COMPETITION. It was such a fun-filled and friendly competition that 13 drama talents of radio station dyHP participated in as part of Gabayan sa Kaayohan (GSK), a top-rated nightly program occupying the 8 to 9 p.m. time slot among all the Cebu-based broadcast outlets. GSK features a short radio drama about the efficacy of Bio-Troff herbal products that Helping Hands Marketing, Inc. is distributing. The rest of the hour-long program is devoted to those standard songs or classics down memory lane as rendered by Hildi Montesclaros a.k.a. Ate Ging, the GSK program producer. The competition that I’m talking about was GSK’s version of the popular nationally televised impersonation contest titled Your Face Sounds Familiar.

WINNERS. The drama talents came in costumes, fashion accessories and makeup that made them look like the local and foreign entertainers that they were impersonating. Well, their being soap opera artists came in handy, so being shy or having stage fright is out of the question. Contest judges Tess Diez, Tony Brigoli and Alain Delon Montesclaros picked Randy Padayao Suson as the grand winner for his convincing performance as Victor Wood. He did Carmelita. Ingrid Vertudazo as Jennifer Lopez sang On the Floor while Miraluna Tumulak did Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance with real gusto and feeling. They won the second and third places, respectively. The fourth winner was Melody Taberos, whose performance as Madonna was also a delightful one. She sang Like a Virgin. The four of them received cash prizes and appliances from Ate Ging.

EFFORT. The nine other participants also did their best, but their best was not good enough to convince the judges to include them in the top four winning circle. If only for their effort, I should mention them here: Joel Venci as Yoyoy Villame, Maritess Albores as Bonnie Tyler, Trifon Morales as Martin Nievera, Leo Manlanat as Marco Sison, Christian Diano as Pepe Smith, Joel Acedo as Susan Fuentes, Ranny Bodomo as Ate Ging, Monique de Gracia Sacedon as Chiqui Pineda and Ricky Garing as Black Jack. Ate Ging gave each of them consolation cash prizes. I had a grand time emceeing the entire fun-filled program.

APPRECIATION. I deeply appreciate all of them for their participation in the friendly competition. According to them, it was not because of the prizes, but simply because they love and support Ate Ging and her business venture. I truly admire them for their actuation. 

ANTHEM. I like the way a local cinema encourages the movie- going public to sing the Philippine National Anthem before the last full showing of films. On the widescreen is shown the lyrics of the anthem without any accompaniment. The purpose is for the moviegoers to sing it publicly—or loudly—instead of just listening to it or watching some video support depicting nationalism and heroism.

ATTENDANCE. This reminds me of the almost perfect attendance of then governor and now Rep. Gwen Garcia during the regular flag raising ceremony at the Cebu Capitol grounds every Monday morning. When she was the governor, she led all Capitol officials and employees in attending the ceremony, except when she was out of town or there was a heavy downpour. What bothers me is the report that some local government leaders, even when they are not out of town or the weather is perfectly fine, are not attending the Monday flag raising ceremony in their respective local government units. This is really disturbing.   

DECISION. The national headquarters of the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. has finally decided to do something against the media club’s Cebu chapter’s former president. We shall have the details on this next Monday.

BASH. It was an evening of some delightful music and songs down memory lane when Dr. Warfe Tupas Engracia, the acknowledged singing radiologist of Cebu, marked his birth anniversary last Tuesday at Casino Español. Seen were some of Cebu’s noted society writers like Nelia Neri, Jaime Picornell, Chinggay Utzurrum, Cookie Newman and Flor Ynclino. Former Provincial Board member Ram Ceniza and Manila-based executive June Cardente were also there. Rene Kintanar and wife Joy played the cello and piano, respectively, while two guitarists (one of them from Manila) performed some pieces.

Engracia himself sang a number of old hits to the piano accompaniment of Eddie Dakay while his daughter Athens did two numbers. When Mayor Mike Rama came, I (as the instant emcee) asked him to sing. He did The Way You Look Tonight and Langit ug Yuta, to the delight of all the guests. I also accompanied Athens and the mayor on the piano.