University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors

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The U.P. Singing Ambassadors
Also known as UPSA, SA
Origin Quezon City, Philippines
Genres Choral music
Years active 1980–present
Website Official website

Ed Lumbera Manguiat
(Musical director and Conductor, 1980-present)
Melvic G. Cano
(Assistant Conductor, 2006-present)
Luigi Teola
Krizzia Rae Jabonillo
Ricca Maila Sanchez
(Finance Manager)
Jhera May Tupas
(PR Officer)

Ed Manguiat
(Tour Manager)

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) is one of the Philippines' foremost choral groups. In its 32 years of existence, UPSA has consistently brought honor and prestige to the country, winning various prizes and awards in competitions in ITALY, SPAIN, FRANCE, NETHERLANDS, CZECH REPUBLIC, BULGARIA, SLOVAKIA, BELGIUM, GERMANY, POLAND, WALES, HUNGARY and SWITZERLAND. It is one of the only four Filipino choirs to have qualified to join the 14th European Grand Prix for Choral Singing ‑ the world'S most coveted choral prize. UPSA was also the official entry of the Philippines to the UNESCO International Music Prize in 2005.

In the Philippines, it was named the Best University Choir in 2012 and 2004 at the “Who’s Who in the Philippines” 19th and 27th Consumers’ Choice Awards, respectively. Similarly, UPSA was also chosen as Best Choir in 2011, 2010 and 2002 by the ALIW Awards Foundation which recognizes excellence and achievement in the live entertainment industry.


UPSA Conductor Ed Manguiat founded the group in 1980 as a freshman dormitory choir at the State University. He has studied under world-renowned choral musicians and trained under respected names in vocal pedagogy and choral conducting in the Philippines. He has also won various international conductor's awards in choral competitions.

In 2012, UPSA has embarked on its 8th European Competitions and Goodwill Tour (July–September 2012). It won 3rd Prize in the Chamber Choirs Category at the Béla Bartók 25th International Choral Competition in Debrecen, HUNGARY in July. Ed Manguiat also won a Special Prize for Excellent Conducting Performance in the same competition. UPSA also won two (2) 1st Prizes in the Romantic Period Music & Folkloric Categories, and a Second Prize in the Mixed Choirs Category during the 60th Guido d’Arezzo International Polyphonic Competition in Arezzo, ITALY in August.


Performing music from the Classicals to the most modern genre, UPSA has showcased Philippine culture from the ethnic North and South Philippines which they have presented in EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA and the USA.

UPSA has performed in many national and international music events; sung for weddings of the Philippines' most prominent families; done back-ups for the country's top artists and JOSH GROBAN in his "Awake" concert tour at the Phil. International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila (Oct. 2007); concertized in the most exclusive Petrarca Concert Hall in Arezzo, and Palazzio Vecchio in Florence, ITALY and the Sydney Opera House in AUSTRALIA.

Through its Outreach Program, UPSA does interactive choral workshop/clinics in the Philippines and abroad which have produced winners like the Silvestre Papa Choir of Sora, ITALY (Arezzo, ITALY) and the Loboc Children's Choir of Bohol (Barcelona, SPAIN), among others.

The U.P. Singing Ambassadors finds fulfillment sharing its music to its regular local and international audiences, and more significantly, to the less privileged who are constant recipients of their musical generosity. The UPSA Outreach Program has involved the Group in fundraising activities for the sick and the needy and also visits hospital wards, home for the aged and orphanages.

UPSA is one of the Performing Groups based in the U.P. College of Arts & Letters.


ED MANGUIAT, the Founder and Conductor of the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA), has led the UPSA to win Grand Prizes, First Prizes and other Top Prizes in prestigious choral competitions inArezzo & Gorizia, ITALY; Debrecen, HUNGARY; Tours, FRANCE; Varna, BULGARIA; Langollen, WALES;Neuchatel, SWITZERLAND; Torrevieja and Cantonigros, SPAIN; Sopot, POLAND; Trenscianske Tiplice, SLOVAKIA; Maasmechelen, BELGIUM; Wernigerode, GERMANY; Arnhem, the NETHERLANDS and Prague &Pardubice, the CZECH REPUBLIC.

