Monday, September 5, 2011

An Patrun sa Calbayog

Hi there! We are 3 days way to the City Fiesta. On Thursday Calbayognons will once again thank the Almighty through Nuestra Señora De La Natividad for the graces He has always bestowed upon Calbayog. The day’s main activity is Pontifical Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the said celebration. Leading the Calbayog faithful are this year’s hermanas mayores namely, Thelma Diomangay – Manaog, Delia Corrales – Diomangay, Tomasa Corsiga - Antivo and Sheila So Seng - Montagot.

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Fiesta Events performers to go onstage at the Nijaga Park:

  • September 5: Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad.
  • September 6: it’s going to be a night for dance enthusiasts with the group called Dance Aficionados.
  • On September 7: the Pinoy rock band Asin

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I first did this in 2008 and I’m doing it again in today’s column. I would like to feature an old account, a very old account - 1912 to be exact – of the fiesta celebration in Calbayog. I got this from the September 1912 issue of the Eco de Samar y Leyte. It was written by someone who called himself “namatron”.

The account also mentioned the name of one Señora Trinidad Camilon. If one is to check the list of the hermanas pasadas in the Calbayog Fiesta souvenir programs, that name is the first entry in the said list. The copy I got was not a clear one and that explains the blanks in this feature.

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Here’s that article entitled “An Patrun sa Calbayog

“Masadya, maribhung, malinao an cadagatan, mahayag an langit, mapaua an adlao sama san daguay sin usa nga Angel, amo _______ san ca-adlauan sadto san mahal nga Patrona dinhe sa Calbayog nga guinsalinorog sadton 8 sini nga bulan. Ngatanan mga binohat dao nabuñog san cahayag ni Maria Santissima dida san adlao san iya pagcatauo. Tubtob san ante vispera, nag ticang an pag-abut san magcalainlain nga domoro-ong, labi na an Cat_____on. San mga balay, mga cadalanan nacarahibut an tauo guican sa magkalain-lain nga dapit. San visperas san aga, nag suot na an tauo dinhi sa ciudad nga tungod san cadamo, macuri magpaca-agui an mga caleza. San pag a las doce catapos pagpahibaro san linganay sa Catedral san mahal nga Patron. Pagcabuas an mga musico san Parroquia ug sa Ipao nag libot san bungto. Ug san pagcaculop, nag canta san visperas an _____ nga cura san Catedral R. P. Jose Diaznes. Pag ca aga _______, san may mga a las 4 nag Diana an mga musico nga _______ san pagtauagtauag sa Catedral, sin usa cadali napuno san maniringba san siapa nga misa san Señora nga may mga lima nga mga babayi lalaqui bata tigurang nga dinara-on sa pag _____ san mahal nga lauas ni Jesucrisdto. Ug hasta san a las 7 nga eguin repique sa misa Mayor, waray pahuway an tauo nga maniringba san damo nga capadian nga nagmisa. San mga a las 8 amo an eguin ticang san misa cantada nga dinoyogan san ma ranog nga Organo, sa Catedral paroc san Señor Obispo. An misa nga guin canta an guin ngangaranan Pedro de las Heras, an masabut ug bantugan nga organista si Sr. Malaquias Nonato, Professor san musica sa Seminario eguin paquita an iya quina-adman dida san pag doyog niya san organo, cay pacasiring namon dao nahimomotang cami sin Paraiso san pagbati namon sadto nga mga awit. An nagcanta amo an mga capadian sa Seminario nga alagad san ira cabatiran ug maluay nga tingog inabutan an mga maniringba sin cahinoclob. An nag misa an Cura san Catedral linoyoloyohan san mga ministros nga si D. Ignacio Arganda, Diacono ug si D. Ramon Codilla Subd. Catapos san Evangelio nag wali si P. Conrado Maga, Coadjutor sa Catedral.”

