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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Top Singers Turn Mass For Cory Into Mini-Concert

KIMBERLY JANE T. TAN, GMANews.TV

Years from now, the funeral mass of former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday will be remembered as one of the most star-studded Eucharistic tributes in Philippine history.

The Requiem Mass, officiated by Bishop Socrates Villegas, brought together at least 10 of the country’s leading artists to pay tribute to the democracy icon.

Years from now, the funeral mass of former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday will be remembered as one of the most star-studded Eucharistic tributes in Philippine history.

The requiem Mass, officiated by Bishop Socrates Villegas, brought together at least 10 of the country’s leading artists to pay tribute to the democracy icon.

All the song numbers were backed by the Ateneo Chamber Singers and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

During the Eucharistic celebration, Dulce sang “Your Heart Today" – a song composed by Fr. Manoling Francisco for Mrs. Aquino and her husband, the late Senator Ninoy Aquino. Actor Piolo Pascual performed his version of “Sa’yo Lamang."

But it was Zsa-Zsa Padilla, aka the Divine Diva, who reduced the family of Mrs. Aquino, especially her daughter Kris, to tears as she sang “Hindi Kita Malilimutan."

After the Mass, nostalgic mourners, many of whom were veterans of the anti-Marcos struggle, were transported back to the drama of the mid-80s by award-winning stage actress Lea Salonga's soaring rendition of “Bayan Ko" – a patriotic song written during the American occupation of the Philippines.

While the casket of Mrs. Aquino was being brought out of the Manila Cathedral, the golden voices of Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez and Concert King Martin Nievera comforted the mourners and well-wishers of the late president with their version of “The Prayer."

As the procession started, SOP mainstay Ogie Alcasid performed “Pangako" while singer-composer Jose Mari Chan sang the poem “I Have Fallen in Love" composed by Ninoy for Mrs. Aquino.

Jed Madela sang “The Impossible Dream," a song associated with the struggle of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. against the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos. The Aquino assassination in 1983 sparked widespread protests, culminating in the non-violent EDSA uprising three years later that swept Mrs. Aquino to the presidency.

Songs from the people power revolt took center stage as well. Youthful singer Sarah Geronimo belted out Magkaisa" while the Apo Hiking Society, who figured prominently in the anti-Marcos movement, sang “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo" in memory of the late president.

Click HERE to see Regine at Cory's Funeral.

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