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Thursday, October 2 2014 2:25pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Bukas Palad

I've noticed that the group goes by different names Bukas Palad, Bukas Palad Music Ministry, BP, Bukas Palad Choir, Bukas Palad Ministry... you know what I mean?

All names mentioned above are correct, and can be justified if one chooses to do so. Take "The Bukas Palad Ministry" for example, it is perfectly fine to call us that, since we are indeed a ministry. But in detail, the essence of the group is that of being a music ministry.

Same goes for titles such as "Bukas Palad Choir" - while Bukas Palad is, indeed, a choir (a group of singers), the title does not encompass what the thrust of the group actually is, which is more than singing or performing, but rather spreading the word of God and bringing hope to those who are reached by our songs in the hope that in those songs they find their own voices.

In a nutshell, if the question were that of the group's preference, then "Bukas Palad," or "The Bukas Palad Music Ministry" would have to be the first choices.

"BP" is self explanatory - as it is just an informal way to refer to the ministry in everyday context (or if you're too lazy to speak the whole name, which we usually are.)

Regardless of preferences however, we can accept any variant of the name as long as it is properly used in a sentence.. The misuse of the definite article "the" is usually the culprit of introductions gone awry. Most people may not take much notice, but since the group has its share of "Grammar Nazis," we never hear the end of it!

Two basic rules can simply be applied to correct this mistake:

  • The definite article shows that a noun is being used in a defined or restricted context.
  • When a noun is used in a non-defined or generalizing context, a definite article is not needed.

"Bukas Palad," on its own, falls under the second rule, same as Madonna, Sting, etc. (and if you must have an example of a name with more than one word, try "Ben Folds Five", or "Hootie and the Blowfish").

"Bukas Palad Music Ministry" falls under the first rule, as the name "Bukas Palad" is taken in a defined context - that of being a music ministry.

So "Introducing The Bukas Palad Music Ministry," sounds much better than "Introducing Bukas Palad Music Ministry." But "Introducing Bukas Palad" is certainly better than "Introducing The Bukas Palad."

For a bit of trivia - BP is a registered legal entity! Our legal entity name can be found in the footer of the website - "Bukas Palad Music Ministry Foundation, Inc."

Though we, having a legal entity name, may sound "official," the dynamics of the group has never changed.We always have been, and always will be, a a group of friends - a diverse group of individuals- driven by an unwavering commitment, that is to spread God's love through song.

How does one become a member of Bukas Palad?

Currently, membership in Bukas Palad is by invitation. Though this is not a hard-rule, merely a preference.

Any of the members are qualified to suggest a potential recruit. One's "worth" has already been proven by virtue of being a member, hence the validity of his/her suggestion is never in question.

The members then try to find out if potential recruits are interested in joining the ministry - and are asked to audition.

Auditioning is required because more often than not, only the potential recruit's vocal ability has been vouched for - which obviously isn't enough. Hence a series of formal auditions and interviews are required by the group to gauge if the recruit is indeed fit to become a member.

Does the ministry hold general assemblies? How often do the members meet?

We have no General Assemblies per se, but we do have practices and meetings at least twice a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the staple days of those "get-togethers."

The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday night, after dinner, at the Sonolux bldg. (Ateneo de Manila University)

First order of business is always song practice (or learning) for whatever upcoming performance/engagement. After the vocal rehearsal, we focus on the logistical concerns of those events. All other concerns relevant to the ministry are also discussed during the business meeting - these usually come in the form of invitations to workshops, concerts, or weddings.

Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals / meetings usually take around 3 hours. Depending on the demands of the engagement/event, though, 3 hours may stretch to 4 hours or even to additional practice days, as the need arises.

I want to invite/employ Bukas Palad for a singing engagement, to whom should I address my concerns?

Any engagement is usually done by a member assigned as the "booking agent" - and ultimately coursed through the Overall Coordinator (OAC). Other members can be points of contact as well, but for the most part, we like to keep the information consolidated.

