03 May 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reported to the Department that the Baao Children’s Choir won the grand prize at the 18ª Certamen Internacional de Juvenil de Habaneras 2012 which was held from 27 to 29 April 2012 in Torrevieja, Spain.
During the competition, the group sang the following songs for which the choir received a standing ovation: El Negro (obligatory Habanera competition song interpretation); Qué bonita es Cuba; Dicen que se muere el mar (arranged by J. Madurga Oteiza); and Scenes from the North (arranged by Fidel G. Calalang Jr.). The choir was directed by Mr. Virgilio Briones.
Baao Children´s Choir is the first Asian choir to join the said competition. For 2012 alone, more than 40 choirs around the world auditioned and only 8 choirs were selected for the finals.
The Baao Children’s Choir, established in 2003, is a community and church – based choir composed of children ages 11 to 18 years old. It annually holds auditions and training programs in different public and private school in the Municipality of Baao, Camarines Sur.