Philippine Heritage Band joins Creemore parade

 In Events, Visit Creemore

Creemore Santa Claus Parade spectators will be treated to a special performance by the Philippine Heritage Band.

As a member of the business community, Caesar Guinto was willing to call on former bandmates and family, to bring the Vaughan-based marching band to Creemore for its Santa Claus Parade.

“As my contribution, to lure them to Creemore, I said I would feed them at the end of the parade,” said Guinto.

“It’s tradition that band members, after having marched sometimes several kilometres in the cold are offered a hearty meal. Because I own a restaurant, they got all excited so it’s going to be a bit of a party for them at the end of the parade at Creemore Kitchen.”

He said if he weren’t cooking for them, he would be marching along with the band.

Guinto joined the band in 1982, when he was 12, along with his brother and sister. Guinto played the trumpet in the marching band and orchestra. His parents have been involved with the band for 35 years are still members of the board.

His mother was a piano player.

“She played by ear and when we were growing up my parents always wanted us to have a background in music. We always played the piano as kids and when we went to Grade 7 we started with our other instruments and continued with them into our adult years,” said Guinto.

He said if he hadn’t become a chef, he would have pursued a career in music.

Also a drummer, Guinto said he started playing quads in his early 20s and once taught the Philippine Heritage Band drum line.

The idea started in 1980, when founding member Oscar Farinas saw a need for a band to accompany the singing of the national anthem at a Philippine Independence Day celebration. The Philippino band started very small and has grown to more than 100 members.

Originally, the members were mainly Philippino but the band is open to anyone who has a desire to play music and learn an instrument. Guinto said it’s like a big family-oriented organization. Young kids may start out as cymbal players until they progress to an instrument and some participate as majorettes, with the parents and members of the wider community supporting the organization as a whole.

The band travels all over the United States, performing and competing. When Guinto was a member, he travelled to The Philippines to perform in a parade.

Because it is a Santa Claus Parade, Guinto expects the band will be playing mostly Christmas classics. The parade starts at 1:30 p.m.

Due to a scheduling conflict, said organizers, the Collingwood Collegiate Institute marching band will not be part of this year’s parade.

Spectators and businesses are encouraged to adopt a buffalo plaid decor scheme and dress code.

The festive weekend begins with the tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 1 and continues Saturday morning with Breakfast with Santa at Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School, a Christmas Farmers’ Market at Station on the Green, both Saturday and Sunday.

Santa will be visiting with children following the parade at Creemore Log Cabin, where hot chocolate will be served.

See page 2 for all the details.

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