Cultural Worker and Manager of the Philippine Madrigal Singers
May 4, 1971 – May 24, 2021
Ma. Lucia David Abella served as the Manager for International Relations of the Philippine Madrigal Singers (Madz) from 2009 until 2021. She organized international tours of various groups such as the College of the Immaculate Conception Chorale – Cabanatuan City, The Nightingales, the Male Ensemble Philippines, and most recently, the Philippine Montessori Children’s Instrumental Ensemble.
A lot of people will remember her for her very professional demeanor and remarkable management skills. But behind these abilities was an extremely passionate individual who loved and simply enjoyed all that she did for other people.
Born on 4 May 1971, Chichi’s love affair with choral singing started when she became part of the Coro San Jose of the Parish of St. Joseph, Palanan, Makati City. Even though she was shy and quiet, one would notice her at once, not only because she was taller than most of the singers, but because she had natural and beautiful alto tones. Easily, she earned a spot in the Coro San Benildo under Prof. Rodel Bugarin, which she joined while she pursued her degree in Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at the College of Saint Benilde. As a singer and as a member of the organization, Chichi was both dependable and reliable.
While singing with the Coro San Benildo and soon after, with the A Cappella Manila, also under Prof. Rodel Bugarin, Chichi discovered her second love : traveling. Her grateful heart took pride in her experiences of memorable places and wonderful people, from various parts of the country, as she performed for outreach projects of the Cultural Center of the Philippines – Cultural Exchange Department, and from Europe and Asia, when she joined the concert tour of the Coro San Benildo. For Chichi, traveling with a choir was not just an exciting way to discover the world, but for the world to discover the power of music and a unique kind of love that comes with it.
After college, she worked for a five-star hotel as front desk officer and then for a prestigious travel firm, before setting up her own travel and tours agency and an events management company. But because of her love for choirs, as a result of her own experiences, and her strong admiration for the Philippine Madrigal Singers, she gave up all that she established for herself when she was invited to be the group’s Manager for International Relations.
Chichi believed that being part of the Madz was a privilege, a gift. She embraced the Madz fully, allowed it to move her, and when it did, she knew she had found her raison d’etre. From then on, everything that Chichi did grew from her love and devotion to her mission : the Madz’ mission. She did her work extremely well that the Madz felt secured when she was around. She cared so much about those who were part of the group, that she always found a thousand and one ways to show her support and love for each one of them. How she lived her life left an indelible mark in all the people that she encountered, because there was such beauty in the way that she did it – silent, simple, modest, but true, joyful and full of love.