Dr. Raul Sunico at the piano and Mr. Arthur Erskine Basilio with the classic guitar
29 May 2019 – In a suitable finale to its series of celebrations for the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence Day, the Philippine Embassy in Oslo showcased the world-renowned pianist, Dr. Raul Sunico, with the collaboration of Mr. Arthur Erskine M. Basilio at the guitar, kudyapi and faglong. The concert was held on 29 May 2019, at the Oslo Concert Hall, a leading venue for culture and music in the heart of Oslo.
True to this year’s theme of "Kalayan 2019, Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan", Dr. Sunico and Mr. Basilio performed classic pieces by Philippine composers, and traditional Filipino music and folk songs. The audience was especially enthralled by Dr. Sunico’s expertise without use of musical scores. They were moved by the kudyapi performance of "Binalig" and "Sinulog" by Mr. Basilio. This was a rare experience as kudyapi and the faglong are usually performed only by the ethnolinguistic groups in Southern Philippines for datus or tribal leaders. Mr. Basilio is a trailblazer in this sense for learning to play the instrument and sharing it here in Oslo. We express our gratitude to our indigenous groups in Mindanao for giving special permission to Mr. Basilio that allowed the kudyapi instrument to be brought to Norway.
The concert was organized with the full support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) led by Chairman Virgilio S. Almario. The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Cultural Diplomacy Unit under the Office of Strategic Communications and Research led by Undersecretary Ernesto C. Abella also extended its assistance. The Philippine Embassy in Oslo unites with them in promoting Philippine Music and our Artists.
In the celebration, the Embassy was joined by 240 members of the Diplomatic Corps, Norwegian Government Officials, leaders of Filipino Community organizations, friends and guests not only from Norway, but also from various countries. END