On May 2, the members of Vocal Point took three separate flights, totaling more than 24 hours, to arrive in Manila on Wednesday, May 3. They were greeted by very excited young adults, who gave the group leis and held signs welcoming Vocal Point to the Philippines.
The group arose early on Thursday to attend the Manila Philippines Temple and then participate in two devotionals for the Church’s area office employees and the missionaries at the MTC. Following the devotionals, the group went to the GMA studios to play on a noontime game show called TiktoClock, where the Vocal Point members played several rounds of musical chairs. During each round, two members of the group were eliminated and were required to sing a short song as punishment for losing. Nathan Moser was crowned the winner despite Alex Brown’s attempts to steal the final chair from him. The group then sang “Permission to Dance” by BTS. It was a huge hit, and the hosts of the show and audience loved it. The program will air after the group returns to the US.
The highlight of the day was meeting with members of the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation. The foundation works with the community and local Filipino doctors to facilitate life-changing cleft surgeries, eye surgeries, clubfoot corrections, and prosthetics for thousands of Filipinos every year. When Vocal Point arrived, the workers, children, and parents were anxiously waiting to meet with the BYU group. Some of the patients made beautiful drawings of each Vocal Point member, and others shared their personal medical journey. Although several of the patients have had many surgeries already and some have many more to go, their hope for a brighter future was inspiring. Each member of the Vocal Point group was asked to paint their hands and place a handprint on Mabuhay Deseret’s Wall of Hope alongside many other community leaders and people who have helped the foundation financially. Vocal Point was pleased to donate the proceeds from Saturday’s sold-out performance to the foundation.
On Friday morning the group awoke at 4:30 a.m. and made their way to the CNN Philippines headquarters to be interviewed on CNN’s morning show, New Day, and to perform “Permission to Dance.” You can watch their performance here. Later that day Vocal Point visited Art in Island and Old Town Manila, where in horse-drawn buggies they explored Intramuros, stopping to check out Fort Santiago and Rizal Park. A highlight of the evening was watching the cultural heritage show at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant.
On Sunday the group pondered the sacrifices of previous generations while visiting the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, which contains the largest number of American graves from World War II, with 16,859 in total. Attending church and presenting a devotional at the Buendia Chapel to more than 450 attendees was the ideal way to finish the day.