For years, Placido del Mundo Elementary School (PDMES) in Barangay Talipapa has been joining various competitions to uphold the institution’s honor—one of which are school choir competitions held by both public meets and the private sector.
Assistant Principal Adela B. Lacaba recalls that the school’s glee club has been practicing without the aid of a piano. “Matagal nang walang matinong piano and PDMES at dahil sumasali kami sa mga competitions gaya ng National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) at Voices in Harmony, mahirap mag-rehearse ng walang piano,” said Lacaba.
As music teacher and choir director Shermaine Bulante pointed out the need for a piano is imperative not only to teach basic music to young learners but also to support the choir group’s rehearsal after school hours. With nothing but the willing hearts of 40 students, she had to manage.
“Para maging familiar ang mga batasa lessons na tinuturo ko, dinadala ko nalang ang sarili kong keyboard para at the same time, makapag-practice din kami ng choir. Dahil dito sa keyboard na ito, marami na din akong nabigyan ng lessons sa mga batang gustong matutong mag-piano,” Bulante shared.
PDMES is one of the many schools in the metro that had been entering nationwide primary-level choir competitions without proper musical instruments to facilitate their rehearsal. To address this, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Booyoung Company Korea turned over 5,000 digital pianos and 50,000 metallic boards to elementary schools across the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Southern Tagalog regions.
Despite the shipping costs, Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Lusitro FSC was keen on distributing the digital pianos and metallic boards to improve music education among primary school students.
“As we continue to distribute the digital pianos to many other schools, at least 5,000 elementary schools and at least 50,000 metallic boards to our learners, we are certain that the music of both Filipinos and Koreans will resound so much better in the world allowing us to create a whole new global community where we are all brothers and sisters. Hopefully, the first note and the music that we will start will be one through the kindness and generosity of the Booyoungcompany and most specially, Dr. Lee.” Luistro said.
Booyoung Company Chairman Dr. Lee Joong-Keun emphasized his belief in education and has been exerting efforts to providing children all over the globe the learning environment that they deserve.
“We hope that this donation could contribute to the development of the educational infrastructure of the Philippines to help the children grow to be the leader of national economic development. We will do our best to contribute to expand cultural interchange with all of the world, and pay more attention to improvement of educational environment and support to help the future generation to grow up as a global leader.” said Joong-Keun.
The project also aims to reaffirm the friendship of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, that was established during the end of the Korean war in the 1950s. Discussion on the donation began in 2014 between the two parties and was assisted by the Korean Embassy of the Philippines.
“Napakalaking tulong po ang magkaroon ng sariling piano ang school. Hindi lang ito magiging ginahawa para sa aming mga music teachers, kundi para na rin sa aming mga studyante na hinangad maging parte ang musika sa kanilang buhay hanggang sa paglaki nila,” Bulante said.