40TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION: Lea Salonga, Monique Wilson, Menchu & Raymond Lauchengco, Risa Hontiveros, rest of PH Von Trapp siblings sing for World Day of the Poor


Senator Risa Hontiveros
Cast of Repertory Philippines’ The Sound of Music in 1980. The photo, posted by Rinna Estrella-Gustilo‎ in the Memories of Old Manila Facebook group, featured Hontiveros along with the rest of the cast of the Sound of Music production: Menchu Lauchengco, Raymond Lauchengco, Risa Hontiveros, Javier Arriaga, Monique Wilson, Lea Salonga, and Gianina Revilla.

The 1980 cast of Repertory Philippines’ ‘The Sound of Music’ celebrated their 40th year anniversary in a very meaningful way. Aside from reminiscing, the group will be giving a heartfelt rendition of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab’s “Paraiso” as part of this year’s observance of the World Day of the Poor.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who played Louisa von Trapp, organized the remarkable reunion. She was joined by her ‘Von Trapp’ siblings — theater actresses Lea Salonga (Brigitta), Monique Wilson (Marta), and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Liesl), as well as OPM concert and recording artist Raymond Lauchengco (Friedrich), Javier Arriaga (Kurt), Gianina Revilla-Dayrit (Gretl) and Angela Adams (Gretl).

The reunion video will premiere on Hontiveros’ official Facebook page: facebook.com/hontiverosrisa on November 15, Sunday, at 7PM.

Hontiveros hopes that through this initiative, everyone will be reminded of their obligation to reach out to those who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and those who lost their homes and loved-ones during typhoons, Rolly and Ulysses. These, according to her, are the very essence of this year’s theme, ‘Stretch Forth Your Hand to the Poor.’ The World Day of the Poor was first led by Pope Francis in 2017 and has since been observed annually all over the world.

The senator, for her part, is continuously conducting simultaneous relief operations for the victims of recent typhoons in some affected areas of Luzon.

“Hindi lang ito basta reunion. Sa pamamagitan ng musika, nais naming maipahatid sa ating mga kababayan ang mensahe ng pagbibigayan at pagtutulungan.” she said. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa aking mga dating kasamahan sa Repertory Philippines na hindi nag-alinlangan para gawin ang makabuluhang pagsasama-samang ito,” she said

Earlier on Sunday, Hontiveros also hosted an online prayer initiative led by leaders of the Catholic Church including Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, as well as Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, who also chairs the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“Simple lang mensahe ng araw na ito: In the darkest of times, we need to show compassion to reach out to those who need help the most. Tayong lahat ay magkakapatid at kapwa Pilipino. Hindi natin pwedeng talikuran ang isa’t isa lalo na ang naghihirap nating mga kababayan,” she said.

On November 9, the Senate also adopted Hontiveros’ Resolution No. 550 expressing its full support for observance and celebration of the World Day of the Poor 2020 and recognizing its shared responsibility as an institution for the promotion of social justice for the poor.

“Anumang unos ang ating harapin, ang dapat na mamayani ay ang pagkalinga at pagmamalakasakit natin sa kapwa. Sama-sama, walang maiiwan o mag-iisa. Together, we can make a difference.” she concluded.

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