Filipino vocal ensemble “Acapellago” wins Asia-Pacific A Capella Championship League
admin • September 26, 2016 • 3477
SINGAPORE — Judges were blown away by the showcase of talent at the recently concluded Asia-Pacific A Capella Championship League event in Singapore.
“The performances tonight were amazing. We heard world-class performances from many different groups around the region. Each one in their own style, pop and jazz and rock and rap and ah, lots of beautiful singing,” said head judge, Deke Sharon, music director and vocal producer of the Hollywood hit Pitch Perfect.
A capella has been enjoying renewed interest in recent years owed largely to the popularity of musical shows like Glee, Sing-Off and Pitch Perfect movies.
Singapore’s celebrated drummer and Pantheon Percussion endorser Teo Jia Rong agrees that Asia-Pacific region has a lot of talented groups, and even noted the innate musicality of Filipinos.
“We have a lot of really great groups coming from all-over the Asia Pacific and we’ve always known that the Philippines has a fantastic music culture whether its instruments or singing. And it’s great to see the Filipinos today really, really commanding the stage tonight and really showing that they are the best in the region,” said Teo.
It was no surprise that our very own Filipino vocal ensemble group Acapellago was hailed as this year’s grand champion.
“’Thank you for all your prayers and to all Filipinos who went here at the venue to cheer for us, and thank you. . .wooh. . .We won!” the group cheered.
Aside from being the champion, they also won the Fan Favorite Award. Michelle Pascual, the only girl in the group, won Best Lead Vocal while Ronnel Allen Roman Laderas was Best Bass Singer.
Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio Morales joined the audience in support of the group. “We are very much grateful for your victory and for bringing pride to the Philippine flag once again, as one of the astounding singers around the globe. Having that kind of talent in music, may you continue in giving delight to our countrymen and to people across other countries. Again, thank you very much,” Morales commended the group.
Asia-Pacific A Cappella Championship League (APACCL) is an invitational competition, with various champions of a cappella competitions in the Asia-Pacific region being invited to participate.
Haze continued to blanket Singapore for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday (September 18) as forest fires continued to rage in neighboring countries.
Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.
The 24-hour Pollution Standards Index, which Singapore’s National Environment Agency uses as a benchmark, was in a range of 111-126 in the afternoon, while PM2.5 ranged 83-115. A reading above PSI 100 is considered unhealthy. The World Health Organization sets a daily mean air quality guideline of 25 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air.
Singapore’s air quality deteriorated to “unhealthy” levels on Saturday (September 14) for the first time in three years. (REUTERS)
(Production: Travis Teo, Nur-Azna Sanusi, Yiming Woo, Pedja Stanisic, Afiq Satikin, Arshad Muhammad Satikin, Joseph Campbell)
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob on Monday witnessed the signing of eight deals between the two countries mostly on economic cooperation.
Halimah, the first female president and first Malay head of Singapore in 47 years, is in Manila for a five-day state visit.
The agreements signed by the two leaders in Malacañang are as follows:
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Education and Temasek Foundation International and Nanyang Polytechnic International Programme on Innovations and Teaching and Learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with Design Thinking
MOU between the Department of Agriculture and Enterprise Singapore on Agricultural Cooperation and Related Activities;
MOU between Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority of the Republic of the Philippines, and Skills Future Singapore Agency of the Republic of Singapore on cooperation on human capital development and rescaling and skills upgrading of workforce;
MOU between the Development Bank of the Philippines and Infrastructure Asia Singapore on knowledge sharing to support infrastructure development;
MOU between Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Public Utilities Board;
MOU between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Republic of the Philippines and Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth of the Republic of Singapore on Cultural Cooperation;
MOU between Infrastructure Asia and Public-Private Partnership Center on assisting Philippine local implementing agencies with the development or implementation of PPP projects;
MOU between the National Privacy Commission of the Republic of the Philippines and The Personal Data Protection Commission of the Republic of Singapore on Cooperation in Personal Data Protection.
In a joint statement, the two leaders said they committed to “further intensify trade and investment links, mindful of the goals we have set for ourselves under the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (PSAP).”
Duterte added he rallied for Halimah’s support to encourage the participation of Singapore in the country’s priority investment areas and to advance collaboration between the two countries in agriculture, education and training, science and technology, tourism and cultural exchanges.
According to Duterte, Singapore is the Philippines’ second highest source of investments in 2018, committing a total of P21.18 billion, or 11.8 percent of total foreign pledges.
Singapore is also its seventh largest trading partner with two-way trade at US$10.49 billion.
Duterte also stated that he and Halimah discussed gains and ways to help bring lasting peace and development to the Mindanao region, particularly the progress in establishing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“We discussed ways by which our cooperation could help contribute in bringing just and lasting peace and meaningful progress and development in Mindanao – one of the greatest and most crucial undertakings that our nation has embarked upon,” he reported.
For her part, Halimah described the economic ties between the two countries as “strong and robust,” but they both agreed to do even more together. She added there is also room to further boost trade and investment flows.
“We hope to make progress on updating the Singapore-Philippines avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement and the expansion of the Bilateral Air Transport Agreement, which will increase connectivity and create more opportunities for collaboration and growth,” she said in her statement.
Aside from boosting economic exchanges, Duterte also expressed interest in deepening defense and security ties with Singapore by strengthening the defense dialogues and training exchanges between the two countries’ military and special forces.
“We talked about deepening our cooperation in defense and security, which includes strengthening defense dialogues and training exchanges between the military and special forces,” Duterte said.
Halimah’s visit came as the Philippines and Singapore celebrate the 50th year of diplomatic relations.
She said there are more than 200,000 Filipinos in Singapore and that her country deeply appreciates the contributions of the Filipino community to Singapore’s society and economy. RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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