A couple of months ago, at the lobby of the Cebu City Marriott Hotel, I was seated next to Ingrid Sala Santamaria. An American woman passed by, stopped and told Ingrid, “You are so beautiful!”
She glows even more when she is performing a piano concert, speaking about her career or planning her next concert. There was that special radiance at a recent press conference where she told reporters that she will be 77 on Feb. 25.
“I have never spoken about my age,” she said. “When I have been asked, I usually counter by asking how old did they think I was, like what happened with one of my 16 grandchildren.”
“‘Mama Ing, how old are you?’ he asked. ‘How old do you think I am?’ ‘Forty-two,’ he said, so I told him we’d leave it at that.
“A few days later,” Ingrid continued, “he told me that if I was 42, that made me younger than his mother. He wondered how could that be.”
On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m., at the grand ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Ingrid will perform her “Grand Finale,” a sort of farewell concert. Sort of, because, like the proverbial song, she will be coming back.
It is a reunion of the musicians nurtured by the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation into the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and consequently the Peace Philharmonic of the Philippines (PPP) from 1991 to 2000.
Rodelio Flores, in his time the conductor of CYSO and PPP, is coming this week from the US to rehearse the group.
Hannah Magdadaro Go and Hazel Magdadaro Sanchez, backed by their parents Greg and Lou Magdadaro, are producing the show. Hannah was a violinist and Hazel a percussionist with the CYSO.
“We were scholars,” said Hannah and Hazel, “and we learned to excel. This concert on Feb. 25 is a tribute to Madame Ingrid, for all she has done for all of us.”
“These musicians are my musical children,” Ingrid said, as emotionally as Hannah and Hazel had expressed themselves.” But I already see that I have musical grandchildren, and soon even great-grandchildren.”
At 3 p.m. Feb 25, there will be a matinee with a Music Education Hour. It is for young students so that they will be exposed to classical music, and learn to appreciate it. Tickets are P100 per person.
For the gala at 7 p.m., tickets are at P500, P1,000 and P1,500.
“Ingrid: Grand Finale” is presented by the Waterfront Hotel, LS Universal Development, Asian Learning Center in Lapulapu City and San Miguel Corporation in cooperation with Virtuoso School of Music, Sanchez Design and the Salvador & Pilar Sala Foundation.