Loboc Children's Choir

Infobox musical artist
Name =Loboc Children's Choir

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Genre = Religious
Years_active = 1980 – Present
Label =
Associated_acts =Philippine Madrigal Singers or MADZ
Geneva Cruz
URL = [http://www.lobocchildrenschoir.net/index.html Loboc Children's Choir]
Past_members =|
Notable_instruments =

The Loboc Children's Choir or LCC is a school-based choir composed of thirty schoolchildren of the Loboc Central Elementary School, in Loboc, Bohol, Philippines. The children are between the ages of nine and thirteen years old. The Choir has held concerts all over the Philippines and abroad. It plays an active part in school, town, and provincial activities.


Early history

The Loboc Children's Choir was founded in 1980 at the Loboc Central Elementary School in Loboc, Bohol. It is a school choir established to give color to school and community events. In 1993, it won first prize at the National Music Competitions for Young Artists. It was awarded first prize again in the same competition in 1995.

In 1996, in a concert dubbed "On Angels' Wings: From Bohol to the World", the choir toured key cities in the United States. It has performed with the World Youth Orchestra during the latter's concerts in Bohol and Cebu in 1999, and with the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra. As a 'cultural treasure' of the Province, the group often sings for visiting dignitaries, and local and foreign tourists. Its concert repertoire is a combination of classical, folk, modern and children's songs.

Recent history

In 2000, it represented the country during the International Children's Culture and Arts Festival in Tianjin, China, and held concerts in Beijing and Hong Kong.

It became the National Champion in the category of Children's Choirs during the National Music Competitions for Young Artists in 2001. These competitions are the most prestigious music competitions in the Philippines.

A notable project was its partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the leading art museum in the Philippines, which launched an exhibit on the arts and culture of Bohol. The Choir, under the auspices of the Met and of its leaders led by Trustee Bea Zobel, Jr. and Executive Director Ino Manalo, regaled the exhibit launch with a special concert which was followed by a Christmas Concert tour in major business establishments in Makati City and Ayala Alabang. This climaxed with a command performance for the Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain in a cultural exchange visit to the Philippines.

The group also performed in a back-to-back concert with the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors, winner of the prestigious Gran Premio Citta di Arezzo in 2001 during the 49th Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido d'Arezzo in Arezzo, Italy. The concert, entitled "An Evening of Heaven's Music", was held in line with the Heritage Conservation Program in the Province of Bohol.

The Choir also figured in a series of activities in collaboration with the Diocese of Tagbilaran and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which has selected Bohol as a model partner in developing its art and development programs. Major sponsors of the concert tour include the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Beatriz Zobel de Ayala and family, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the provincial government of Bohol, and Imelda O. Cojuangco. Farewell concerts have been held prior to the children’s departure. On September 2, 2003, the children performed at the Studio at the Riverbank, Marikina City, under the sponsorship of the Pinatubo sa Pagkakaisa Foundation.

Parts of the proceeds of the September 2, 2003 performance went to the salaries of teachers at the Wenceslao Village Elementary School at the Wenceslao Village resettlement project in Dau, Lubao, Pampanga.

European concert tour

In 2003, the choir was being presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in a series of concert tours in Europe dubbed "TUBO: A Musical Journey for Heritage and Peace." The children’s choir springs from generations of composers, singers, musicians, and conductors, who have become the driving force behind Loboc town's numerous bands, rondallas or comparzas, and choirs.

During this time, the Loboc Children's Choir garnered two major awards at the Europe and its Songs 6th International Folksong Choir Festival, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, from September 17 to 21, 2003. [ [http://www.bohol.ph/article77.html?sid=ba341e93152dc3758937969cb5ed91f4 Loboc Children's Choir] ] The LCC rated 97.5 points which earned it the First prize with a Gold Medal in the Children's Choir category. The international jury likewise awarded the Loboc Children's Choir the Europe and its Songs 2003 Cup for having achieved the overall highest mark in all categories, surpassing the marks of twelve other international choirs.

The other Gold Winners included the female choir Flora Choir of Abo Akademi University from Finland, which earned 95.5 points; the small mixed choir ensemble Klapa Kastav from Croatia with 95 points, and the male adult choir Chorgruppe Lohner from Germany with 90 points.

The "Europe and its Songs Festival 2003" is on its sixth year and has been organized by Associazone Internazionale Amici Della Musica Sacra or the International Association of Friends of Sacred Music, which has its headquarters based in Rome, Italy. This association is headed by its president Dr. Hans Albert Courtial. The 2003 International Jury is composed of Jury President Michael Rinscheld, German choir director; Manuel Cabero, choir master of the Church of Santa Maria del Pi and director of the Educational Sciences University Choir of Barcelona; Kalman Strausz, chapel master and director of the Broadcast Choir from Budapest, Hungary; and Gerold Engelhart, music director FDB Germany.

In all categories (based on number and voice classifications) the repertoire must include a capella folksongs. The choirs should perform at least one folksong of their country of origin and one European folksong. All songs have to be performed in their original language. The length of the performance must be minimum 12 minutes and maximum 20 minutes. The assessment criteria include both technique and artistry.