Unfortunately, we cannot post personal member information. Instead, we suggest that you send an email to info@bukaspalad.com where we will see to it that the matter would be relegated to the people in charge.

If you wish to pursue legal action against us, then we can be found in the nearest church, praying to God to deliver us from you... you mean, evil person!

Do Bukas Palad members get paid for services rendered to the group?

The quick answer is NO, we are not a "professional choir" - which means most of the time, all work put in by the members in the group's activities are gratis.

However there are some instances that certain members are indeed paid (though not often). This is usually for very specialized tasks which only a single person/or select few can do (e.g. song arrangement, promotional collateral design, etc.)

Are you an Ateneo-based choir?

This seems insignificant at first, but if you dig into the details, the answer to this question has many implications.

First off, in the strictest sense, we are not an Ateneo-based choir. To be an Ateneo-based choir, you have to be sanctioned by the school.

What does this entail?

  • You are considered to be a representative of the school. As members' actions reflect the essence of the group, the group's actions will reflect the school which it represents.
  • With this great responsibility, comes reward however - the school is then expected to give its support, by whichever means nessesary for the group to achieve its goal (which is usually inline with the school)
  • You also will have the right to bear the school's name in your title (if you so choose). Such as the "Ateneo de Manila High School/College Glee Club(s)," or the "Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League."

So to reiterate; Bukas Palad is not an Ateneo-based choir. The group however has a very strong affinity to Ateneo. Here are some of the reasons why one might mistakenly consider BP to ba an "Ateneo choir."

  • Majority of its members came from, or are currently connected, to the School (teachers, alumni, students). Also that it is part of JMM/JesCom.
  • The group's meetings are held in the Sonolux bldg, which is in Ateneo, and in turn, can be considered as the "headquarters."
  • The group's Vission-Mission too, is very Ignatian which is because of the nature of of the creation of the ministry, the foundation of it's spirituality which is translated to it's songs, and the Ateneo education that most of its members have gone through.

And for all these blessings we have recieved, the love, and gratitude we have towards the school will remain in our hearts.

I really want to watch Bukas Palad all the time! I'm thinking of attending Sunday mass at the church where you regularly sing.

Sorry to say, but Bukas Palad is not a parish-based community.

While the group (as Bukas Palad) can be seen singing at churches here and there, it is because they were invited to do so.

The individual members attend Sunday masses in their respective parishes.

I'm confused about this whole JMM and JesCom thing, aren't they one and the same entity? They even have 2 different logos!

Not quite - JMM is a subsidiary of the Jesuit Communications Foundation, the latter's "musical arm" if you will. There are a number of other subsidiaries under JesCom which focus on different markets, and specialize on.

The Jesuit Music Ministry houses and handles artists, including different Ateneo-based choirs such as Hangad, Bukas Palad, Himig Heswita, among others. Even solo artists such as Noel Cabangon are also part of the Jesuit Music Ministry.

The structural relationship between JMM and JesCom may be analogous to Globe Telecom and Ayala.

It's been n days/weeks/years since you've relased album x, but there's no songbook in sight!

It is JMM's aim to release a songbook for every released album, however, albums which are more appropriate for congregational singing, especially for masses and other liturgical and paraliturgical celebrations, have been given priority over ones which are for inspirational listening

Of all your albums, you only have compact discs starting from the "Best of" series, which come after In Him Alone. What will become of the first 5 albums?

Unfortunately, those first 5 albums have been phased out. You probably can still buy the tapes if you find any, but they will never be replicated in CD format.

The reason for this is most, if not all, the songs found in the earlier tapes are found in the "Best of' CDs. And Pasko Na! has already been re-produced to CD format (of course some songs have also been rearranged).

The sad truth is that for the older versions of songs like "The Christ Child," we will never get to hear them from a CD. But for the other songs that haven't made it to the "Best of" series, then there is still a chance that they will be re-arranged/recorded in the upcoming albums.

