Adventist Choir Leader
Receives National Honor
Led Adventist University of the Philippines Chorale to World Title in 2011 (Posted April. 19, 2012)
BY ROMHELYN GAY T. DELES
, Southern Asia-Pacific Division
Seventh-day Adventist choir leader in the Philippines has received one of his nation’s top honors for artistic achievement.
Ramon “Bojo” Lijauco, Jr., received the Ani ng Dangal Award 2012 for music at the presidential residence of Malacañang Palace on February 28. According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Ani ng Dangal is an annual event concluding National Arts Month and celebrating the accomplishments of Filipino artists who won top international honors and brought recognition to the country during the past year.
WINNING ADVENTIST: Adventist University of the Philippines choir conductor Ramon “Bojo” Lijauco, Jr. (sixth from right), joins the ranks of Filipino artists awarded the Ani ng Dangal Award 2012 at the Heroes Hall, Malacañang Palace, February 28, 2012. [PHOTO: Tristan Caliston Ignacio]
Recognition is given to artists in the seven art disciplines of music, dance, cinema, literary arts, visual arts, dramatic arts, and architecture. NCCA chair Professor Felipe de Leon, Jr., presented the award to Lijauco for his directorship and the 2011 accomplishments of his choir, the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) Ambassadors.
In July 2011 Lijauco led the AUP Ambassadors to win Choir of the World in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod held in Wales, United Kingdom. The Ambassadors represented both the Philippines and AUP at the internationally renowned musical competition.
Yet the world victory in Wales almost didn’t happen. As a Sabbathkeeping group, the AUP Ambassadors had decided to forgo a final competition if it fell during the hours of the Sabbath. However, event organizers moved the starting time of the Saturday evening competition to accommodate the Sabbathkeeping choir. Needless to say, the group was delighted when the competition was moved to 9:30 p.m., well after sunset.
The AUP Ambassadors are the official chorus of the Adventist University of the Philippines. Elton Wallace, an American Seventh-day Adventist missionary, founded the group in 1957 as an all-male chorus. In 1971, under the leadership of Minerva Arit-Peñaranda, the group began accepting female members.
—with information from Adventist World, September 2011,