“An Señora opod an mga magtoto-on sa Seminario ug mga Seminarista, nag tambong didto san iya trono. Sugadman an mga Colegialas opod an mga Madres naray caculang. Catapos san misa, nagsugod na liwat an aringasa ngan ribhong, cay an mga estudiantes sa Colegio sa San Vicente nga guican sa Singbahan vinistihan sin mga cadete, nag ejercicio ug nag parada sira sa cadalanan nga nacalingao san mga tauo. Pagcacolop may mga a las 3 pinangolohan san Presidente Sr. Malaquias Nonato, nag tiroc an mga sacop san Sociedad Milagrosa ug nag buhat sin rumba, carrera de bicecleta, juego de anillos y Cintas canan bag-ong tubo mga hatag hasta magcalainlain nga premio. San pagca a las 5 guin himua an macaserendac nga Procesion nga inopdan ni P. Bonifacio Villora Cura sa Oquendo, linoloyohan san mga Seminaristas inopod man an Señora nga guin lilibutan san mga capadian. An carro matahum caupay, mapaua, tacos ug angay nga nahimomotangan sen mahal nga Patrona, halad san ma-abiabihon nga Hermana Mayor si Sra. Trinidad Camilon. An ira balay pono pono sin tauo ticang pa san tinicangan san novena nga guin solemne sa ira. Diri hicalimtan an camapuanguron san mga anac, labi na si Sra. Lolay ug si Loling nga uaray hingan san cahago, paglipay san ira mga dapit.”

“Sa tuig tuig ngatanan quinita nga an pagto-o sini nga bungto ug an ira pag alagad sa Dios nag titidogang la lugod, bisan con guin tatalingoha san iba an pag parong condao calayo, cay an ira an pag contra sa Dios ug pag supil san mga mahi___lo nga pamatasan, cay basi matumanan san ira mga maraut nga guinaui-an ug hunahuna, condi sa Dios uaray magtatamay, may adlao san pag panodia, cay polong pa nga an tinonto mo, intoy, sa lauas mo o-oli.” (namatron)

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This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Death of a Bishop

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend and we are less than a week away to the City Fiesta. I have decided that my usual acerbic comments about the world around me will have to wait until after the fiesta. In the meantime it will be about some fiesta events.

The novena masses have started, the City Hall has been given a facelift and some of you might have seen the mayor in the streets of Calbayog as he made rounds to check and ensure that the city (especially at the commercial area) is clean.

Tomorrow night Calbayog will be in for the annual Search for Miss Anyag. This will be held at the Calbayog City Sports Center. Confirmed as judges in the said pageant are Congresswoman Lucy Torres and Richard Gomez.

On Sunday, Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the confirmation ceremony of a good number of young Calbayognons the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

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And what’s with today’s title? You might want to ask. Nope, no bishop died today. Last August 10, 2011 we commemorated the 91st anniversary of the death Bishop Pablo Singzon, the first Bishop of Calbayog.

The following item was supposed to have come out in the August 12 edition of this paper. But I did not make it to the deadline. This is my annual tribute to the first bishop of the Diocese of Calbayog. Blame it on the history buff in me and my interest in materials that are old, in this case a very old material dating back to August 14, 1920. It’s among the copies of the Eco de Samar y Leyte which I got sometime in 2008, as our team prepared for the Calbayog coffee table book.

That particular issue on August 14, 1920 had in its English section this headline: “Mgr. Pablo Singzon, first Bishop of Calbayog died last Tuesday morning”. Let me give you that old account which was written by someone who went by the name of “PLOPE”.

“It was a melancholic and sorrowful Monday at about six o’clock when our Illustrious Prelate Mgr. Pablo Singzon in the modest parlor of the Episcopal palace was attended by his familiars among whom was Dr. Tomas Gomez. His weary respiration and the paleness of his face moved the hearts of those who were present and caused them a painful feeling of separation. The pain of his sickness was becoming more and more painful which called him to stay in bed.

At 10:00 o’clock p.m. when Mgr. Singzon found out that he did not feel a better repose nor even a rest from the pain of his sickness in his bed, wanted to sit on a chair – the chair where he received the spiritual consolations last November when he was attacked severely by the same sickness. In this chair he decided to die. Tears that roll from my eyes prevent not my pen to communicate my pain!

When the clock knocked its eleven strikes Mgr. Singzon was becoming weaker and weaker. From the neck of our illustrious patient hanged a bead of rosary, the Escapulary of the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Miraculous Medal. Around him were his favorite Auxiliary Bishop Mgr. Sofronio Hacbang, RR. FF. Jose Diasnes, Teodoro Robredo, Luis Egeda, Dr. Tomas Gomez, RR. FF. Pedro Pampliega, Santos Saldaña, the Seminarians Bernardo Bacsal, Lesmes Ricalde, and behind the chair were RR. FF. Felix Sabenicio and Crispin Singzon. It was indeed a sorrowful occasion! All those who were present observed firmly to the patient and watched his movements whose weary and painful respiration cooled their hearts. Mgr. Singzon was not as active as he used to be: his activity, attention and application were changed: Mgr. Singzon was transformed struggling between the existence of life and death.

