Costanilla: ‘Christmas with Elvis and Friends’ show

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By Sam Costanilla


Sunday, December 8, 2013

SHOW. While we continue to help those that were severely affected by super typhoon Yolanda, let us not also forget to celebrate the Yuletide season and share with the general public the spirit of Christmas. Celebrations and parties may not be that lavish anymore—they have to be toned down a bit—but at least the spirit of Christmas, which marks the birthday of Jesus, is still there despite the recent calamity that hit northern Cebu.

It is in this note that some local talents are putting up a free show just to entertain the general public, and they hope that the presentation can serve as a stress-reliever in times like this. The show is on Dec. 23, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Robinsons Fuente stage.

Confirm. We were able to confirm this upcoming event from The Freeman sports columnist Raffy Uytiepo who took the initiative to convince the management of Robinsons Fuente to produce it. He himself will appear as Elvis Presley during the show. Of course, everybody already knows that Uytiepo had been staging a number of Presley shows locally, nationally and even internationally. Recently, he was in some US states to perform as Presley and eventually earned the monicker “Elvisaya.” Onstage, when he sings, Uytiepo becomes Presley: the trademark pair of shades and sideburns, glittery and sequined overalls, gyrations and everything else that would remind us of the King of Rock ‘n Roll from Graceland.

Entertainers. Aside from Uytiepo as the lead performer, the other entertainers who have confirmed to appear in the show are Jun Villahermosa, a.k.a. Cebu’s Frank Sinatra; balladeer Boyet Lim; magician Gilbert Amante (everybody calls him Chocolate); Herbert Buot, a.k.a. Cebu’s Perry Como; and the Dos Gwapos comic duo (Max “Daloydoy” Andrino and this writer). It will just be a simple show but one that promises to be a truly entertaining treat for the general public. It’s simply titled “Christmas with Elvis and Friends.”

Dismay. We were dismayed to learn that the new management of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) has introduced boxing inside the jail facility as another form of exercise for the prisoners. Boxing? So whatever happened to the dancing program that had made the inmates globally popular?

We hope that the new CPDRC management will reconsider its decision and stop promoting boxing amongst the inmates. To our mind, this kind of activity could only promote hatred and animosity amongst the detainees because those that are involved as “boxers” would naturally have their own or respective bunch of supporters or fans whose passion to support their respective “fighters” could reach to a point where real bickering could ensue. And this is dangerous as far as we are concerned.

Dance. So we humbly suggest to the new CPDRC management that the original dancing program for the inmates be reactivated—if this has not yet been stopped in lieu of the boxing program. Undoubtedly, the dancing program was a very popular treat for the general public, particularly every last Saturday of the month when the people are actually able to see the inmates dance in person. What the new jail management can do is direct the Capitol-paid choreographer (is he still my good friend Vince Rosales?)  to introduce new dances every month so that watching the dancing inmates would not be a boring treat.

Frankly, we abhor the introduction of boxing amongst the inmates as it will have a negative impact on them, thus defeating the purpose of rehabilitating them.

Emcee. When we talk of CPDRC dancing inmates, we cannot help but be reminded of our personal stint as regular emcee of their monthly show during the term of former governor and now Rep. Gwen Garcia. We found the hosting job so exciting, fulfilling and fun. It was actually the idea of her brother Byron to institutionalize dancing as a means to rehabilitate them. We all know that the program became globally popular because even foreign correspondents and their television crew were coming over just to film the dancing inmates in action. We hope that the new jail management would sustain this program, never mind who started it. How about you, friends, what’s your take on this?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2013.


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