MANILA, Philippines – The award-winning Tagum City Chamber Chorale will sing the national anthem for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In a press conference on Thursday, July 12, House Secretary-General Cesar Pareja said Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez himself suggested the choir to be invited to sing during the SONA on July 23. (READ: Duterte says his SONA will last ‘not more than 35 minutes’)
Alvarez, Duterte’s ally who is also Davao del Norte 1st District representative, hails from Tagum City.
“It was a suggestion [from the Speaker] and they discussed it and it’s okay. So they were invited. [The Speaker suggested them] to depart from the usual that we do [during the SONA],” said Pareja.
Last year, Maguindanaoan tribe member Monaliza Adam Mangelen, a staff member of the House’s Human Resource Management Service, sang the “Lupang Hinirang.” Musician Bayang Barrios, a Manobo, sang the national anthem for Duterte’s 1st SONA.
Sunstar reported that the Tagum City Chamber Chorale bested 19 other countries during the Sing ‘N Pray International Chorale Competition held in Kobe, Japan last January.
The choir was formed in 2013 under then-Tagum City mayor Allan Rellon.
Preparations are ongoing for Duterte’s 3rd SONA, with security expected to be tight at the Batasang Pambansa. (READ: Over 6,000 cops, 600 soldiers to secure 2018 SONA)
Blockbuster movie director Joyce Bernal, who was chosen to direct the SONA, inspected the venue on Thursday. She promised to capture “how much Duterte loves the Philippines” in her direction of the event. – with reports from Jodesz Gavilan/Rappler.com