Tiples de Santo Domingo documentary wins in Int’l Film Festival Manhattan

The documentary entitled “Papuri: The Tiples de Santo Domingo” won the award for Best Documentary Short in the May 28-30, 2021 International Film Festival Manhattan New York, Spring Festival, held virtually this year.

Papuri, a twenty-minute documentary, revolves around the 300-year-old Tiples de Santo Domingo, a group of boys aged 7-16 years old who “have imbibed in their training a certain Dominican lifestyle and spirituality, where they give importance not only to singing but also studies,” according to one of the producers, fr. Roland Mactal, O.P., SThD, himself a former Tiple. Tiple, a Spanish word, can simply refer to a male soprano, according to Tiples chaplain Br. Glen Mar Gamboa, O.P.

The 2019 documentary highlighted the December 7, 2018 Christmas Concert of the Tiples de Santo Domingo, which also featured Dulce, Arthur Espiritu, and longtime former UST Conservatory of Music Dean Raul M. Sunico, PhD, as well as the UST Symphony Orchestra. Conservatory of Music faculty member Eugene delos Santos, PhD was conductor during the said concert.

Woven alongside the concert highlights were the stories and testimonies of past and present Tiples, including Irineo Hernandez III, one of the last Tiples to experience staying the in the Santo Domingo compound’s old Tiple house, where the provinciality, Bahay Dominiko, now stands. Hernandez recalled the community of children he belonged to and how the experience is something he will never forget. Today, he is helping the choir as their pianist.

The award-winning documentary was directed by Rey Memije and produced by fr. Roland D. Mactal, O.P., then-Prior of the Santo Domingo Convent and incumbent Regent of the UST College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. In his acceptance speech, fr. Mactal invoked the blessings of the Good Lord through the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila upon Tiples’ supporters through the years.

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