Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IRRI Duets Season 5: a night of songs and fundraising success

IRRI Director General Matthew Morell (left) with Thor Roxas and Jovhel Ruiz, first place winners
 in the IRRI Duets competition, and SINoP President Miriam Teloso. (Photo by Jing Carlos, IRRI) 

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—IRRI Duets, a singing competition and fundraising event all in one, has proven once again that the institute is not only home to outstanding scientists but also to talented individuals who can make beautiful music.

The sold-out, standing-room-only event held on 21 April is one of the projects of the Society of IRRI Non-research Professionals (SINoP). The talent competition raised donations and ticket sales that will go to SINoP’s scholarship program.

Now on its fifth season, nine duos from various IRRI units showed off their harmony, singing prowess, and artistry to win the coveted title.

Victor Francis “Thor” Roxas and Jovhel Ruiz (photo above) from the Finance Unit bagged first place with their impressive rendition of Islands in the Stream popularized by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. (View video.)

Larise Gallardo and Gio Karlo Evanglista, representing the Plant Breeding and Crop and Environmental Sciences Divisions, came in second. (View video.) Placing third was Maria Ymber “Mayee” Reveche, from Plant Breeding, and Rudi Trijatmiko, from the GSL-Genotyping Services Laboratory. Rveche and Trijatmiko also won the People’s Choice Award. (View video.) All the winning duos received cash prizes and  trophies. 

Gracing the event were celebrity judges Mackie Cao, a semi-finalist of The Voice Philippines Season 2 and Eat Bulaga’s Just Duet, and Tony Lambino, former member of the Smokey Mountain singing group and former head of IRRI Communication. Ms. Marife Rebutar-Maquera, from UP Rural High School and winner of 2012’s UPLB Outstanding Artist in Music, chaired the board of judges.

Special performances were given by Cao and Lambino while IRRI Duets’ Season 4 champions Jenny Wassmann and Cydhar Racho showed the audience why they topped the competition in 2013. Wassmann and Racho were accompanied by the IRRI Choir including Elizabeth "Libby" Pulsford, wife of IRRI Director General Matthew Morell.  

Also on hand were Geisha Shaina Lyn Sanchez, 2014 Dancing with the IRRI Stars winner, Maila Melodillar (Training Center) and Khelan Parojinog (Security Office) who regaled the crowd with their terpsichorean number.

All winners and contestants of IRRI Duets Season 5 take center stage with IRRI DG Matthew Morell and SINoP officers.
(Photo by Jing Carlos, IRRI)
SINoP thanks all the donors, supporters, and the team who made the fund-raising activity a huge success.

Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

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