SCREENING. There were 10 of us who spent four hours screening 75 original Cebuano/Visayan songs that were submitted for next year’s Cebu Pop Music Festival, a.k.a. Cebu Pop. We selected the top 12 after the long search. Cebu Pop is a yearly project of the Cebu Arts Foundation Inc. We did the screening at the University of the Visayas alumni office the other Sunday.

Project executive director Philogene Florita invited us to the screening.

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TEAM. Aside from me, the others in the screening team were composer/guitarist Joel Oporto; educator and singer Marita Omega-Nalam; drama writer Cora Rosales-Jayma; police officer Mark Nadanza; singer Baby Condeno; lyricist and educator Gweendolyn Suico-Crescencio; composer Erick Villarojo; entertainment columnist Ryan Borinaga; and lawyer /broadcaster Pat Acabodillo. Gloria and Gani Villarojo of Soundtraxx Production Studio assisted us in the playing of the entries and in tabulating the results.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

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SONGS. As in previous screenings, this year’s entries carried various themes. After sorting out the entry forms of those who made it to the magic 12, we found out that most of them were previous Cebu Pop participants—and even grand prize winners. The lucky ones and their songs are: Eugene Tan (Ikaw Ang Hinungdan and Call Center Agent); Lauro Flores (Di Ka Na Gyod Maghilak); Jun Cabillar (Gugma Na Ba? and Kanus-a Pa Kaha?); Erwin Lirazan (Kilid Sa Dalan); Norman Jabonero (Panahon Ko Na); Glenn Salve (Saloma Sa Gugmang Nahanaw and Pastilan); and Russel Alegado and Yoojin Raye Anthony Burgos (Bangon, Katilingban).

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READY. So, since the third Friday of January next year is fast approaching, those behind Cebu Pop are already starting to prepare for its 31st staging and anniversary. Once again, expect a spectacular celebration of Cebu’s finest in musical artistry come January.

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LOSING. A local broadcast outfit is losing; its has not paid its rental fee for almost a year now. (E-mail: samcost@yahoo.com or call/text 09163999909)