Mgr. Sofronio Hacbang his Auxiliary Bishop and who had never left him read the profession of the faith, the recommendation of the soul; whose voice in the midst of that tranquility and in the midst of that struggling pain called his attention to listen. Rev. F. Jose Diasnes neared to the patient by order of the Auxiliary Bishop to give him a confession. How great and how sublime is to die in the name of the Catholic Religion, though in the midst of pain.

The illustrious patient was losing gradually his movements the coolness of his body began to cover him with its veil, his paleness was becoming more and more pale. Then all those who were present knelt down with lighted candles before a crucifix near the patient and said the following words: “PROFESU ERE ANIMA CRISTIANA

Mgr. Singzon gave up his last breath in the morning of the sorrowful Tuesday when the clock knocked its 3:20 strikes” (PLOPE)

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In memoriam. Tomorrow we remember Bishop Sincero Lucero on his death anniversary.

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This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Music Man of Samar (3)

Hi there! It’s a new week and yes we’re still into our long weekend. How I wish we get to have some more of these Monday holidays. Ah Ricky and Mitos. What a show, oops, I’m at a loss as to what to call that tussle between Secretary Carandang and Congresswoman Magsaysay. Anyway, I guess that showdown was not unexpected. And yes (as a news report had it), considering the history of the House (of congress) and its members, budget hearing oftentimes become a venue for lawmakers to faceoff with cabinet secretaries regarding (more of) their parochial concerns and oftentimes not so much about the budget and the like. Well, as la vida. Or should I say everything boil down to three words: perks and occupational hazard. That’s depending on which side of the debate you happen to find yourself into.

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Patrun sa Calbayog. The 9-day Novena Masses in preparation for the Calbayog City Fiesta will commence tomorrow. This year’s Hermanas Mayores are all members of the Diomangay Clan, they are Thelma Diomangay – Manaog, Delia Corrales – Diomangay, Tomasa Corsiga – Antivo and Sheila So Seng – Montagot.

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Events at my alma mater. The Philippine Science Centrum will open its Science Fun Caravan Travelling Exhibit at Christ the King College on Thursday (September 1). Invited to speak during the opening program are Calbayog Schools Division Superintendent Edita Paculan, Congressman Mel Sarmiento, Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and CKC President Fr. Marcelo Tubac, OFM.

The Philippine Science Centrum (PSC) is a comprehensive educational program composed of various interactive science exhibit modules and write-ups, teacher activities, lessons and projects. To reach the various individuals, communities and academic institutions and organizations in the countryside, the Science Fun Caravan Travelling Exhibit was established. This mobile exhibition was designed to reach out and bring the exciting educational offering of PSC in Metro Manila to the regions.

The Calbayog run of the exhibit will last until the end of September.

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Here’s the conclusion of the article about Jose Gomez, the Music Man of Samar.

Like in the Wink of an Eye: The Heroism of the Gomez Sisters. To protect the authorship of his music after the war, he obtained letters from the Adjustment General. But the most tragic blow in his life came with the death of his kin and five members of the guerilla band who were captured by the Japanese soldiers in Barangay Acedira in Bobon, Northern Samar. They were interrogated and tortured to reveal the whereabouts of Jose. Refusing to give in to the Japanese, his sisters Josefa, Francisca and Trinidad were made to walk the nine-kilometCatarman. Josefa died along the way on March 7, 1944. Francisca and Trinidad reached Catarman only to be bayoneted to death at dawn of March 9, 1944. They were buried in a common grave together with the five members of the Cecilian Band who were also killed by the Japanese namely, Corporals Basilio Comilan and Maximo Del Monte, Private 1st Class Pablo Aniban and Irencio Jalayajay and Private 2nd Class Ramon Aniban.

Jose expressed his grief over the loss of his sisters in a heart-rending composition, “In The Wink Of An Eye”.

He was also moved to write a song “An Kamote” in praise of the lowly plant which saved many families from starvation during the war years. He also composed “Bandit Of The Hills” after the Japanese called his guerilla group “bandits”.

The leadership qualities and the courage which Jose Gomez demonstrated during the war made him a logical person to organize the Calbayog Police and acted as its leader.

After Calbayog became a city on October 16, 1948, he took the additional responsibility of being the Chief of the Secret Service Division of the Police Department. This arrangement continued until 1953.

Musical Performances for CKC.Upon the arrival of the American Franciscan Fathers of the Assumption Province of Pulaski, Wisconsin, Jose and other civic-spirited Calbayognons helped the Friars acquire six hectares of land situated in the eastern part of the city. The area was known as “Hamorawon Hills” and was owned by seven families.

