Truth, Beauty, Music

Travelogue

Stay at the center of your journey, wherever the path may lead.

Lilac Caña to receive 2010 “Pamana Ng Pilipinas” Presidential Award

Toronto based Filipino-Canadian Soprano Lilac L. Caña has been selected by President Benigno S. Aquino III as one of the recipients of the Year 2010 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas. She is to be conferred the Pamana Ng Pilipino Award, and has the honor of meeting President Aquino and the other awardees worldwide, who will come home during the awarding ceremonies on 14 December 2010 at Malacañan Palace.

The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas is a biennial award established by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas – an agency of the Philippine Government tasked to promote and uphold the interests of Filipino emigrants and permanent residents abroad, and preserve and strengthen ties with Filipino communities overseas. The awards are conferred on Filipino individuals and organizations that contribute to Philippine development or promote the interests of Filipino communities overseas. It is also given to Filipinos overseas who have distinguished themselves in their professions.

Among the four award categories, the Pamana Ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Filipinos overseas, who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.

Ms. Caña continues to play an active role in the GTA, sharing her musical talents and services not just within the Filipino-Canadian community here, but also with the wider Canadian, US, European, and Philippine audiences. She has given concerts, vocal workshops, served as music director at St. John’s Cathedral Polish Catholic Church, recorded seven CD albums, and continues to help several charities with her fundraising events and efforts.

Former awardees of this prestigious Presidential Award are: internationally reknowned concert pianist Dr. Raul Sunico (now Dean of Music at the University of Santo Thomas); former Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Arthur Viola; Jeffrey Rustia, President and CEO of Front TV; and Norma Carpio, former PIDC President and founder of Toronto’s Mabuhay Festival.

Lilac is deeply grateful and humbled by this honor bestowed on her and her family. She is to sing at the ceremonies, accompanied by the Leggiero String Ensemble, and violinist John Lesaca. Accompanying her at Malacañan Palace and at the CFO conferences for the awardees, are her proud parents: Sir Lapulapu P. Caña (Commander, Knights of Rizal), and Lady Ligaya L. Caña (Ontario State Regent, Daughters of Isabella).

Thailand

The struggle we are witnessing today in Thailand between the insurgent “Red Shirt” protesters and the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva saddens me… I had just passed through this beautiful part of the world for the first time last February 2010, on a trip to Siem Riep, Cambodia, to explore the temples and history of this remarkable city. Bangkok was the main hub, going to Siem Riep from Manila and back again. How ironic that the centuries-old animosity between the two ancient cultures of Thailand and Cambodia — then called Siam and Khmer — is mirrored in the bloody scenes we see today. (Siem Riep literally translates as “the City where Siam was defeated”.)

Civil unrest and discontent will always find expression among people who are unjustly treated by those in authority who abuse their power. The protests in downtown Bangkok may have been violently repressed by the Thai soldiers for now, but the people’s rage could now be channeled into guerrilla warfare. The desire for necessary justice remains unquenchable.