SINGERS. When former deputy speaker Pablo Garcia marked his 90th birthday with a well-attended party at the Grand Majestic last Sept. 25, Asia’s Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales and the Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista performed a number of standard songs to the delight of all those present. Pilita opened her repertoire with her signature number A Million Thanks to You and segued to three other numbers including her own version of the Cebuano immortal classic Matud Nila. Christian did five love songs.

SPLENDID. A splendid mini drama on the life of the birthday celebrator gave the members of the audience a complete picture of his struggles as a very poor elementary pupil in Bitoon, Dumanjug. He walked a total distance of 10 kilometers from his house to the Dumanjug Central School and back every day. Even in high school, when he transferred to Cebu City, he had to walk from Sanciangko St. (where he was then residing) all the way to the Visayan Institute, now the University of the Visayas, on Colon St. The very touching mini drama was conceptualized and directed by Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (3rd district, Cebu Province), Pablo and Ma’am Inday’s eldest child. The party also featured non-stop ballroom dancing with the Renaissance band providing the music.

COMPETITION. Through this column, let me invite male and female amateur singers between 15 and 25 years old to participate in the Sinulog Idol singing competition 2016. There will be an audition (in a capella) on Nov. 7 and 8 this year at the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) office inside the Cebu City Sports Complex. Those who will make it to the finals on the third week of January next year will have to sing for seven consecutive nights at the Sinulog stage inside Fuente Osmeña. Gani and Gloria Villarojo of Soundtraxx Production Studio are the event managers.

PRIZES. I commend the Cebu City Government and the SFI for sustaining this competition as an annual event because it serves as a stepping stone for those budding singers to become professional performers someday. In fact, some of the competition’s previous winners are now singing professionally here, in Manila and even overseas. Prizes at stake are P30,000 and a trophy for the grand winner, P20,000 and a trophy for the first runner-up and P10,000 and a trophy for the second runner-up. Interested singers may now call SFI at 253-3700 or 254 5010 and 0932-6005911 for the entry forms and other queries.

WINNERS. I must felicitate the Intellisense Institute of Technology Inc. (IITI), a Tesda-accredited school in Mandaue City, and all those behind the successful staging of their very first intramurals two weekends ago. They had several activities including the selection of the 2015 Ms. Intramurals. Proclaimed Miss IITI was Luvimin Sasing while Mary Jane Ferrer and Melycent Vito were chosen first and second runners up, respectively. On the other hand, Edmar Laborte was chosen Mr. IITI while Angel Compomanes was first runner-up and Rhendeyl Cobong was second runner-up.

JUDGES. Acting as judges during the event were IITI chief executive officer Gregoria Flores, Kim Nino Cantero of the Department of Tourism, Imee Rey Gultiano of Elance, Evan Hope Fabio of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association and Roselyn Arcenal of Jollibee Foods Corp.

INDUCTION. The local chapter of the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc., which this writer heads, staged a successful induction ceremony last week at the Cebu Business Hotel. Engr. Desiderio Estinozo, founder of DTE Construction and Development Corp., was the inducting officer.