The Friars arrived in Calbayog to take over the administration of the Colegio De San Vicente De Paul (CSVP). Musical performances were staged and sponsored by the faculty of the CSVP to launch the school now known as Christ the King College (CKC). At CKC, Jose trained “some 70 boys and girls comprising the college band”.

Shower of Musical Thoughts. Jose never ceased from writing music, church hymns, guerilla marches and graduation marches for schools in Calbayog. Famous among these are CKC’s “Christi Regians”, “Bongto Ko” and “Mutya -San Kagab-ihon" which won the 1st prize, besting the different schools in Region 8 during the CIDAL Meet Singing Competition in Catbalogan, Samar. He also wrote Christmas songs entitled “Panarit No. 2, 3 and 4”, the "La Milagrosa March”, Calbayog Pilot Central School March and the Tiburcio Taninco Memorial Vocational School March.

Jose Gomez has written 5,000 songs, 500 of which he applied for copyright. He filed this in his bound collection called “Shower of Musical Thoughts”.

On September 1974, he won in the “Paligsahan sa Musika” Songwriting Competition. His song “Hiboy-Hiboy” won during the municipal, provincial and regional levels. But he lost to Dodong Pinedero during the Grand National Finals at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“Pa, did you receive a plaque?” On November 1974, he suffered a stroke paralyzing his left arm. It was probably caused by his fight against a recording company for its alleged violation on the patent right on his composition “Ahay”. He was brought to Manila for medical treatment.

During his stay at the hospital, his eldest son Tony happily showed him a plaque.

“I received this for my outstanding contribution to the company I worked for”. He continued, “Pa, did you receive any plaque of recognition for your musical efforts in Calbayog?”

That question struck Jose speechless and motionless, he turned his gaze away from his son and stared pensively at the window. Tear slid down slowly upon his aging cheeks. It was only at that moment that the eldest son realized that he asked a sensitive question.

Against the advice of his doctor, Jose insisted on going home believing that he will recover in Calbayog. He came home on January 1975. In the early morning of February 2, 1975, like “in the wink of an eye”, grim reaper intervened and snuffed the life out of Jose Gomez.

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This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Music Man of Samar

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Yes, today’s title was inspired by the late Maestro Jose Gomez. And before anything else, it’s nice to note that we will all be into a long weekend. Now a question, are all Filipinos aware why we will be into a long weekend? (Suddenly I miss PGMA and those Monday holidays). Anyway, thanks to our heroes and Eidl Fitr most of my friends will be Out of Calbayog City until Tuesday (hmm, that line sound familiar)

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Let me give you something to smile about this week: Robinson’s is coming to Calbayog. It’s official, by that I mean the LGU has received a communication from Robinson’s Land Corporation (RLC) and that it is “contemplating the development of a first-class shopping center in Calbayog.” Consistent with the RLC mission to provide the public with an excellent shopping experience, the proposed project will feature a full-service mall that will include the various Robinson’s retail store, popular shops and restaurants, and several entertainment facilities.

More details in my forthcoming columns.

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Here is the continuation of the article on Jose Gomez, the Music Man of Samar. As I have earlier mentione, the late Jose Gomez was honored during the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Awards. I got this material from Carl Bordeos of CKC. Here’s the second part:

The Cecilian Band. The coming of Patria Ortega (later on Mrs. Angelo Consunji) from Sta. Isabel Conservatory of Music in Manila, became the rallying point for local music enthusiasts like Pablo Rueda, Crispulo Madolaria and Jose Gomez, to name a few. They decided to organize a band called ‘Cecilian’ after Saint Cecilia, the Patron of Music.”

“On April 11, 1927, at the age of 16, Jose composed ‘Mirza’. He sent it to Malaquias Nonato, then the famous bandleader of the Hongkong-based Philippine International Band. However, the composition was returned to him with suggestions for improvement. Dejected and depressed, this caused the young Jose to refuse taking his meals for weeks. After he gathered his senses, he took the incident as a lifelong challenge.”

“When Patria (Ortega) got married, the Cecilians disbanded. Jose went to Cebu to try his luck. His primary motive for the move was to learn orchestration. Within a week, he landed the job as pianist in the place of Metring Ilaya at the Cebu Blues.”

“When the owner of the orchestra noticed his musical talents, he was given the full freedom to compose, arrange and conduct his compositions. This time he wrote ‘Phantom of the Blues’, ‘An Kabu’ (better known as ‘Awit San Cecilians’), ‘Dreamy Moon’ and ‘Love At Last’. With his savings, he was able to purchase an alto saxophone.”

