I CAME home late at night last Monday and caught actress Matet de Leon crying on TV over the reason why her mom, “the country’s only superstar” Nora Aunor, has been excluded from the list of new National Artists. The reason? Nora is the subject of a black propaganda centering on her morality (or lack thereof) and her involvement in an illegal drugs case in the US, which was eventually dismissed seven years ago.

Matet lamented, “Kung ayaw nyong bigyan ng award, huwag naman ninyong bastusin.” I agree with her.

Not a few believe that Nora deserves to be in the list because of the many acting awards she has received in and out of the country. Needless to say, she has brought pride to her compatriots. Well, maybe, not all perhaps, thus the snub.

Three of the country’s most-respected and award-winning directors, namely, Jose Javier Reyes, Joel Lamangan and Gil Portes, who had directed Nora in the past, had mouthfuls in defense of the superstar.

Joey was quoted as saying: “I thought we were choosing a National Artist, not a saint. I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised. I hope the Aunor snub was not politically motivated because it would open a can of worms.”

Joel, on the other hand, had reportedly this to say: “I was disappointed but I’m not surprised. Morality is not part of the criteria. It’s the body of works that matters.”

Gil was said to have quipped: “What about the other National Artists whose lives are not exactly lily-white. Shall we proclaim them unfit of the honors as well?”

Strong, powerful statements. But then, are those responsible for the snub listening? Sad.


Sarah Geronimo was said to have finally admitted that, indeed, as speculated for quite a time now, she and Matteo Guidicelli are indeed playing beautiful music together. The pop princess’s mother who has been consistent in warding off past suitors (or had they become her daughter’s lovers without her knowledge?) is surprisingly mum on the issue.

Surprisingly, well, except to Sarah’s diehard fans perhaps, the admission did not create any wave at all as far as the general movie going public or show biz observers are concerned.

This was because, no matter how Matteo and Sarah denied the real status of their relationship, their actions spoke otherwise. So, what else is new?


I once wrote here about the grand finals of the Halad sa Kabataan finally pushing through on Aug. 15 after it had been sidelined last year by two calamities, namely: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Oct. 15 and the super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8.

The event is the Province of Cebu’s gesture of giving talented children the opportunity to show their God-given talents in singing, playing the guitar as a duo and other string instruments in groups.

It is one of the highlights of the month-long celebration of the province’s founding anniversary.

Since two of the favorite venues which are province-owned had been destroyed by the calamities, the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children decided to hold it at the Capitol social hall. Considering the limited space, during its recent meeting, the council decided to hold the finals outside the Capitol with the imposing building itself as the backdrop.

Of course contingency measures are in place since the schedule happens to be within the rainy season. I hope the weather will not play the role of a spoiler when the anticipated date comes.


Sadsad Festival, one of the earliest festivals in the province that originated in Barangay Poblacion, Oslob, is finally seeing a revival this August in time with the fiesta of San Roque, the barangay’s patron saint.

Brgy. Captain Friedel Ricardo Nazareno, his councilmen and the residents saw the festival as one unifying factor and an endeavor that adds merriment and excitement to the annual festivity. More power, Poblacion, Oslob people!