News Release

Nationwide Celebration of Hope: Thousands Join Tabernacle Choir Watch Parties Across the Philippines

As the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra concluded their tour in the Philippines, thousands eagerly gathered nationwide to catch the livestream of their final concert, published live from the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, on February 28, 2024.

Weeks before the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra arrived in the Philippines for the second leg of their "Hope" world tour, over 180 Stakes and Districts prepared to share the choir's experience through watch parties with other members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines who would be unable to watch the concert live.

Other areas took the initiative a step further: nine movie theaters were rented out to offer free public viewings, while seven local stakes and districts coordinated with local government units to stream the concert live at public squares and town halls.

Based on reports gathered by the Philippines Area Office, over 39,000 members gathered in their respective stake and district centers while inviting over 4,300 friends from other faiths to join in to watch featured guests legendary singer and theater actress Lea Salonga, YouTube singing sensation Ysabelle Cuevas and media-celebrity duo Paolo and Suzi Abrera perform alongside the 400 strong Choir and Orchestra.

“Even though we were not able to attend the live concert, I personally felt the spirit of unity and God’s love through the beautiful music the choir shared. Each song conveyed the message of hope, love, and the beauty of life. I felt comforted and inspired by the songs they sang so beautifully,” Jeza Baello, from the Ormoc Philippines Stake, shared when asked for comment.

“My children, who are only 7 and 8 years old, enjoyed the music numbers as well! As a mother, it also brought joy and comfort to me to witness my children enjoy inspiring music, especially in this generation of worldly music. Undoubtedly, the concert made my family and I feel closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father,” she added.

“Watching the livestream of The Tabernacle Choir's concert in our chapel was a very memorable and uplifting experience for me and my family. There was no dull moment. We truly enjoyed each part of the concert but particularly loved their rendition of Filipino songs. I was both proud to be a Filipino and a member of the Church. My family and I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful music of The Tabernacle Choir and create wonderful memories together!” said Karen Si from Davao Philippines Stake.

The Philippines Area, apart from ensuring that members of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Philippines get to experience the once-in-a-lifetime chance of the Choir and Orchestra in the country, also ensured that friends of the Church from the academia, media, interfaith, and government circles have the opportunity to learn more about the Church, its beliefs, and its efforts in the community.

Apart from inviting leaders and movers from each of these communities and more to watch four concerts in Metro Manila, the Choir and the Church hosted four dinners that paved the way for Church leaders – including Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who came to the Philippines for a 10-day ministry – to get to know and minister with these friends and partners of the Church.

“What an amazing, beautiful experience to be here — and to be here with the Choir,” Elder Andersen said. “But of course, more than anything, to be with these very humble yet very spiritual people of the Philippines. I’ve loved being with them. They will not only be blessed by the Choir, but the Choir will be blessed by them. And that will bring out a music that is very, very special.”

The Apostle said the Choir’s presence in the Philippines signals a new chapter here for the Church.

“That there are tens of thousands who will come with the members to see the Choir means the Church is coming of age,” Elder Andersen said. “The Choir brings a clarity of our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe in Him totally and fully. That is very important.”

José Fuerte Cardinal Advíncula, the Archbishop of Manila, one of the most revered and influential figures of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, seconded the Apostle’s thoughts on the unifying power of music.

“It’s very amazing how music, how songs actually make us feel closer to one another,” said the Cardinal, who heard the Choir in person for the first time. “When actually we should be so because we are all brothers and sisters. We have one common Father — God. And I think that should not prevent us from working together for the betterment of our brothers and sisters.”

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