardo “Jun” Cunanan of Dahong Pilipino (who designed the flyer and Souvenir Program) was greatly involved from the beginning to the end of this campaign.
The sale of tickets was greatly improved by members of the CDWCR Phoning Tree who tirelessly contacted friends and supporters all over Metro Vancouver. The event was widely promoted with publicity through Melissa RemullaBriones of Philippine Canadian Inquirer, Ted Alcuitas of Philippine Asian News Today, Erly Juatco of Philippine Asian Chronicle, Cholo Insua of Planet Philippines, Irene Yatco of Philippine Journal, and other Filipino community publications.
The business enterprises that donated prizes or bought space in the Souvenir Program have been included in the list of “Supporters of CDWCR” and individuals who have provided support in cash or in kind are included in the “Friends of CDWCR.” Most telling of the valuable work that caregivers provide the people of Vancouver are the generous contributions from many appreciative donors who had employed them in the past or currently employ them as nannies or housekeepers.
Also at the venue will be paintings with Christmas themes by artists Danvic Briones and Esmie Gayo McLaren. The audience is invited to meet and talk with the artists during the intermission. Twenty percent of sale of artwork from that evening will benefit CDWCR.