Two of the Liceo de Cagayan University Conservatory of Music, Theatre & Dance Expat Professors recently joined other prominent Filipino entertainers in serenading President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and his wife Liza during a meet-and-greet with the Filipino expat community in Berlin, Germany.

The March 12, 2024 Filipino Community Gathering was held late in the afternoon at the Grand Ball Room of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel under the direction of Presidential Communications Office Director Cris Villonco with the assistance of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin headed by Her Excellency Ambassador Susan Barreiro Natividad, who earlier escorted the First Couple in honoring the legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal with  a visit to the Rizal Marker in Jaegerstrasse, Berlin.

Prof. Cipriano de Guzman, Jr., also known as the Filipino Baritone, and Prof. Thomas Schüle, joined Emanuel John Villarin, a violinist studying in Hans Eisler Musikhochsule, and Nurse-Singers based in Germany, Lipson Padillo and Jacqui Javellana in entertaining the first couple.

De Guzman teaches voice and theater at the Liceo Music Conservatory while Schüle is professor of Music Management and Musicology.

Before the arrival of the President and his delegation, the audience was entertained by various Filipino artists, including a folkloric dance group from Hamburg, a violinist from Berlin and local pop singers. Arnel Ignacio, a well known TV personality who has since been appointed as head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), performed two songs and danced with Thomas’ wife Alicia!

“I sang Saan Ka Man Naroroon dedicated to all OFWs, change the line in the end before I hit the high notes “Asahan mo sa habang panahon, PILIPINO ka rin , saan ka man naroroon” and Dahil Sa Iyo by Mike Velarde Jr., which is associated with the Former First Lady and mother of the President, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos,” Maestro Zip detailed in an email to this writer.

Following the national anthem and welcome remarks from Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Irene Susan B.Natividad, the popular folk singer, Florante sang several songs including  his signature hits Ako’y Isang Pinoy and Handog.

“After his performance, I sang the song Balikbayan composed by National Artist for Music, Ernani Cuenco, followed by Umagang Kay Ganda with Emanuel John Villarin, Lipson Padillo and Jacqui Javellana,” de Guzman said.

After that, DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo introduced the President, who then delivered his speech.

The President related the steps made by his administration, including his visit to Central Europe, to see to the welfare and well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and explore further measures aimed at further improving their quality of life and informing them of opportunities back home.

Prof Zip de Guzman in a memento pic with Pres. Bongbong Marcos & First Lady Liza Marcos in Berlin, Germany.

“During the First Couple’s interaction with the expat Filipino community in Berlin, the President asked where I trained or studied because he was fascinated. I invited Prof Thomas and his wife Alicia, whom I introduced as my manager to Ms. Villonco of the PCO,” de Guzman recalled.

Ms Cris Villonco of the Presidential Communications Office (center) with Prof. Thomasa & Mrs. Alicia Schüle.

“Since I was introduced to her as Sir Zip’s manager, my involvement was limited to supporting him and the arrangements for his performances, which I was able to discuss with Ms. Villonco,” Schüle related.


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