“After three years in Cebu, his mother, concerned about his future, requested him to return home. Upon his return to Calbayog, he was told to pack for Manila for further studies. The proposal did not appeal to Jose. Instead, he revived the Cecilian. He found the membership of the band almost intact with the exception of Adriano Castillo, the drummist who had moved to Iloilo with his sister. Jose became the Cecilian’s bandleader.”

The woman who held him helplessly. Jose went places in Samar and Leyte with his well-known Cecilian Band. During performances, he held the audience, especially the women spellbound with his ubiquitous clarinet. But only one woman held him helplessly. It was Francisca Soriano Lazaro, a young teacher at the San Policarpo Elementary School. Francisca was from Sta. Cruz, Manila. She was brought to Calbayog in 1932 by a relative.”

“They were married on March 28, 1936. This union was blessed with seven children – four boys and three girls. They are Cecilia, Antonio, Mariano, Virginia, Manuel and Remegio.”

World War II. Because he demonstrated leadership in the community, Jose was appointed as Assistant Supervisor for Civilian Defense of District One of Calbayog City. He later became the Chief Deputy Municipal Air Raid Warden.”

“At the beginning of 1942, he was inducted by Capt. Mariano Lim as secret operative of the guerilla movement. On March, he closely monitored and investigated the stream of evacuees coming into Samar from Manila via Legaspi. On June, he was formally inducted into the USAFFE and was given the assignment of organizing the Secret Service Operations in the Calbayog area. He organized two communication points from Calbayog to the guerilla camp in Malaga and another relay point from Migara to Catarman. Before Christmas he was given another assignment to destroy the Labuyao bridGe mn order to cut the supply line of the Japanese between Calbayog and Oquendo. During this operation, his sole support was Corporal Pedro Cano and one Enfield rifle.”

The Musician-Guerillas. At this point, Jose was to make a special contribution to the guerilla activity by joining with it his gift for making music. Using his persuasive logic, he moved the entire Cecilian Band to join the guerillas.”

“In early February 1945, he went to the left river of Oquendo with the band members to entertain and to build up the morale as well as to disseminate allied information to the civilian population. On March of the same year, under the very noses of the Japanese, he was once again stationed in Calbayog to gather information on enemy movements. A Lt. Soliman called him to a meeting and on May, he was ordered to report to the headquarters of the 98th Regiment of the 93rd Division of the AUSA in Brgy. Kalagundi-an. On July 16th, he was called into active duty with the rank of probationary 3rd Lieutenant and was assigned to conduct the said division.” (to be continued)

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Wedding Bells. Justin Justina and Ethel Bendanillo will get married tomorrow. Fr. Iluminado Paulino will preside over the wedding mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Fr. James Roa, the Medical Director of St. Camillus Hospital will deliver the homily. Reception will be held at the Ballroom of Ciriaco Hotel.

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This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 19, 2011


(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Yes, today’s title was inspired by the recent controversy about some supposedly work of art. And this is also a continuation of the Bahandi Samarnon award in my Alma Mater Christ the King College

But first this which blew me away: an online campaign for Ernie and Bert to get married? Just what got into their minds?

And that art show at the CCP. What freedom of expression? It’s not a matter of freedom of expression. It’s regulating one’s freedom of expression. Okey, it’s a government agency, but 70% of those who financed it are Catholics. Ok, while we are into it, maybe the artist would like to consider coming up with similar work which will distort the images of Mohammad, Buddha, the Dalai Lama and other great religious leaders. I am no art connoisseur, but I do not disagree with F. Sionil Jose when he said “It isn’t art” when he referred to that CCP display which caused this much brouhaha.

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Book Launching. The CKC Community will be hosting the launching of two new books by Fr. Antonio Maria Rosales, OFM. The books entitled “The Jesus’ Letters” and “My Son, Francis” will be launched at 3:00 pm tomorrow at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium at Christ the King College.

The CKC President Fr. Mar Tubac and the author Fr. Tony will deliver their respective messages. The CKC VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Florita Calesa will present her review on “The Jesus’ Letters” while Mr. Venancio Bajet, the Dean of the College of Teacher Education will deliver present a review on “My Son, Francis”.

The event will capped by cocktails and a performance of the CKC Youth Chamber Orchestra.