The Loboc Children's Choir performed the following repertoire of songs: "Ampeu Se-lo" by James Swu; "Sa Ugoy ng Duyan" by Lucio San Pedro; "La Pastoreta", a Catalan folksong arranged by Ed Manguiat; "Leron Leron Sinta", a Tagalog Folk song; and "Ave Maria" by Gustav Holst. The choir is under the musical direction of Madam Alma Fernando Taldo and is accompanied on the piano by Madam Baby Lina Jala.

The other competing adult choirs were the male choir Haemeenlinnan Mieskuoro (Finland); the female choirs Canto Cantare (Poland) and Long Island Chinese Chorus (USA); the mixed choirs Prietenii Muzicii (Romania), Accademia Corale Vittore Veneziani (Italy), Folkpust (Sweden), Gruppo Folkloristico Corale Salesiano Selargius (Italy), and Vararakn (Armenia); the small choral ensembles Klapa Kastav (Croatia) and Accademia Popolare Gallurase Gavino Gabriel (Italy).

The audience and the jury were visibly delighted by the fact that it was a children's choir that beat twelve other adult choirs from Europe and the USA. Both at the final program and at the closing dinner, the LCC was given extended standing ovations. Singers, conductors, jury members, organizers and the general audience spontaneously approached the kids congratulating and hugging them with faces evidently impressed and moved. It was truly a both an artistic and a spiritual victory for the Philippines! The children's choir has captivated the hearts of foreign and Filipino audiences with their message of peace, joy and love through the medium of music.

Dr. Cabero, the Catalan juror from Spain, approached Madam Taldo and expressed great admiration. He said that the performance was truly excellent. The Catalan folksong was rendered with excellent diction, musicality and interpretation. Their sense of national pride was deeply enhanced, he said. The Loboc choir was effectively coached by Catalan Senor Oscar Bosch a good friend of Ino Manalo, the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which is the main presenter of the Loboc Children's Choir Concert Tour in Europe. Dr. Cabero also intimated that the jury chose the Loboc Children's Choir as the champion unanimously.

The venue of the competition was in the beautiful old church of Santa Maria del Pi in Barrio Gottico, Barcelona, near the Rambla and was held during the Fiesta of the same city. Organized in cooperation with the Catalan Choral Federation, the festival included small concerts of the participating choirs. The Loboc Children's Choir performed a mini concert together with the others in the Garrica i Bachs Plaza beside the main Barcelona Cathedral on September 18. The competition program for the LCC was on the evening of Friday, September 19 and results were announced in the evening of Saturday September 20. All the participants were treated to a formal dinner in the a restaurant by the Barcelona port.

From September 17 to 21, 2003, the LCC was lodged in Hotel Fraggata in the beautiful coastal town of Calella, one hour away from Barcelona. The Filipino catholic community of Barcelona headed by its chaplain Fr. Roel Castaneda organized a mini concert after the Sunday Evening mass for Filipinos last September 21. This was attended by close to a thousand Filipinos who were treated to almost an hour of choral music from the victory happy Boholanos.

This triumph of the Loboc Children's Choir is a most historical event for both the Boholanos and for the entire country. The LCC was on a three month tour of Europe for a concert tour dubbed TUBOD, a Musical Journey for heritage and peace, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) headed by Ino Manalo and Bea Zobel Jr. The Tour started September 7, 2003 and lasted through November 21, 2003, covering eleven countries in Europe. The aim of the tour was to promote Bohol as a heritage destination and to advocate support for the rehabilitation of the Loboc Church and Convent Complex where TUBURAN the Center for Living Traditions will be established in cooperation with the MET.

The LCC is composed of 26 kids ages 10 to 13 from the Loboc Central Elementary School. The adult staff on tour also includes Loboc parish priest Fr. Desiderio Magdoza and other elder staff from Loboc.

The tour has been made possible by a consortium of grants facilitated under the auspices of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. The principal donors and partners have been the MET Museum of Manila, Bea Zobel Jr. and her family, Diocese of Tagbilaran, Provincial Government of Bohol, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Education, the Pinatubo sa Kinabukas Foundation, Development Bank of the Philippines, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Angelo Balili, CCP, ABS-CBN Foundation, Makati Business Club, Loboc Music Foundation, Loboc Parish Council, Loboc Municipal Government, Communication Foundation for Asia, UP Singing Ambassadors, Ed Manguiat, AAA Travel, Supercat, Rajo Laurel, Bel Air barangay, Boysen Paints, Imelda Cojuangco, Barge Ramos, NAPOLCOM, and others/

In Europe, major partners have been Philippine embassies and consulates in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.


* National Musical Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA)
** National Champion Prize, 1993
** National Champion Prize, 1995
** National Champion Prize, 2001
* "Europe and its Songs Festival 2003" - Barcelona, Spain, September 17 - 21, 2003
** First prize with a Gold Medal in the Children's Choir category
** The Europe and its Songs 2003 Cup - for having achieved the overall highest mark in all categories, surpassing the marks of twelve other international choirs

Musical director and conductor

The choir's current conductor, Alma Fernando-Taldo or "Ma'am Taldo", teaches at the Loboc Elementary School, handling English and Character Education for fifth-grade students. Her first musical education was provided by her paternal grandfather; she later took solfeggio classes.

