LAUDABLE. It is indeed a very laudable move on the part of the new board of directors of the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) to uplift the country’s music industry by promoting original songs and building up new stars or performers.

I learned about this commendable move from one of my textmates who happens to be one of the country’s well-respected composers.

Songwriter and singer Jose Mari Chan who sits as one of the OPM directors texted me that he and his co-officers just want to “give back” and help young and new singers get a break.

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SALUTE. We should salute the OPM board for such a noble intention. As established artists, Chan and his co-officers should be deeply appreciated for giving budding singers an opportunity to shine and get recognized. In his text message, Chan told me they are not there to advance their popularity, but to find ways to help popularize original Pilipino compositions and encourage young and new artists to enjoy all the exposure that they richly deserve.

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BOARD. At any rate, I am certain that with Chan in the OPM board, the organization will be successful in its plans and programs for the country’s music industry. The other board directors are Gary Valenciano, Christian Bautista, Ogie Alcasid, Dingdong Avanzado and Mitch Valdez. All six of them are credible artists so we are sure that whatever they intend to do to uplift the music industry will redound to the benefit of our talents including our very own Cebuano performers.

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COLLABORATION. As to Chan’s idea to collaborate with me on an album of Cebuano songs, everything is still in the planning stage. To me, it would be a singular honor and privilege on my part to work with him whom everybody considers a musical giant and genius. I am still waiting for Chan to give me his melodies whose lyrics I would be writing for. It’s a pleasant challenge that I have to face and hurdle.

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LOCALS. I remember that during his presidency in the National Press Club-Cebu chapter, lawyer Jun Satorre used to produce a regular (was it monthly?) event titled Celebrity Night featuring local talents as performers. We were then working together since I was an active officer of the press group. It was something unique in that we invited—as entertainers—politicians, businessmen, educators and even fellow media practitioners to sing for a cause. But it stopped when Satorre left for the US for good. We still e-mail each other.

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CLUB. The Rotary Club of Cebu Fort San Pedro is still a very young organization (it’s still less than a year old), but it is already reaping a lot of major awards. For instance, during last month’s district assembly, it garnered the outstanding club president award that went to Mila Demecillo; the outstanding club secretary award (Marifi Gerona); the most outstanding Rotary foundation project award; the most outstanding performance and valuable support to the programs of the Rotary International award as well as the exemplary assistant governor for the Visayas award (Demecillo) for embodying the spirit of true service to mankind. Cheers to this neophyte but very energetic club!

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ANTHEM. We are glad that Charice Pempengco didn’t stylize (or “murder”) the national anthem during President Aquino’s inauguration. She sang it in the traditional marching tempo.

I hope that all other performers of the anthem should emulate Pempengco’s version. I notice also that even our local theaters play the slow version of the anthem so I suggest that they now play Pempengco’s version before the first and last screening of movies. (E-mail: samcost@yahoo.com or call/text 09163999909)