Nation Celebrates Earth Day

Almost a hundred classical singers and instrumentalists performed various versions of the Ave Maria Prayer at the Ave Maria Gaia Mystica Concert, a multimedia event held at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, last April 20 to celebrate Earth Day 2007. 

The multimedia concert featured videos of our very own Tubbataha Reefs Reserve, Donsol Whale Sharks, Bohol and Malapascua Dive Sites, the Olango Bird Sanctuary, Balabac Strait Wildlife and the Agusan Marsh, our mountain ranges as the Cordilleras and the Sierra Madre. 

The classical singers performed the opening number of Gounod's Ave Maria, usually intoned by Benedictine Monks, accompanied by Raul Sunico and Mary Ann Espina at two grand pianos. Famous Ave Maria works by Caccini, Tosti, Saint-Saens, Malvare, Schubert, Montecillo, Verdi, and Mascagni were interpreted along with local compositions by Buencamino, Abelardo, Santiago, Francisco, Dadap, De Leon, Bolipata, and Cayabyab. Versions of the Ave Maria were sung in Philippine dialects such as Ilocano, Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, and Bikolano.

Earth Day 2007, April 22 opened with ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. April 22, 2007 at the Quezon Circle, when Department of Environment Secretary, Angelo Reyes delivered the State of Philippine Environment Address. Tony Meloto, Filipino of the Year, issued the call to action to heal the land and ourselves. Mayor Sonny Belmonte gave a message, U.S. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney also delivered a message, Justice Emilio Gancayco, chair of the Quezon City Development Foundation, opened the ceremonies, and closing remarks was given by Ms. Bebet Gozun, Chairman of Earth Day Network. Rendering musical numbers was the Andres Bonifacio Concert Choir conducted by Jerry Dadap.

At 12 noon, a Misa Angelorum Pontifical Mass to pray for the 'Children of the Planet' presided by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, D.D. at the Manila Cathedral was celebrated. Four nationally and internationally known Boy's Choirs sang at the Mass, the Kilyawan Boy's Choir, Mark Carpio, conductor, Las Piñas Boy's Choir, Armando Salarza, conductor; Mandaluyong Boy's Choir, Sebastian Trinidad, conductor; and the Tiples de Santo Domingo, Eugene de los Santos, conductor. A thousand children from Smokey Mountain attended, 100 of them First Communicants.

In the afternoon, there were FREE simultaneous nationwide screenings of AL GORE’s “An Inconvenient Truth” at 14 SM Cinemas nationwide, at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm. The 14 SM Cinemas are SM Baguio, SM San Fernando, Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Centerpoint, Manila, SM San Lazaro, Manila, SM Manila, SM North Edsa, Quezon City, SM Fairview, Quezon City, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, SM South Mall, Las Pinas, SM Cebu, SM Bacolod and SM Davao. There were more than 10,000 who went to the cinemas to watch.