MFFC Youth Group

April 25, 2007, Markham Ontario - by James Abanador

Were it not for the raw talent and natural congruity of the members, in spite of the fact that a good number of them are new in the stage experience, the season openers for the MFFC Youth Performing Arts Group managed to exceed expectations, exalting them unto new highs.

The popular Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians group did its premiere show to rave reviews at the Scarborough Oriental Center on April 21, then performed again with the same zest at the Markham Splendid China Tower the next day.

In both performances, the display of energy, charisma and talent was simply awesome. The members delivered to the best of their abilities, with absolute confidence, providing an entertaining show that included a variety of song and dance numbers.

To the audience it seemed as though all the voices and moves were choreographed and done effortlessly and naturally. Here is where the long hours of practice paid off. The continuing training for this year’s program started in earnest soon after the Christmas season performances ended. Many new recruits were added, increasing the membership significantly. Fortunately for their natural talents and working compatibility, old and new members soon coalesced into a harmonious group. Experienced members enthusiastically tutored the fresh ones with the old routines, while both groups learned together on the new added materials.

Matching the considerable efforts put in by the youth members, dedicated volunteer mentors Karen Tan, Kristine Tan, Mike Ombao and Vonnie Beltran take pride in their collective handiwork. They nurture the youth patiently every step of the way, sharing with them their own stage experiences, and coaching the courage and creativity out of them. “Seeing a kid blossom with a talent you did not think had promise in the first place is reward enough in itself. It is simply priceless,” said Karen Tan, speaking also for her co-mentors.

The performance at the Oriental Centre located at Brimley Rd. and Sheppard Ave. took an hour while that at the newly built Splendid China Tower near Steeles Ave. & Kennedy Rd. was a full show of two hours long. Both shows featured lyrical favourites that included selections from Disney films, Grease, and Mama Mia, to classic songs from the Bee Gees, to a variety of Hawaiian dances. It proved the depth and breadth of the skills and capability of the talented MFFC youth, and as well the acumen and ingenuity of their mentors. According to Mike Ombao, “I am amazed at their intensity- it surpasses their age and makes them look more mature than they truly are. They work so hard to achieve their goals and they love what they do.”

The group’s success with this wonderful program is aided a great deal by the unflinching support and dedication of the youth’s parents and the sponsoring MFFC organization.