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Artists want to bring play on ‘Pope Francis’ to masses, schools

MANILA, August 1, 2015–A group of artists are fully committed to continue its mission to spread Pope Francis’ message of “mercy and compassion” through a musical play.

Five months after the visit of the Holy Father to the country, producer Rose Cabrera said that through the play “From the Vatican to Tacloban — With Love, Pope Francis” they want to reach the masses and the young people.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed. We are hoping to bring this message of Pope Francis to as many young people as possible,” Cabrera said.

Since millions of Filipinos adored the Pope, she said they want to keep the momentum going and “keep the love alive” through the musical play.

“The Pope has that deep compassion and love for the poor and his visit really made a lot of difference in the lives of many people especially those from Tacloban,” Cabrera said.

Written and directed by Nestor Torre, the play presents in the reasons that moved the pontiff to visit the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

Torre also wanted to depict the Yolanda survivors’ stories, “so that the entire viewing experience would be an interaction between victims and consoler where they could learn valuable lessons from each other.”

The stage musical also tells the story of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s rise to the papacy.

Torre is known for writing and directing religious plays and musicals. Among his notable productions include the “Magnificat,” “Nassan si Hesus?,” “Padre Pio” and “Pope John Paul II.”

From its debut in February, the play has been running and is available for group viewing at Cabrera’s Mabuhay Restop theater cafe at Rizal Park.

“Hopefully, as this goes around, we’ll have a regular show and we could visit also visit schools,” Cabrera said.

For bookings, group sales and other details, call (02) 359-7927, 09178108194, email info@mabuhayrestops.com or visit www.mabuhayrestops.com. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

Former SGV chief is new Namfrel head

MANILA, July 31, 2015— The former chairman of the country’s top accounting firm Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) is the new chairman of the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).

Members of the poll watchdog formally elected David Balangue as chairperson on Friday, replacing Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo who remains as member of the national council.

Balangue has been vice chairman of Namfrel since 2010.

The group said Balangue “brings to the position long and vast experiences in management, finance, governance, and corporate social responsibility.”

“Balangue is expected to steer Namfrel’s engagement in the 2016 national and local elections,” said Namfrel in a statement.

The new Namfrel chief concurrently heads the Coalition against Corruption, columnist at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Member of the Board of Trustees of Habitat for Humanity Foundation – Philippines.

Since 1984, Namfrel has been conducting quick counts during elections and played a major role in the 1986 snap elections.

Namfrel also focused on poll watch, voters’ education, electoral reform, campaign finance, logistics tracking, and random manual audit in the 2010 and 2013 elections with the support of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action.

Until the automation of the elections, it was primarily engaged in parallel vote count or otherwise known as Operation Quick Count. (CBCPNews)