Co-founder and executive director of the Performing Arts and Recreation Center (PARC) Foundation Issay Nodalo gets emotional thinking about the the success of the first-ever “Spirit of Giving: The Performing Arts Ball” held recently at Conrad Manila.
The concert featured world-class performers from the Philippines and Singapore like Morissette Amon, The CompanY, Corey Koh, and Michelle SgP. Attendees also sang and danced to the beloved Christmas classics of Jose Mari Chan, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philippine Ballet Theatre.
The event is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Philippine-Singapore bilateral ties in partnership with the Singapore Embassy in Manila.
In an interview, Issay said she sees the event as good start for PARC Foundation that mounted it.
“I think somebody is orchestrating it from above,” Issay said.
PARC Foundation headed by the late Wilmer Ong Guido is a center that opened to the public in early 2016. Since then, the location has hosted a wide range of performing arts events; from full-blown concerts and theatrical productions to daily dance workshops and various rehearsal sessions.
“Initially, we just wanted a tribute concert for Wilmer, like with the theme of ‘A Million Dreams’ because we believe that the song is very much on point and reminds us of our dear Wilmer,” Issay said. “We were just thinking of a smaller crowd in a smaller space, no red carpet…”
She continued: “But later on, because of the drive of Wilmer’s dad (William T. Guido) and his family, it escalated to a red carpet ball. They really wanted to give him a grand homage.”
Proceeds from the show will go to PARCaralan scholars.
Issay thanked their partners Global Cultural Alliance and Millet World, both Singapore-based organizations.
“We also got the support of the Singapore embassy. And then we also have co-presenter Chinoy TV,” she said. “I’m quite overwhelmed also by the presence of the Singapore Embassy, Senator Manny Pacquiao, also Vice Mayor Lacuna and Vice Mayor Villa of San Juan.”
They also have “advocacy partners” from whom they received donated artworks for auction.
Issay said these kind of events are close to her heart.
“I came from La Salle’s Dance Company-Contemporary. So I was trained in contemporary and jazz dance. Ever since I can remember I’ve been dancing, all sorts, but only formally trained in college,” she shared.
“Then I met Wilmer in college. We were taking up the same course and we have this common interest for dance. Even though Wilmer was trained as classical pianist, he would go out of his way to attend jazz classes and we would take some of those classes together. And whenever I would have dance concerts at La Salle, he would watch and support me.”
Aside from music and dance, they were also into theatre.
“That’s why we formed Performing Arts and Recreation Center Foundation, it’s not just biased toward one art form,” she said. “We just want to give back to the performing arts because it really helped us.”
Issay said the arts give its disciples sense of fulfillment, among other things.
“I gained a lot of life skills from being an artist and I was able to apply that in my professional job,” she said. “As for Wilmer, I believe what Performing Arts did to him was that it gave him a sense of fulfillment and meaning in life. And also the joy because when you perform, when you rehearse, the arts is inspiring, empowering.”