23 May 2014 – Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, said that the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños Choral Ensemble brought the “soul of the Philippines” to Geneva and Vaud through their poignant music as she welcomed them to the Philippine Mission for a traditional Filipino breakfast during the Geneva leg of their European Tour.

The Ensemble’s visit to Geneva was capped by a mini-concert at the United Nations’ Palais des Nations on April 30. It was attended by no less than Director General Michael Moller, Head of the United Nations Office in Geneva.

In her remarks before the mini-concert, Ambassador Rebong stated that since the group members are often referred to as the country’s ambassadors of goodwill, their performance is their way of expressing the Filipino people’s sincere thanks and appreciation to the officials and staff members of the United Nations Offices in Geneva for their solidarity, expressions of support, and donations to those devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The UN Staff Council, in cooperation with the Filipinos working at the United Nations Office in Geneva, raised 45,435 Swiss francs for Yolanda victims.  Their financial donations were coursed through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme and the Philippine Red Cross.

In his message, Director General Moller thanked the group for their wonderful performance and said that the United Nations Office in Geneva and all its institutions were glad to be of assistance to a valued partner such as the Philippines.

The UP Los Baños Choral Ensemble traveled to Switzerland to participate in the Montreux Chorale Festival where they got a “distinction tres bien.” They likewise performed at the Christian Church Fellowship International, Church of the Latter Day Saints, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).END