I would really like to buy your songbooks and use them in my community. We are an indigenous tribe that lives in a rural area which is nowhere near any of your distribution points. How will people like us get to learn your songs?

We are aware of the cases wherein it is not feasible for a person to acquire our merchandise because of their location.

There are no guarantees that a direct request of merchandise from the group will be fulfilled. If you have any need for support with regards to merchandise, the best people to contact would be the Jesuit Music Ministry.

In any case, such an issue prompted the creation of the "Transcriptions" section of the messageboard - wherein people can request and receive at the very least the chords needed to play the accompaninent.

Of course this isn't a replacement for purchasing the actual songbooks, but is a viable alternative for those extreme situations wherein you have to learn the songs but do not have the practical means to acquire the songbooks.

I live in a different country and I would like to buy some of your products. where can I purchase your merchandise OUTSIDE of the Philippines?

For the moment, a number of our products can be purchased online from the following stores:

  • TuroTuro.com
  • Eagle's Corner

If there are other online stores that we missed, please feel free to inform us so that we may add them to the list.

I have questions for Bukas Palad, to whom should I address them?

Most answers can be found in this FAQ. And majority of questions can be asked in the messageboard (not the guestbook!).

However, if you sense that your question isn't for the public to see, then feel free to send an email to info@bukaspalad.com which the overall coordinator checks dilligently (or so we all hope).

Kidding aside, we will do our best to respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible!

Website

This site is dope! What team is behind this? What software did you use? Any reason why you chose to design it the way you did? I have so many questions - tell me everything about this site!

A comprehensive discussion on the site can be read here

Do you have any songs/songbooks/etc. available for download?

There are "freebies" here and there which regular visitors can take advantage of. For example, visiting the page of BP's first ever album will reveal a download link of the original artwork before it was re-printed/released. Or if you view Christify's Album Launch in the online calendar, you'll see the same files we made available to the public before the launch (to encourage audience participation)

The site also has a downloads section. - where all files are indexed/consolidated in a single page. What you'll see listed in that page will depend on wether you're logged in (Bukas Palad Member) or not (rest of the world).

Instructions/tips on how to "navigate" the downloads page can be found here

Some songs assigned to albums aren't the right versions. For example, the same version of "Awit ng Paghahangad" appears in both Balang Araw and Best of Bukas Palad volume 1 when they're clearly different versions.

While I wouldn't cop-out and call it a "feature," this behavior was intentional.

The short of it is that to keep the database clutter-free, I've decided to put in the most recent versions of each song assuming they are similar. That way, we minimize having duplicate song names being displayed in the main song listing.

While there are cases where it is acceptable to create a new entry, but this is mostly done at our discretion. The rule of thumb though is that if the "musical identity" of the song has changed, then it may be a candidate of a new listing.

As an example, we have Christ Child listed as one entry, but the version in the Pasko Na cassette features a different soloist, different obliggato, different instrumentation and overal tempo. Yet we still consider it simply as a re-hash of the old song - and still retains its "identity."

Now Ama Namin has major and minor versions. While they are both much less complicated than the likes of Christ Child, we still consider the differences between those versions as more distinct from each other.

I guess the easy "test" is by comparing both lyrics and melody. If you assume the singer to know only the melody and words of one version of a title, and have them sing over the two versions of the "same title." If the same melody and lyrics can still hold regardless which version is played (as with Christ Child) then the song is simply considered to be a remake instead of a "new version" - and as such, the newest iteration will be used for the database.

Another case would be all songs that are included in "unofficial" albums. We would like a way to inform the viewers that a particular song has made an appearance in a 3rd party albums without necessarily implying it's the same exact song/version.

How do I use the Online Calendar?

Instructions can be found @ the Online Calendar Guide

Take note that this is only specific to Bukas Palad activities/events, and is using a different engine from the Messageboard's online calendar. We will be phasing out/deleting the latter eventually.

