LOSS. His demise is a big loss to Cebu’s arts and cultural scene. The passing of Allan Jayme Rabaya, AJR to his close friends, has saddened all of us because we could no longer hear what could have been more of his prolific and amazing compositions or watch what could have been more of his thought-provoking and wonderful stage plays.

At 61, AJR could have done more in the field of music and stage, but his lingering illness has ended his very colorful and productive life as an artist. 

TRIBUTE. In a necrological program I emceed, I briefly spoke about my own association with AJR. It was in 2004 that he asked me to join the cast of Buhing Kalbaryo that he directed when he was still in the pink of health. I played the role of a high priest which I thought I could not tackle, but when he started giving instructions to me and the other actors of the street play, we immediately appreciated our respective roles.

Portraying them became an enjoyable task. The others who paid tribute to AJR were Al Evangelio, Delia Villacastin, Dr. Warfe Engracia who also sang The Lord’s Prayer, Marlon Hofer, Gloria Villarojo, Eli Manlangit, Joel Garganera, Elvis Somosot, Nick Ampatin and Padma Mangharam-Siap.

Architect Mary Rose Maghuyop did an interpretative dance while The Tuners, made up of some of AJR’s music students, gave a very touching a capella number.

GENIUS. To me, AJR was a musical genius. He was also a fantastic pianist. Remember Kausa Nabasa Ang Tubig? It did not win the top prize in the 1st Cebu Popular Music Festival (it was only a 3rd placer) but this particular song continues to be a hit in amateur singing competitions. Of course, he has written several other thought-provoking songs, as well as stage productions on top of those screenplays that were made into Tagalog motion pictures. I agree with other artists’ remarks that it will take another lifetime to produce another Allan Jayme Rabaya. By the way, it was AJR who coined the initials MADS for Msgr. Achilles Dakay with S that stands for “single.” They had collaborated on some stage plays with him as writer/director and the good monsignor as producer. AJR, rest peacefully now.

REUNION. Tonight, the officers and members of the Colegio de San Jose Recoletos (CSJR) Dramatics Alumni Association will hold its annual Christmas party and reunion at the penthouse of San Miguel Corp. in Mandaue City. As usual, it will be an evening of musical presentations that its talented officers and members will exhibit after dinner. Through this corner, I am reminding them to come on time. As usual, I will emcee the program.

PRESIDENT. Allow me to felicitate former Rep. Jun Alcover on his recent election as president of the Sugboanong mga Komentaristang Nagpakabana (Sukna). With him leading Sukna, I’m sure it could regain its prestige, vitality, strength and solidarity as one of the largest commentators’ clubs in town. Even before joining politics, Alcover has been and continues to be a staunch anti-communist advocate by using the airlanes to ventilate his crusade. He has a daily radio program over dyLA titled Catharsis with fellow broadcasters Efren Lonzon and Edgar Alcover as co-anchors.