PH Embassy Starts Paskong Pinoy Tradition in Abu Dhabi
Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, together with Filipino chorale groups, lead the community singing at the grand finale of the Paskong Pinoy sa Abu Dhabi – Christmas Chorale Concert in the Year of Zayed at the Abu Dhabi University on 07 December 2018. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)
ABU DHABI 20 December 2018 – Joyful Christmas carols filled Abu Dhabi University’s Auditorium as the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi held a Christmas Chorale Concert dubbed Paskong Pinoy sa Abu Dhabi (Filipino Christmas in Abu Dhabi) on 07 December 2018.
It was attended by more than 500 guests from the diplomatic corps, business community, media personalities, and the Filipino Community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The event featured the choirs of the three Philippine schools in Abu Dhabi and the top Filipino chorale groups in the UAE, alongside Christmas lanterns from the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana said that “Christmas is the Filipinos’ favorite time of the year, and no other occasion displays the Filipino character and spirit to the fullest other than Christmas. This is why the occasion was chosen to showcase Filipino culture and identity to our friends in the UAE.”
Familiar Christmas songs were played by The Philippines School Woodwind Instrumental Ensemble, followed by the angelic voices of The Philippine Global School Youth Chorale and Philippine Emirates Private School Chorus singing famous English and Filipino Christmas repertoire.
Top chorale groups in UAE, namely the Filipino Christian Church Choir, St. Mary’s Filipino Community Choir (Dubai), and Abu Dhabi Concert Chorus then took the center stage with their moving rendition of select Christmas songs.
Christmas lanterns or parol (in Filipino and parul in Kapampangan), the symbol that makes Christmas quintessentially Filipino, were specially flown in from San Fernando City, and adorned the stage. These parols was specially designed by Abu Dhabi-based fashion designer Aldwin JLo Ornopia, to amaze the audience with their spectacular kaleidoscope of lights and colors, and to complement the talents of our chorale groups.
As the UAE commemorates 2018 as the Year of Zayed, Paskong Pinoy took greater significance as it paid tribute to Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of UAE who united the Emirates and brought his nation to new heights.
To celebrate the friendship between Filipinos and Emiratis, the Embassy presented a book featuring a compilation of select personal quotes of Sheikh Zayed translated to Filipino by Ambassador Quintana.
A video presentation featuring long-time Filipino residents across the Emirates was shown, especially produced by top Filipino photographer and videographer Flariden dela Torre and Paulo Camacho, respectively. The featured Filipinos shared their fondest memories living in the UAE, and expressed their personal thanks to Sheikh Zayed. Special artworks of Filipino UAE-based artists Susan Villanueva and Tom Alvarado depicting Sheikh Zayed were also displayed as part of the tribute to UAE’s founding father.
The event was held in cooperation with Bayanihan Council, umbrella organization of Filipino groups in Abu Dhabi.
The Chorale Concert will hopefully usher a new Christmas tradition for the Filipino Community in Abu Dhabi and friends of the Embassy, as plans to make Paskong Pinoy sa Abu Dhabi an annual event every first week of December are underway. END
Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana delivers her message at the Paskong Pinoy sa Abu Dhabi – Christmas Chorale Concert in the Year of Zayed at the Abu Dhabi University on 07 December 2018. Christmas lanterns or parol, flown in from San Fernando City, Pampanga, adorned the stage. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)
More than 500 guests from the diplomatic corps, business community, media personalities, and the Filipino Community in the United Arab Emirates attended the Paskong Pinoy sa Abu Dhabi – Christmas Chorale Concert in the Year of Zayed at the Abu Dhabi University on 07 December 2018. (Abu Dhabi PE photo)