Grace Nono Enchants Hong Kong


The enchanting voice of Grace Nono concluded the inaugural week of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center in a concert entitled “Songs of the Beloved” last February 12, 2012 at the Miller Theater (Former Magazine B).  The event was co-presented by the Asia Society Philippines.  Officers from the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong, including Consul-General Noel Servigon, and Mr. Jaime Enrique Gonzalez, CEO of IP Ventures Inc., were in attendance to hear and witness Ms. Nono’s divine performance.  A simulcast of the show has been played on a wide screen at a huge function room filled with almost three-hundred (300) Filipino overseas workers.

Edith Ngan Chan, Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong, welcomed the distinguished guests in her speech, highlighting the commitment of the Asia Society to promote understanding between Asian countries as reflected in the evening’s occasion.   Ronnie Chan, Co-Chair of the Asia Society and Chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, recognized in his opening address the big role played by the Filipinos in Hong Kong’s economy.  The night’s event, according to him, is a great way to celebrate this mutual relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The four corners of the Miller Theater echoed the godly sounds from the native instruments played by Bob Aves, Alex Tumapang and Wayway Saway.  The audience beholds Grace Nono’s elegance as she enters and, hummed and sang ethnic songs.  Her sound was enchanting, as if spirits revolves her, taking the listeners into a different realm.  They were also guided by a background presentation translating the chants to English, helping the people to not only appreciate but also understand.  A cheerful and upbeat end song entitled Salidumay put some of the guests to their feet as Grace Nono and her band went down the stage and danced.

The performance was followed by an interview by Asia Society’s Rachel Cooper.  The audience was also given a chance to ask questions. Grace Nono and her companions discussed mainly about the challenges of performing and preserving ethnic music in the contemporary times, when Western music dominates the airwaves.

Enrique Gonzalez of IP Ventures Inc, the patron sponsor of the event, who is also a trustee of the Asia Society in the Philippines, gave the closing remarks.  He expressed his hope that the two Asia Society centers –the Philippines and Hong Kong- would continue doing projects such as that. 

The night ended in music, harmony and friendship.