Fil-Am seniors drive away the blues with music

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Dec 26 2012 05:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 27 2012 01:09 AM

Fil-Am Seniors in San Fernando Valley
PANORAMA CITY, California - It's Christmas time for seniors in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.

Seniors at the Mid Valley Senior Center celebrate with their annual Christmas pageant featuring an all-Filipino and 65 and older Glee Club. The seniors, many in their 70s and 80s, say the twice a week activity is one of the highlights of their week.

“We are bored and lonely if we do not come to the center,” explained Mandy Centeno.

Retired veterinarian Felix Bisco started the Glee Club and Choir at the center eight years ago.

“All the songs could be learned and not necessarily that you are a good singer to start with it can be developed and happily done,” said Bisco.

For many of the members, it’s the seniors’ first venture into music. The club now has 35 singers.

While many enjoy the physical benefits of singing and dancing, the center and the musical programs became a refuge during tough times as state-wide budget cuts forced other nearby senior centers to cut services.

“I was at an adult health day care but then there was a threat if the aging department finds seniors that are still able, they can still move, they will be closed so we were kicked out,” explained the club’s conductor Magdalena Reyes.