* * *

As I have earlier mentioned in this column, the late Jose Gomez was honored during the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Awards. I thought I’d like to share some materials about the man which I got from Carl Bordeos. Here’s the first part:

“An American SVD Father referred to him as ‘The Music Man of Samar’ in a published article in the Leyte-Samar Studies journal of the Divine Word University (of Tacloban
City. An admirer was quoted to have referred to him as an ‘Immortal Communicator of the sweetest sounds’ to Calbayognons and Samarenos. A cultural worker called him a ‘genius’”

“Whatever accolade we may give to the most prolific composer of Samar songs, lest we forget, Jose Cinco Gomez was a Maestro, a fitting title to a great and humble man who consecrated his life to give every Calbayognon and Samareno music and pride.”

“Born on February 27, 1911 in Barrio Tabuk (now Obrero) of Calbayog City, Jose was the eldest among the seven children of Licarion Gomez and Benigna Cinco. His siblings were Conrado, Ricardo, Angeles, Josefa, Francisca and Trinidad.”

“He took his elementary and one year in high school at the Colegio De San Vicente De Paul (CSVP now Christ the King College. Formal education stopped for Jose in high school, but the process of informal education continued.”

“In his autobiography, he claimed that he was ‘interested in music since he was a child’ and was very much influenced by his father, brothers and sisters who often met together to have a family concert.”

“Both of his parents had musical training. His father while studying Surveying at Ateneo Municipal once conducted the Ateneo Band. His mother studied at the La Concordia College. It was his father’s hobby to play the piano after each working day, and the young Jose would tinker on the ivory keys. Seeing interest in music, Licarion provided him with a tutor, Sofio Camilon and further exposure came when he played at the CSVP as a banjo-playing character.”

“He once worked industriously at mastering an instrument that he borrowed from his cousin Antonio Gomez. Since the instrument lacked the pads for stopping the air, he experimented with many different kinds of materials as substitute for commercial pads. One of his solutions was to use animal skin. In order to keep the skin soft it had to be repeatedly immersed in water. So the young musician played with a pail of water at his side in which he would periodically dip the entire instrument. With his brother, he learned to prepare home-made bamboo reeds for the saxophone.”

“His interest expanded to musical arrangement and he pursued it with the aid of an old family victor phonograph. To identify the arrangement of each instrument on a particular recorded selection, he had his brother Conrado hold the adjustment lever of the phonograph to maintain the ‘slow’ speed while he took notes of his observations on paper.” (to be continued)

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This is it for now. Let m leave you with something to ponder about this weekend. From Harvey Fierstein: “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

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Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wazup CKC?

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s a new week. Forget about our new Senator who promised to be into things Mindanao. How I wish one day we could come up with someone who would say that in his list of priorities would be the concerns of the voters, err people from Eastern Visayas. I have saved my usual acerbic comments on the world around me for my forthcoming columns. Today, it’s going to be about CKC.

Two columns ago, I mentioned about my alma mater Christ the King College and what’s currently being done by the new College President.

Today I have decided to feature the 10-point Road Map towards formulating the CKC Educational Life Project for SY 2011 – 2013. This was synthesized from the "Go and Teach” Franciscan Education General Guidelines 2009, by the Secretariat of Education in Rome. This was also a part of Fr. Mar Tubac’s speech during his installation as CKC President.

Here’s an enumeration of the 10 points which is expected to serve as guide for the CKC community in the years to come.

