Noel Ferrer was supposed to be born Dec. 25, but Christmas came two weeks early for his parents. They kept the name anyway, which might explain Ferrer’s special affinity for the holiday season.
The veteran producer and talent manager, who hosts the teleradyo show, “Level Up,” on Radyo Inquirer, among other things, draws his inspiration from a poem by Howard Thurman, “The Work of Christmas”:
“When the song of the angels is stilled/ When the star in the sky is gone/ When the kings and princes are home/ When the shepherds are back with their flock/ The work of Christmas begins…”
Ferrer takes the work to mean “to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoners, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among brothers, to make music in our hearts.”
On his 50th birthday last Dec. 11, in what he hopes will become an annual tradition, Ferrer produced “Noel@Arete,” a musical Christmas presentation in coordination with Ricky Abad at the Ateneo de Manila University’s newest theater.
Among the performers were the Ateneo Chamber Singers, Bukas Palad, Dulaang Sibol, Joanna Ampil, Noel Cabangon, Arman Ferrer, Jay Durias, Gabe Mercado, Missy Maramara, Atom Araullo, Iza Calzado, Baihana and The Company.
Ferrer also recorded a version of Ryan Cayabyab’s song “Can’t Help Wond’ring Why” with Khiana Noshka (daughter of the singer Dessa, for whom Cayabyab wrote the song more than two decades ago).
He also recorded “Bakit Hindi,” a Filipino version of the song with lyrics translated by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, with Dessa herself. Both versions are available on Spotify, iTunes and other social media platforms.
In addition, Ferrer has curated “Noel@Avellana” (are you sensing a theme here?), a collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, music, literature, crafts and “everything Christmas aimed at filling our senses with inspiration and nourishment for ourselves and the ones we love.”
The exhibit runs until Jan. 6 at the Avellana Art Gallery.
Among the artworks on exhibit are paintings by Peque Gallaga, Manuel Baldemor (from the collection of Wilson Tieng), Joy Mallari (from the collection of Rico Hizon), Jao Mapa, Celeste Lecaroz, Pablo Baens Santos, Lui Gonzalez and Dex Fernandez (from the collection of Rowell Santiago).
Also on show are photographs by Ryan Agoncillo, Atom Araullo and Neil Daza, sculptures by Impy Pilapil and Jonathan Dangue, ceramics by Jon Pettyjohn and the Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers, crafts by Resurrection (Christmas trees), planners by Everyday Explore and Swellsweets by Angela Colet, and furniture by EADA Furniture.
Also on hand will be music and video from the Jesuit Music Ministry collection and, from Christopher de Leon, an exhibit of Metro Manila Film Festival trophies.
“I am happy doing these passion projects and starting these new traditions, so that through time they will continually be carried out and even be improved and developed to be more inclusive and more relevant,” says Ferrer.
Avellana Art Gallery is at 2680 FB Harrison St., Pasay City; tel. 8338357. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, from