Betty Belmonte's legacy / Glee Club, Golez concerts / A Visayan 'Giselle'


It is not only at each anniversary celebration of the Philippine Daily STAR — tomorrow will be its 25th — that I think of Betty Go Belmonte. Actually, I think of her often because it was she who invited me to join the STAR which she founded with Max Soliven.

Through the years, Betty never made me feel she was my boss; she was a friend; indeed, a sister. As such, she revealed to me things which I have kept to myself to this day. Further, we were sisters in the sense that we were both graduates of the UP — although Betty was younger than I — and belonged to the same sorority, the Sigma Delta Phi.

Betty remained utterly simple, unassuming and, most of all, kind. She was her parents’ daughter: Go Puan Seng and Fely Go were kindness personified.

I met Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, now Speaker of the House, much earlier than I did Betty. Sonny and I were working with the Manila Chronicle; he was then the brilliant 19-year-old police reporter who was destined to go a long way; the youngest staff member taking up law in night school. Every now and then, Sonny would tell me about being strongly attracted to Betty Go. How devastated he was at the burial rites for Betty! So were all of us at the STAR.

Betty’s kindness lives on in her sons Miguel, Isaac and Kevin, daughter Joy, now QC vice-mayor, and sister Grace Glory Go. I like to think the STAR is specially blessed because of Betty's legacy.

Ateneo Glee Club triumphs

The Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club, in celebration of its 90th year, embarked on a highly successful 81-day European tour, garnering top prizes and accolades. In international choral festivals, it bested choirs from Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Belarus, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, among others, emerging victorious in all the competitions.

Among its triumphs was the Grand Prix in the 33rd International May Choir Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. This earned the choir the distinction of competing in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Maribor, Slovenia, on April 2012.

On Saturday, July 30, the Glee Club will sing in a homecoming concert at the Philamlife Theater.

Rudolf Golez Concert

On Saturday, July 30, the fast-rising young pianist Rudolf Golez will give a concert at the Philamlife Theater in Alabang under the auspices of Filfest headed by Vicy F. Zubiri.

A Visayan ‘Giselle’

The British Hazel Andrea Stuart sent me a DVD of “Giselle” which she herself excellently filmed, edited and narrated. “Giselle” features the dancers of Lydia Gaston’s School which marks its golden anniversary this year.

As Giselle, the pretty Aljana Limuaco was lithe, graceful, technically proficient. She demonstrated considerable stamina, performing almost non-stop, particularly in Act II. The dancing of Andrew Peralta as Albrecht was smooth and polished; both he and Aljana emoted with conviction.

The corps de ballet, including the tiny ballerinas, exhibited precision and discipline; Khena Zaldarriaga, as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, conveyed authority. Ian Nick Tiba was the reliable Hilarion, game keeper.

The lively, continuous movement throughout the ballet, the dancing and acting of the principals, consistently held attention.

The exquisite sets of Josar Garcillan exuded the appropriate ambiance; the first was suggestive of an isolated small village; the second, of an eerie, ghoulish, moonlit night.

Venue was the U. of St. La Salle Coliseum.

Guest ballet consultants were Max Luna III, Ella Locsin Abaya, Dwight Rodrigazo; acting ballet consultants were Ricardo Gallaga and Rene Hinojales. Active supporters were led by “Toy” Gaston, Lydia’s husband.

“Giselle” was a production worthy of Lydia Gaston’s passionate mentoring of dancers through 50 years.

Andrea Stuart Television Productions, winners of five international communication awards, has been filming performances of distinguished artists of Bacolod and Iloilo, including those of the Kabayaos, doing so pro bono for over a decade!

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