  1. That the first challenge for Franciscan Education today is how to offer the youth with clarity, creativity and audacity a new framework of relations with God, nature, humanity and ourselves.
  2. That Franciscan Education is called to integrate in creation the following perspectives of the physical world: scientific, symbolic and religious. It offers a vision that makes it possible to understand the world not only as a natural place of human existence, but also as an expression of love, wisdom, power, greatness and beauty of God, a world in which it is possible to encounter God as the foundation, and our brothers and sisters, helping them feel welcome and loved.
  3. That Franciscan Education leads to a genuine “ecological conversion” and the true “environmental justice” based on the values of expropriation, respect and solidarity of the distribution of natural assets.
  4. That in Franciscan Education, Francis of Assisi is presented as a model of man who had reconciled with nature, with God, others and himself so much so that his greeting of “Pace et Bene”, “Peace and Good” has become a universal motto. Thus, the “spirit of Assisi” initiated by Pope John Paul II at the end of the 20th century, has dynamics of peace and dialogue among world religions, is an educated platform to educate to the horizontal level the value of peace which is the basis of a real and actual Christian humanism. Peace then, although is a gift of the Kingdom, is a task and a social responsibility of believers and all persons of goodwill.
  5. That Franciscan pedagogy or art of teaching develops the relationship with the God revealed by Jesus and lived by St. Francis. Therefore, it promotes a genuine and deep personal relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in an alliance of communion that takes the whole person, body, mind, heart and soul.
  6. That Franciscan Education offers adequate mediation to a pupil or a student in school so that he could be able to know his inner self accept it with serenity. This deep knowledge of self favors a genuine love for oneself and true self esteem that helps to avoid a situation that can lead to a narcissist or pessimistic and hostile situation towards self.
  7. That in students’ educational journey with teachers’ accompaniment, meeting and talking are the main mediations. This is a dialogue that involves the respected acceptance of the mystery of other person, trusted listening and emphatic understanding of each situation. It is a trust that will certainly grow with time and allows a clear discernment and a good evaluation of the different moments of the educational process.
  8. That Franciscan Charism is embodied “in the concrete reality of each culture and time in which we live”. Under this condition, Franciscan Education develops a harmonious and progressive process of various aspects that involve the concept of person as relation, oneness and integral unity. A process where a person has the leadership, the ultimate responsibility and decisive action of his own education.
  9. That Lay Teachers are primarily educators / formators and their educational work goes beyond simple transmission of knowledge. This awareness undertakes to guide the students toward truth and goodness by means of knowledge and the practice of human, Christian and Franciscan values, being faithful witnesses for them.
  10. That Franciscan Education, in order to articulate faith with culture, makes us of various educational means, among them of utmost importance are that Institution’s Educational life Project, on-going spiritual formation of educators, and the appropriate facilities of the entity that own this educational institution.

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This is it for now. Have nice week everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Doing something good

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s a new week. And we are a month away to the Calbayog City fiesta. Nope, I was not thinking of “The Sound of Music” when I came up with today’s title. That’s what came to mind when I decided to devote today’s column to the Bahandi Samarnon Awards held recently at Christ the King College.

And my take on the recent (news) developments? So Koko is set for his oath as the new member of the Senate, or so said some news reports. Welcome to the club who are enthusiasts of everything investigatory. Oops, me and mouth!

* * *

The Bahandi Samarnon Awards. A good number of the members of the Gomez family were at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium at Christ the King College last Friday. They were on hand for the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Award.

The award committee headed by Dr. Francie Santos identified the late maestro Jose Gomez as the first recipient of the award. Jobart Gomez, a grandson of Jose Gomez was delivered the acceptance speech. I’ll feature that speech in this column next week.

In her welcome message, Dr. Santos informed the guests that the award aims to acknowledge the sons and daughters of Samar who have excelled in the field of the arts; and later, there will also be recognition for other fields.

Seen at the event were Fr. Marcelo Tubac, ofm, Mrs. Edita Paculan, Agueda and Intoy Chan, Pio Santos, Jerry Perol (of Metrobank Calbayog), Chat Gonzaga, among others. Also present was Fr. Marlowe Rosales, ofm who conducted the CKC Youth Symphony Orchestra who performed some Jose Gomez pieces.

* * *

Mayor Aquino was invited to deliver a message during the Awarding Ceremony. However an equally important engagement prevented him from making it to Calbayog in time for the program. He requested me to read his message parts of which I would like to share with you today:

“…the Franciscan community should be commended for this worthy but challenging undertaking. Achievement Awards are so many that it runs the risk of being a commonplace. But in this case, in the case of the Bahandi Samarnon Awards, it is nice to note to have a group of Samarnon acknowledge the achievements of their fellow Samarnon. It should not take outsiders to acknowledge what good there is that is being done in Samar. It should not take outsiders to acknowledge what great achievers, what great people there are in Samar. Before we look far and wide, let us look upon ourselves for examples worthy of emulation. There should be so many of them just lurking around.”

“Now a question: Where can this Award find its significance? In this world characterized by political bickering, economic difficulties and what have you, don’t you think we should be looking at how we can help alleviate or reduce the incidence of poverty, maintain peace and order and provide decent jobs to our fellowmen? And let us not even start discussing about caring for the environment. That almost sorry scenario is exactly where this Bahandi Samarnon Award will find its significance. This is exactly where this activity finds its proper place. This ceremony calls for us to be able to do something good; or at least to manifest our ability to do something good out of the dire conditions. This is manifested by the life of the first awardee which the award committee has selected for tonight. He serves as both an inspiration and a call to action.”

“Jose Cinco Gomez. No need to recall details about his life. No need to memorize the titles of his works. The name speaks for itself. But then, knowing his name and his person is not enough to honor to the man who has contributed much to the development of music in Samar.”