Winning the Grand Prize in the most prestigious Guido d' Arezzo Competitions in 2001 qualified UPSA to represent ITALY and the PHILIPPINES in the 14th EUROPEAN GRAND PRIZE FOR CHORAL SINGING in 2002.

Ed received the Dirigentenpreis (Conductor's Award) in the 2001 Johannes Brahms International Choir Competitions in GERMANY. As a member of the International Federation on Choral Music (IFCM), he attended classes/workshops under international choral masters like the world-renowned Eric Ericson of SWEDEN, among others, in the 1st & 4th World Symposium on Choral Music in Vienna, AUSTRIA and Sydney, AUSTRALIA in 1987 & 1986. respectively.As a student of the U.P. College of Music, he earned the best mentorship under Prof. ANDREA O. VENERACION (U.P. Madrigal Singers), DR. JOEL NAVARRO (Ateneo College Glee Club), Prof. REY PAGUIO (U.P. Concert Chorus) and opera singers Prof. AURELIO ESTANESLAO, Prof. ELMO MAKIL and Prof. FIDES CUYUGAN-ASENCIO. Ed also enrolled at the UST Conservatory of Music under Dean RAUL SUNICO nad worked with Prof. FIDEL CALALANG of the UST Singers.

Being at the helm of UPSA for thirty (30) years, he has created and formulated specific vocalizations for curing and improving voices of non-singers. As a conductor, clinician or workshop moderator, Ed has handled almost fifty (50) corporate, church and community chiors which have also been recipients of this training.As a composer, he has collaborated with three (3) National Artists - Maestro LUCIO SAN PEDRO, Dr. BIENVENIDO LUMBERA and Dr. VIRGILIO ALMARIO either as lyricist or as composer. His works include several hymns and inspirational songs (for choirs and soloists) for his church (INC) and other institutions, namely "Ipagdiwang, Kanyang Kaningningan", "Sing for Me", and "Mga Bayani Nitong Bayan", among others. He also composed one of the themes in the internationally acclaimed film "Magnifico".

Ed was nominated and inducted to the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society following the recognitions he received from the Rotary Club of Manila and the DSWD (2007) for his voluntary works for the less privileged. He received recognitions from the Rotary Club and the City Government of Lipa in 2008, the Golden Achievers' Award in Lipa City's 50th Anniversary Celebrations (1997) following an award as the Most outstanding Lipeño in the Field of Music (1993). Ed is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) and holds a degree in BS Hotel and Restaurant Administration, also from the University of the Philippines.

Awards & Recognitions[edit]