I am a BP member on Twitter (or someone who has been following them) and noticed the homepage is pretty selective about the tweets; some member tweets appear and some don't.

The stream on the front-page is set to follow a member-list from the group's main Twitter account.. Furthermore, it only scrapes those accounts that are set to display their timelines publicly.

There are two 3 requirements for a member's Tweets to be displayed on the timeline.

  1. You have to be followed by @bukaspalad
  2. Your Twitter account has to be included in @bukaspalad's member-list
  3. Your timeline has to be set to be publicly displayed (i.e. not private)

Any member who wishes to be included in the stream should do at least #1 and #3, while those of us who handle the @bukaspalad account will take care of #2

I'm trying to comment, but the log-in are on top seems to broken.

The log-in field on the top right corner of the site is for actual members of Bukas Palad - so they can access the internal features of the website.

To log-in for commenting, you should click on the "login" link right above the comment textfield. You should then be presented with different accounts to log-in with.

The reason this is "separate" (i.e. different from the top right login) is because the commenting system is a 3rd party service which allows users to log-in using multiple social networking accounts; but the scope of their log-ins will only be as far as the commenting system goes (not the website's internal functions - which is what the top right box does).

I'm a BP member, but my name isn't displayed in the member listing! How could this have happened, and how do I rectify this travesty?

That's because you haven't completed your user profile. While all BP Members from the "old site" already had their accounts pre-created, most are filled with generic passwords/emails - and no details whatsoever. To encourage member participation, the webmaster has decided to only display those who have actually taken the time to complete their profiles.

You can rectify this by signing in to your account, clicking on EDIT and changing the email/password in the ACCOUNT tab, and filling up the fields in the PROFILE tab.

Take note, the ACCOUNT and PROFILE tabs are two different things, so make sure you save before switching from one to the other.

The webmaster has sent an email to the group explaning all this. If you didn't recieve it, feel free to IM him and he'll personally walk you through.

I'm pretty sure I remember my login name/password, but I keep on getting an error page saying that one of them is incorrect. What do I do?

First take note that there are TWO separate systems in BukasPalad.com:

  1. Main Site
  2. Message-board / Online community.

The only thing anyone has to remember about all this is that #1 is exclusively for Bukas Palad members

So if you're not a BP member, chances are the only login information you have is for the message-board ONLY - and you should login through the message-board.

I already know that; I still can't log in [the message-board]!

In the event you forgot your login-credentials. You can try the message-board's username/password retrieval system to get them. It'll send the relevant information you need to the email address you nominated when you signed up.

If you don't receive the email, please check your mail client's JUNK/SPAM folder in case it was flagged as spam.

I did the braindead thing of putting a username/email/password that I can't remember, and now I can't log into my account!

Fear not! While the webmaster will not spoil you by solving your own mistake, he has put up some systems that should make it easier for you to correct it - and more importantly; provide some pointers on how to learn from it.

The most obvious thing is the "FORGOT PASSWORD?" link in the member log-in box (top right corner of any page). The page you'll be redirected to accepts both usernames and email addresses! Ain't that nifty? That means the only way you cannot get back onto your account is if you set both your username and email address to something you can't remember... and let's be honest, you'd have to be pretty stupid to do that.

In case you did everything properly, and used the password retrieval system - but still didn't get any email. Double check the following:

  1. That the email account you're checking is in fact the email you used to register your account with.
  2. If the mail has mistakenly been flagged and moved to your SPAM folder.

There's really only one tip I could give when it comes to creating accounts: use an email address that is both very pertinent, and more importantly permanent.

Yahoo/Google are the most reliable and advisable ones to use. But if you prefer your work email, or some other obscure email service you might have, that's fine, but be sure you always have access to it.

As far as the passwords are concerned, it's really up to you. But if you want to hear my take on it, I did discuss password security on my blog a while back.

If all this has been done and you still can't access your account, only then should you consider asking me to fix your account.


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