Latter-day Saint Life

You can now watch The Tabernacle Choir’s beautiful performance in the Philippines

The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and guest performers stand together at the conclusion of the Mall of Asia Arena concert in Manila.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

For the first time in history, Tabernacle Choir fans in the Philippines had a chance to hear the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform live and in person in their own backyard.

The Choir concluded their nine-day stop in the Philippines with a sold-out concert at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. According to the Choir’s website, the Philippines has one of the highest viewerships of the Choir’s weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast.

The Choir and Orchestra were joined by award-winning Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga and Filipina singer-songwriter Ysabelle Cuevas. Husband and wife duo and well-known Filipino TV personalities Paolo Abrera and Suzi Entrata-Abrera narrated the special concert.

“Even before I understood English very well, I always connected with the [Choir’s] music,” Cuevas told Church Newsroom. “That was always the way my faith grew the most. I’m just incredibly excited and so honored to be here.”

You can watch the full live-streamed performance in the video player below.

Last December, Salonga also performed with the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square at their annual Christmas concert in Salt Lake City.

“I just remember feeling, ‘Oh, this is something I’m never, ever going to forget,” Salonga told Church Newsroom. “And I don’t know that there are many artists that have had the opportunity to be able to perform more than one time with the Choir. So, this is a big bonus to be able to do it again, and to do it in my home country is very special.”

The Choir sang several songs in Tagalog at the Mall of Asia Arena concert, and according to narrator Paolo Abrera, their “diction was on point.” “How many years did they practice that?” he said. “It was like it was a Filipino choir behind us. It was incredible. It really did touch the hearts of the audience. I think we all felt it. For a group like this who is not from the Philippines to sing in our native tongue in a way that, if you closed your eyes, you would swear Filipinos were there. For that moment, they were Filipino at heart.”

In another nod to the Choir’s commitment to their host nation, the men in the Choir and Orchestra wore white, traditional long-sleeved Filipino barongs instead of white shirts and ties. The women wore blue ponchos over their dresses, embroidered with the sampaguita, the country’s national flower.

YouTube comments written in both English and Tagalog expressed heartfelt gratitude and love for the Choir’s commitment to the Philippines and sharing beautiful music with the world.

“I was simply bowled over by the sheer beauty, majesty, and excellent talents of the Choir and its Orchestra! I consider it one of the most glorious and momentous nights in all of Philippines history. Words can not express our ever-lasting thanks and gratitude to the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, for a marvelous evening of Christian life, love, and light in our Lord.”

“Your coming to the Philippines is a wonderful blessing to us. With your sound of uplifting music and angelic voices, we felt the love of God and heaven is near in the Philippines. Yes! God loves the Philippines. Thank you very much with all our hearts.”

“Our hearts are full! Thank you so much Tabernacle Choir for coming here in the Philippines to share your beautiful music We love you and God be with you til we meet again!!”

And the sense of gratitude was mutual. Tabernacle Choir member Kaija Purvis, who was able to participate in the Philippines tour, shared on her personal Instagram, “This tour was exactly what the Choir and Orchestra needed. I feel that we needed these people more than they needed us. They are the most humble and friendly people who are full of faith and gratitude.”

As part of the Choir’s visit to the Philippines, they also held three other concerts, performed on the Philippine Senate floor, and answered questions from nearly three dozen news media outlets from around the Philippines.

You can watch more highlights from the Choir’s concerts in the Philippines in the player below.

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