Costanilla: Issues regarding Cebu Pop

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By Sam Costanilla


Sunday, November 18, 2012

COMPLAINTS. I don’t usually entertain complaints regarding the Cebu Popular Music Festival, institutionalized as an annual project of the Cebu Arts Foundation Inc. and chaired by Rep. Eduardo Gullas. But being the songwriting competition’s publicity officer, allow me to answer two complaints raised by a certain Francisco Ben (I’m saving his cell phone number for reference purposes in the future) about the project.

First, he is complaining about the composition of the panel of judges, stating that some, if not most of them, are not singers or composers. Second, he is not happy with the substitution of a live band or orchestra with minus-one accompaniment during the festival’s grand finals.

Judges. For Francisco Ben’s enlightenment, let me explain that while it is true that the panel of judges include non-singers and non-composers, it does not necessarily mean that these people do not know how to choose winnable or winning songs. Their knowledge or expertise in Visayan grammar and lyrics are important factors why they are there as grand finals judges. Professional performers and songwriters do not have the monopoly of judging songwriting contests.


Accompaniment. As to the minus-one accompaniment issue, let me inform him that the festival organizers have decided, a few years back, to do away with the live band or orchestra for technical and practical reasons. With a live accompaniment, one slight mistake by a musician or a simple wiring/electrical problem could spell disaster and spoil the entire contest. But with minus-one accompaniment, everything is hassle-free and the contest—which is also a show in itself—is smooth and professionally done.

Assurance. I assure Francisco Ben that the festival organizers, led by Gullas and project executive director Joseph “Dodong” Baduel, a lawyer, are doing all they can to ensure a credible songwriting competition. Come January, the festival will already be on its 33rd year, proof that the project has always been credible and professionally managed. Special mention goes to Soundtraxx Production Studio whose bosses, Gani and Gloria Villarojo, are taking care of the festival management. Credit also goes to other people whose passion to promote original Cebuano/Visayan music is beyond question.

Anniversary. On a personal note, allow me to greet my very dear friend Prisca Niña Mabatid whose leadership of Pinoycare Visa Center Inc. has made this 13-year-old firm as the number one immigrant visa provider for those wanting to enter Canada. To recall, Mabatid started out as a mere office clerk in another visa consultancy company until she discovered that she has the skill and know-how in setting up her own outfit that provides the same service. Her guts, courage, determination and the will to succeed paid off. So when she set up Pinoycare Visa Center Inc. in 1999, clients from all over the country and even abroad availed of her expertise—and, as they say, the rest is history.

Expertise. Of course, we all know that immigrant visa processing is very crucial and delicate, not to mention the gargantuan cost involved. But with Pinoycare Visa Center’s expertise in providing this type of undertaking, applicants are assured of a worry-free and cheap but quality service. Those who are now working in Canada through the assistance of Mabatid’s outfit can attest to this fact. The center is proud of its track record in helping those wanting to enter Canada acquire their dream immigrant visa. True to its commitment, the company is bridging its applicants to a better life.

After all, Mabatid’s expertise is proper documentation of everything that the Canadian consulate wants.

Celebration. So next Monday, Nov. 26, the company will have its by-invitation-only 13th anniversary celebration at the penthouse of the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative Inc. building within the Cebu Capitol compound. I understand that aside from some tri-media personalities, government officials and politicians, a number of successful Canadian immigrant visa applicants have also been invited to this occasion. To Mabatid and company, congratulations and cheers!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 19, 2012.


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