Costanilla: Singing tax collectors-A A +A
Sunday, July 22, 2012
COMPETITION. When my very good friend Bel Suelto Jr. of the regional office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) texted that he was inviting me to sit as chairman of the panel of judges of the BIR Idol singing competition, I readily accepted it because I knew that the competitors coming from the four revenue regions in the Visayas area were all singing champions. It was a singing competition where we (judges Girlie Laspinas, Baby Condeno and I) were tasked to pick the grand champion, whose bigger challenge is to represent the Visayas in the BIR national championship in Manila on Aug. 1, the revenue agency’s 108th anniversary. The four regional finalists were made to perform two songs of their choice.
Deserving. We, judges, unanimously picked an employee from the BIR Region 14 office based in Tacloban City. In round one, Jefferson Cabatania sang the romantic standard piece titled The Last Time with much feeling and perfect expression. While he was singing, I thought I was listening to Richard Poon, a Manila-based recording artist.
While the three other finalists did their best to impress the judges and the spectators, Jefferson gave the best performance. Now, I could say that this revenue agency has several talented employees whose fallback option is to work as entertainers.
Entertainers. Before I announced the verdict, Girlie and Baby gamely entertained the members of the audience. Both judges were amazing in their numbers. Girlie sang You Make Me Feel So Young and Sway, while Baby did L-o-v-e and How Did You Know.
Guest. Last Wednesday evening at Handuraw Pizza Gorordo, Cebu’s singing doctor Warfe Tupas Engracia wowed the diners and other guests with his four numbers titled Carmela, Some Enchanted Evening, If Ever I Would Leave You and Dughang Bukas. He appeared as guest singer in that event organized by Handuraw Pizza Gorordo owner Becky Smith and the Movement for a Liveable Cebu. After his presentation, one of the diners asked about the possibility of Engracia doing another concert (he had staged shows in previous months). Barring unforeseen events, this Wednesday, one of the Elvis Presley impersonators here, marathoner-businessman Raffy Uytiepo will entertain the crowd in complete Presley getup. Be sure to come and enjoy an evening of fantastic music and laughter, the latter to be provided by the Dos Gwapos comic duo.
Filmmakers. We should commend our local filmmakers, led by Remton Zuasola and Keith Deligero, for their perseverance, persistence, patience, will and determination to come up with a film festival tagged Binisaya, actually a movie exhibition to create a culture of cinema in Cebu. Roxanne Omega-Doron e-mailed that their project, which they started in 2009, is now on its second exhibition of Cebuano/Visayan short and feature-length films. She wrote that part of the festival proceeds will go to their HIV/Aids prevention activities and a training program for promising indie filmmakers.
Activities. Doron also said that Oct. 5-7 has been set for the Binisaya festival, which is partly funded by the National Commission for Culture & the Arts. The three-day event also features narratives, documentaries and music videos from Cebu universities and colleges. More than 5,000 have been invited to come. Any information related to the event may be obtained by calling or texting cellphone numbers 0921-786-2022 or 0923-872-0288.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.