News Release

Mormon Leader Applauds Youth Cultural Celebration

The youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints showcased a cultural presentation of Philippine dances in honor of the visit of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

Six hundred and ninety young men and women and 80 children participated in the event at the Aurora Chapel in Quezon City.  Coming from different stakes (dioceses) in Metro Manila, they danced  their way into the hearts of all those in attendance. Both their joyful faces and vibrant costumes added to the energy of their performance.

Elder Nelson described it as one the finest presentations he had ever seen, as he jumped down from the platform to shake hands with each of the performers. The 88-year-old apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ was most delighted by the adorable 3-11 year-old children as they wiggled and mimicked duckling movements in their performance of the “Itik Itik ."

The presentation opened with the colorful and festive “Maskara” dance and was followed by 13 other dances originating  from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  Skills were shown in “Banga Bumaya”  as dancers performed with several stacks of pots on their heads.  “Tinikling” and “Singkil,” featured the dancers weaving in between bamboo poles, and the “Pangalay” had the youth dancing while being carried on top of bamboo poles.  “Sayaw sa Bangko” had the performers dancing while jumping on benches. A choir of young adults performed a rousing rendition of original Filipino songs.  

The presentation’s finale was a gathering of all 760 participants with their different Filipino costumes as they sang the Jubilee theme song, “United.” This was led by the composer Danel Beriong, who is a  member of the Church and wrote the song for the Jubilee celebration of the 50 years of the Church in the Philippines.  The words of the song echoed the feelings of the youth singing it:

”Seven thousand isles and a hundred tongues...gathered as one fold; 

Singing in one song, standing side by side , walking hand in hand;  

Fighting for what’s right. “ 

The  cultural presentation was organized by a local Church leader, Elder Miguel Valdez, and directed by Dong Pacia.   The youth, with their leaders, practiced for weeks.  The rehearsals were a sacrifice and a joy as they offered their time, talents and as they commuted to the practice venues in order to dance for Elder Nelson, who himself travelled thousands of miles from the United States to visit the Church in the Philippines and see them perform.


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