News, Philippines, January 1-15, 1999
As we close the curtain and bid good-bye to the old year, we usher the New Year (1999), with optimism and high hopes. Wordsmiths will coin words and phrases that rhyme with 1999: "It's Mine 1999, A year to Opine," "Let's Have More Sunshine in 1999," and all that jazz.
Forecasters, newsmakers, writers and opinionmakers will dramatize intriguing oddities of the year, perhaps illuminating our journey toward the challenges that beset us for our quantum leap towards the next millennium. It's a deep subject!
It was a cold and windy afternoon. We witnessed a unique show at Shrine Auditorium one of the high profile theaters in town. Of course, this is the venue of many, many high budget, upscale and well orchestrated and publicized shows. We came to reminisce the first concert of Sharon Cuneta here. It was SRO!
As dusk gathered blustery winds made us uneasy waiting at the door. By charter buses, automobiles and limos, people from near and far began arriving. All came to see the show for Ching Hai, the Supreme Master of a global group of various nationalities and cultural backgrounds. It was impossible for us to interview the Master during this historic presentation.
Ching Hai adorably hailed as a Supreme Master is a gifted lady. She's visionary, writer, poetess, painter, entertainer, fashion and jewelry designer. She is very unassuming. She is the ideal Asian mold of a tiny and petite person. She is a linguist: she speaks French, German, Vietnamese, Chinese, and of course, a good English speaker. Her works are acclaimed all over the world, especially in Europe.
The cavernous edifice was packed to the rafters. We have brushed elbows with the heavy hitters in the American entertainment industry. Using the Master's poetry as the centerpiece of this holiday extravaganza with a humongous cast of entertainers, performers: The Beach Boys Family and Friends, Gaelic Storm, who performed at the hit movie "Titanic," The Pasadena Boys Choir, and the 60-Piece Orchestra from the American Federation of Musicians, with renowned soloist artists, and narrators, not to mention the team of most sought after composers and conductors: Bill Conti, Fred Karlin, Maria Newman, George Thatcher and Peter Boyer.
Interestingly enough, DR, the emcees were Debbie Reynolds and John Moschitta, Jr, a vivacious lovely star of more than 30 motion pictures, two Broadway shows and various television appearances from here and abroad.
At age 47 she was youthful and lovely during that evening. John Moschitta, Jr was in the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records for speaking 586 words in a minute. The duo made a sparkling, humorous, witty and lively control of the program.
Here comes the star of the show. Her poems were musically interpreted and showcased. Simple, yet pregnant prose which captivates and captures the vision and theme of the this legendary heroine, dubbed as an icon of philanthropy. A humanitarian through and through.
She donated $250.000 during the show for the Starlight Children's Foundation and St Jude Children's Research and treatment of potentially fatal childhood diseases. The Philippines was the recipient of her donation in connection with the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
"Small but terrible" but Supreme Master Ching Hai is a helping hand to attain one world with her humanitarian pursuits. The best minds in the entertainment industry converted the evening into a roaring success worth the attention of Hollywood and the world.
The producers said: "Like a river carrying the pure mountain water into the valleys below, the language of music holds universal secret to the inner depths of our love, creativity and existence. Weaving the tapestry of life in an intricate dance of harmonic creation, the listener becomes the listened, the player, the played Life has seen few constants and music is one of them, and it is this musical life - force that can carry us through to peace throughout the world."
But Master Ching Hai got all the raves. Thunderous standing ovations. How a simple frail woman, but brilliant intellect, can change the course of world events. At the end of the show, many bouquets of flowers were presented to her. She jestingly quipped: "I don't need flowers; I'm a flower myself." To which the audience once again roared with thunderous standing applause.
Indeed we like to remember the old year like this.
Economy Daily, U.S.A.