Competition Date Location Awards
Béla Bartók 25th International Choir Competition July 25–29, 2012 Debrecen, Hungary
  • Special Prize for Excellent Conducting Performance for ED MANGUIAT
  • 3rd Prize - Chamber Choirs Category
LX Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido d'Arezzo August 23–26, 2012 Arezzo, Italy
  • 1st Prize - Romantic Period Music
  • 1st Prize - Folklore Music Festival / Prize of the Public
  • 2nd Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
4th Int’l. Choir Festival Mundus Cantat 2008 May 21–24, 2008 Sopot, POLAND
  • 1st Prize & Gold Diploma - Sacred Music Cat.
  • 1st Prize & Gold Diploma - Folklore Category
  • 1st Prize & Gold Diploma - Pop, Jazz & Spirituals Category
37th Florilege Vocal de Tours May 29-June 1, 2008 Tours, FRANCE
  • 3rd Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
  • 3rd Prize - Free Program Category
  • Finalist - Grand Prize Competition
Llangollen Int’l. Musical Eisteddfod 2008 July 8–13, 2008 Llangollen, Wales, UK
  • 1st Prize - Chamber Choirs Category
  • 1st Prize - Folklore Choirs Category
  • Finalist - “Choir of the World” Competition
Béla Bartók 23rd Int’l. Choir Competition July 30-August 3, 2008 Debrecen, HUNGARY
  • 1st Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
  • 3rd Prize - Chamber Choirs Category
  • Finalist - Grand Prize Competition
Festival Choral international de Neuchatel 2008 August 5–9, 2008 Neuchatel, SWITZERLAND
  • 1st Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
51st Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia de Torrevieja August 2005 Torrevieja, SPAIN
  • 1st Prize - Polyphony Category
  • Best Interpretation of a Habanera
  • Premio del Publico (Prize of the Public)
3rd Int’l. Choir Competition of Sacred Music July 2005 Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
  • GRAND PRIZE / Laureate of the Festival
  • 1st Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
  • 1st Prize - Chamber Choirs Category
44th “C.A. Seghizzi” International Choral Competition July 2005 Gorizia, ITALY
  • Best Interpretation of an Obligatory Piece ("In Laude", by Giuseppe Di Bianco)
  • Public’s Prize & Jury’s Indication, Folkloric Category
28th “Prof. Georgi Dimitrov” Int’l. May Choir Competition May 2005 Varna, BULGARIA
  • 4th Place - Chamber Choirs Category
17th International Festival of Academic Choirs July 2002 Pardubice, CZECH REPUBLIC
  • 1st Prize - Tribute to T. Morley Competition
  • 2nd Prize - Folkloric Category
  • 3rd Prize - Mixed Choir Category
  • FINALIST (Arezzo Representative)
XLIX Concorso Polifonico Intenazionale “Guido d’ Arezzo” August 2001 Arezzo, ITALY
  • GRAND PRIZE (Gran Premio ‘Citta’ d’ Arezzo’ )
  • 1st Prize - Polyphony Category
  • Prize of the Public - Folklore Category
Internationale Koorwedstrijd van Vlaanderen-Maasmechelen Sept. 2001 Maasmechelen, BELGIUM
  • 1st Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
XIX Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros August 2001 Cantonigros, SPAIN
  • 1st Prize - Folkloric Category
Grand Prix Slovakia 2001 Int’l. Choir Competition July 2001 Trencianske Teplice, SLOVAKIA
  • 1st Prize / Cum laude - Mixed Choirs Category
  • 1st Prize / Cum laude - Folklore Category
2nd Johannes Brahms International Choir Competition 2001 Wernigerode, GERMANY
  • 1st Prize / Goldenes Diplom VII - Mixed Choirs Category
  • 1st Prize / Goldenes Diplom VI - Folkloric Category
  • Diregentenpreis (Conductor’s Prize)
  • Sonderpreis - Best Interpretation of a Hungarian Composition
Festival Choral International de Neuchatel 1995 Neuchatel, SWITZERLAND
  • 1st Prize - Mixed Choirs Category
24th Florilege Vocal de Tours 1995 Tours, FRANCE
  • 4th Place / Finalist - Open Programme Category
Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros 1995 Cantonigros, SPAIN
  • 3rd Prize - Folkloric Category
  • Premio del Publico
Nederlands International Koor Festival 1995 Arnhem, The NETHERLANDS
  • 2nd Prize - Mixed Choir Category
XL Concorso Polifonico Internazionale “Guido d’ Arezzo” 1992 Arezzo, ITALY
  • 1st Prize - Folklore Category
International Music Council (IMC) UNESCO Int’l. Music Prize 2005 2005 Paris, France
  • Nominee, Official Philippine Entry

National Recognition[edit]

Organization Date Location Award
The Office of the President & the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) 2013 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • Ani Ng Dangal Award
ALIW Awards 2012 Pasay City, PHILIPPINES
  • HALL OF FAME, Best Choral Group
National Consumers’ Award (Who’s Who in the Philippines)' 2012
  • Best Choral Group
ALIW Awards 2011 Pasay City, PHILIPPINES
  • Best Choral Group
ALIW Awards 2010 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • Best Choral Group
The Office of the President & the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) 2009 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • Ani Ng Dangal Award
National Consumers’ Award (Who’s Who in the Philippines) 2004
  • Outstanding University Choir, Top Entertainment Award
ALIW Awards 2002 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • Best Choral Group
National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) 1985
  • 1st Prize - College Choirs Category, Regional Finals (National Capital Region)
  • 2nd Prize - College Choirs Category, National Finals
National Finals, National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) 1983
  • 1st Prize - College Choirs Category, Regional Finals (National Capital Region)
Folk Arts Theatre’s “Karnabal Grande” Choral Competition December 1983 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • Grand Prize
U.P. Himig Choral Competition 1983 Quezon City, PHILIPPINES
  • 1st Prize
Battle of the Best Chorales 1980 Manila, PHILIPPINES
  • 1st Prize

External links[edit]