“It is proper that we honor Jose Gomez. It is proper that we respect the works of Jose Gomez. But after taking a close look at the life story of this man, he deserves more than just us memorizing the lyrics of “Calbayog”; more than just us tapping to the vibrant beat of “Kamote”; and more than just us being familiar with lively tunes of his Samareno folk songs. The life and times and the works of Jose Gomez tell us two things: to be proud of our heritage; and to cultivate the hero in each of us. The times might have changed, but the call for us to be of service to our fellowmen and to be good sons and daughters of Samar remains. Like Jose Gomez, let us look beyond our mundane concerns in life. We have our own capabilities and abilities that can make a difference. Nobody among us is too small so as not to be able to do something for our beloved Samar.”

* * *

Greetings: Happy Birthday Congressman Mel Sarmiento. He will turn a year older on Thursday.

* * *

This is it for now. Let me give you something to think about this weekend. It’s from Plato: “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

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Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 5, 2011

On Jose Gomez and Christ the King College

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And what do we have? Forget about Bedol and Garci. Surely Senator Migz is still the news. As expected, he got cheers and jeers for his decision. Well, what’s our world without them? Anyway, let’s wait what’s next for the upper chamber with Koko Pimentel, more investigations and what have you coming up.

* * *

There will be a special event at Christ the King College today. It’s the Bahandi Samarnon Award. Conceptualized by the Franciscan community, the award is an undertaking guided by this vision:

“Guided by the Gospel values, the Bahandi Samarnon Award engenders a Christian community that celebrates humanity towards a better Samar.” The award has as its mission the commitment to honor Samarnons with noble contributions, inspiring and empowering the people of Samar especially the youth to selfless endeavors and developing sense of patriotism, thus recognizing component and ethical individuals who integrate faith, life and culture for the advancement of Samar. The first awardee to be honored (posthumously) is Jose Cinco Gomez. Here’s some info on the awardee as contained in the program flyers:

“On his centenary, Jose Cinco Gomez deserves a grateful celebration from his fellow Samarnons. The eldest among seven children, he was born on February 27, 1911. His parents were Mr. Licarion Gomez and Ms. Benigna Cinco.”

During World War II, he was one of those who fought for our freedom. As a result, his three sister were tortured and killed in Catarman, Northern Samar on March 7 – 9, 1944. He expressed his loss in a heart- breaking composition ‘In The Wink Of an Eye’. He also wrote 'An Kamote’ as that rootcrop saved many families from starvation during the war years.”

“Considered as one of the greatest composers of Samar folk music, he has written approximately 5,000 songs which he compiled in his ‘Shower of Musical Thoughts’.”

“Famous among his compositions is ‘Calbayog’, a song dedicated to his birthplace. It was written on August 5, 1955. Today, every Calbayognon proudly sing this composition after it was adopted as the local anthem of Calbayog City.”

Today’s awarding ceremony which will be held at 4:00 pm today at the Frs. David and Leopold Memorial Auditorium is a three-part affair. It begins with opening of the Exhibit on the Jose c. Gomez Memorabilia. The awarding proper will include performances by the Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra. Speeches will be delivered by Dr. Francisca Santos (the Chair of the Bahandi Samarnon Award Committee), Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and CKC President Fr. Marcelo Tubac, ofm. A representative of the Gomez family will deliver an acceptance message. The event will be capped by a cocktail reception.

* * *

Still with Christ the King College. Good news to my fellow Christi Regians. The venerable institution experienced higher enrolment rate this semester. I’ll give you details in my next column.

I recently received a copy of the Institutional Memorandum which Fr. Mar Tubac issued for the Christ the King College community. It’s the 10-point Road map towards formulating CKC Educational Life Project for School Year 2011-2013. There are many points worth noting in that road map. And I will be featuring these in my forthcoming columns. For a “teaser” let me give you points number one and number two:

  1. “That the first challenge for the Franciscan education today is how to offer the youth with clarity, creativity and audacity a new framework of relations with God, humanity and ourselves.”
  2. That Franciscan education is called to integrate in creation the following perspectives of the physical world: scientific, symbolic and religious. It offers a vision which makes it possible to understand the world not only as the natural place of human existence, but also as an expression of love, wisdom, power, greatness and beauty of God, a world in which it is possible to encounter god as the foundation, and our brothers and sisters, helping them feel welcomed and loved.”

* * *

This is it for now. Let me leave you with something to think about this weekend. From Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

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Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!


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