UST Guitar Octet Wins in Malaysia International Guitar Fest

2 September 2016 – Another artistic group brought honor to the Philippines as the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Guitar Octet placed second at the Ensemble Category of the Tarrega Malaysia International Classical Guitar Festival 2016 in Klang Valley, according to the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The group bested nine other countries which sent representatives to the event. Indonesia’s Farabi Guitar Duo won the top award, while Malaysia’s Hin Hua Quintet placed third.

Led by UST Conservatory of Music Guitar Department head Alberto Mesa, some members of the 11-man team also competed in the event’s solo open category competition. The guitar octet is composed of Marc Pajarillo, Kristine Balangue, Ruel David Reyes, Arbon Guieb, Nico Panopio, Ludwig Zerrudo, Charles Quizon and Christeven Valenzuela.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya hosted them for lunch and the group also performed in a mini-concert at the Embassy’s Vista Hall before members of the Filipino community and consular clients that day. They played a collection of classical and Filipino selections, including Ernani Cuenco’s “Kalesa” before the appreciative crowd.

“We once again showed the talent and the mastery of the arts by Filipinos by this victory. These young guitarists have brought honor to the country and proudly raised the Philippine flag in Malaysia,” Ambassador Malaya said.

“Their victory is also a testament to the vibrant classical guitar scene in the Philippines, and surely proved that we are at par with the world’s best,” he added.

Organised by Tarrega Music Resources, the festival attracted classical guitar players and music enthusiasts around the Asian region. END