To prepare herself as a choral conductor, she attended workshops and master classes from known Filipino conductors such as Edgardo Manguiat of the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA), Ramon Santos, Chino Toledo, Andrea Veneracion of the Philippine Madrigal Singers or MADZ and Francisco Feliciano. Edgardo Manguiat also acts as a consultant to the choir.



During its European Tour, the Loboc Children's Choir is selling its latest CD, "Loboc Children's Choir...And A Child's Heart Sings." This CD, recorded in the St. Peter the Apostle Church in Loboc, Bohol contains a selection of the music performed by the choir. On the CD are classical, religious, and traditional as well as contemporary music and children's music in a balanced mix.


* Jeroen Hellingman. [http://www.bohol.ph/article.php?id=76&showall=true The Loboc Children's Choir]
* [http://www.bohol.ph/article77.html?sid=ba341e93152dc3758937969cb5ed91f4 Victory for the Loboc Children's Choir]
* Manuel Viloria. [http://www.viloria.com/angelhouser/archives/00000639.html The Loboc Children's Choir]
* Manuel Viloria. [http://www.viloria.com/secondthoughts/archives/00001140.html The Younger Loboc Children's Choir]
* [http://www.amazingcity.net/articles/the-loboc-children-s-choir-sweet-and-sublime.html The Loboc Children’s Choir: Sweet and Sublime]
* Manuel Viloria. [http://manuelviloria.vox.com/library/video/6a00c2251d3833549d00c225204a578fdb.html Loboc Children's Choir (Younger Group)]
* [http://www.philcongenshanghai.org/LOBOC/LOBOCindex.htm Loboc Children's Choir]
* [http://www.theboholchronicle.com/fpage.php?issue=81&s1=1084&s2=&s3=&s4=&s5=1087&s6=301&s7=1088&s9=&s10= Chinese officials sign sisterhood pact]
* [http://www.asiahotels.com/cityguides/philippines-bohol.asp Bohol, Philippines Destination Guide]
* [http://www.mbc.com.ph/corporate_citizenship/visacard-grants.htm MBC-Bankard Visa Credit Card Program]
* [http://mvphilippines.hypermart.net/bohol.htm Museum Volunteers Philippines (MVP Goes to Bohol]
* [http://www.dotpcvc.gov.ph/Destinations/bohol.htm Bohol] Department of Tourism
* [http://www.philcongenshanghai.org/Loboc Children's Choir Holds Successful Concert at the Lyceum Theatre in Shanghai 18 July 2005] Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai
* [http://www.culturalcenter.gov.ph/ntf/ntf-conver.htm 2004 National Theater Festival] Cultural Center of the Philippines
* [http://www.asianjournal.com/pdf/pdfs/asianjpdf/jan_05/0101_la/p.25.pdf A Rating for Panaghoy sa Suba] www.asianjournal.com
* Rome Jorge [http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/jan/02/yehey/life/20060102lif1.html Another day in heaven for you, me and the singing cherubim] The Manila Times January 02, 2006.
* [http://towers.corinthia.cz/hotel/en/press-release/childrens-choir-102/ The Loboc Children´s Choir at Corinthia Towers] Corinthia Towers Prague October 23, 2003.
* [http://english.cwi.org.cn/news/090621.htm The Loboc Children’s Choir from Philippines visited China]
* [http://www.boholtimes.com/daan2004/jan112004/index.html UST Singers hold concert with Loboc Children's Choir] The Bohol Times January 11, 2004.
* Bea Zobel Jr. [http://www.truthforce.info/?q=node/view/465 Bohol the Beautiful] Truthforce. Inquirer News Service. August 28, 2004.
* [http://www.usa.edu.ph/communitas/2005.02.2005.05/index.php?op=news21 Pax Romana hold Balik-Handog Concert] Communitas: The Official Bulletin of the University of San Agustin, Vol. XIV No. 1 February 2005 - May 2005.
* [http://www.bohol.gov.ph/govinactn2.html Governor in action] www.bohol.gov.ph
* [http://www.boholchronicle.com/apr06/index4-23-06.htm China delegates to stay - Rico "Mayor to fund three choir members to China"] www.boholchronicle.com April 23, 2006.
* [http://www.amicimusicasacra.com/i7.htm International Folksong Choir Competition & Concerts]

External links

* [http://www.lobocchildrenschoir.net/index.html Loboc Children's Choir] - "Official website" (may contain out-of-date information)
* [http://www.bohol.ph/article.php?id=76&sid=3fcc441752b04cfa1324be5d3aec1033 Loboc Children's Choir] - write-up
* [http://www.choralnet.org/choirs/list.phtml?Letter=L&lang=en ChoralNet] - directory of choirs, from ChoralNet (a project site of the International Federation of Choral Music)
* [http://www.namcya.org.ph/childrenschoir.htm Childrens' Choir] - list of winners under this category at the NAMCYA

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