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19/07/2012: Ambassador Shows Support to Phl Choirs at World Games in Cincinnati

19 July 2012, Washington DC. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the United States, attended the World Choir Games last July 7 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to watch and support the participating Philippine choirs in the international event.  He was greeted at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport by the President of the Filipino-American Association of Southern Ohio (FASO) Guillermo Guinigundo.

The World Choir Games organization received dignitaries from throughout the world.  At the Proctor & Gamble Twin Tower banquet hall in downtown Cincinnati, Ambassador Cuisia met with the John Kasich, Ohio governor, and Mark Mallory, the Cincinnati mayor, as well as other international representatives.

Ambassador Cuisia also attended a town hall meeting organized by FASO at the home of Guillermo and Ninfa Guinigundo in West Chester, Ohio.  Ambassador Cuisia was enthusiastically received by the members and leaders of the Filipino community from Cincinnati and outlying vicinities.  Ohio State Representative Courtney Combs read an Ohio General Assembly resolution welcoming and honoring Ambassador Cuisia for his experience and presence holding the Town Hall Meeting.

Ambassador Jose Cuisia (rightmost) and Mr. Guillermo Guinigundo (second from right), President of the Filipino American Association of Southern Ohio, address members of the Filipino American community in Cincinnati and surrounding areas during a town hall meeting last July 7.

Members of the community expressed admiration for Ambassador Cuisia’s ability and willingness to discuss a variety of topics including those on labor, the economy, Philippine-U.S. defense cooperation, current disputes in the West Philippine Sea, and immigration issues. The Ambassador also touched on topics pertaining to Medicare portability as well as the plight of overseas workers and human rights.

Ambassador Cuisia attended the choir performance of the Samewing Singers from Ilocos Norte National High School.  The highly decorated group was composed of 38 high school students from Laoag.  The Samewing Singers were awarded a silver medal in the Musica Sacra championship category, the highest level in the competition; gold medal in the Open Competition for folklore songs; and silver medal in the Open Competition for Youth Choir of Equal Voices.

Other groups from the Philippines included the Miriam College High School Glee Club, which was awarded gold in the Open Competitions of Youth Choir of Equal Voices and Musica Sacra; Zamboanga Hermosa, which won two silver performance medals and one bronze medal in the Open Competition; and the Kammerata Singers, which garnered two silver performance medals in the Open Competition.  The competition also had choirs with strong Philippine identities including the Vox Viri singers from New Jersey, Prime Note Ensemble from West Covina, California, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Children’s Choir from California.

Ambassador Cuisia personally congratulated the Samewing Singers and Miriam College High School Choir for the awards they received during ceremonies held on July 8 at the U.S. Bank Arena.

The World Choir Games are said to be the Olympics of choral music.  According to the organizers, the Games have united people from around the world “through the power of song and in the spirit of friendly competition.” Throughout the event’s history, more than 2,000 choirs have participated in competitions across Europe and Asia. The World Choir Games took place in the United States for the first time ever this year.  (END)