Yesterday was our final performance to show the town of Catarman what we had done with the students in the last 2 weeks (and so all the townspeople could find out why they kept seeing a group of six white people in their town). The concert opened with Brian and I performing his arrangement of the Philippine National Anthem with all 110 of our students behind us singing with their hands across their hearts. It was very touching to make music with all of my kids at once.
At this point, the emcee, our beloved Brenfred (one of our 3 friends who had hosted us and took care of us our whole time in Catarman, the other 2 being Julius and Ray, our drivers) announced that right then, our performance was being broadcast on national TV! The students all panicked but with a pep talk from us realized how exciting and amazon that was, so the show went on, regardless of the brown out which had turned off the whole town's power for the entire day.
The concert had quite a variety of dance and music with the team performing on our own as interludes between the student performances. Brian and I performed the entire Poulenc Duo Sonata, and I performed a solo Mignone Waltz, both were received with enthusiasm from people who had probably never seen a bassoon or clarinet before.
Both schools each performed a dance and music piece and the performances could not have gone better. As I watched them each sing their hearts out and shake their instruments, I remembered back to two weeks ago when I first met them. Brian and I struggled to get them to come to the friend and say their names, but now, there they were, singing solos and duets for the entire town and country! I tried to hide my tears as I watched from the back of the audience. They had come so far.
The afternoon ended with an exchange of certificates, from us to each student, and from the school to each of us. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great way to say our goodbyes. Then as we tried to leave, every student had to come up to me, ask for my autograph and give me a "remembrance", a small piece of home made jewelry or a note so that I will never forget them. HA, yeah right!
This morning we rolled out of bed at 3am and headed straight to the airport to catch our flight to Manila. We were so surprised to see our students at the airport waiting to give us one last remembrance (a giant card they made) and to wave us off. I guess maybe we did touch their lives.