Costanilla: Ritchie Wagas features the ukulele in his album

ALBUM. With politics taking a back seat in the meantime, former Compostela mayor Ritchie Wagas is into a new venture which is singing. In fact, he has already produced his first album containing 11 original compositions: nine that he wrote and two that his US-based brother Rolly composed. The album is titled Gugmang Ayayay and all the songs carry various advocacies that the Wagas brothers have always been promoting.

For instance, Tinuod Nga Simbahan (True Church) stresses on the need to strengthen one’s faith in God while Sugbo (Cebu) is a tribute to Cebu and its amazing beauty.

Gugma Sa Nasod (Love of Country) encourages all of us to value nationalism while Padayon (Go On) is a march that tells all of us to continue the peaceful struggle for freedom and democracy. The singer also expresses his undying love for Debbie, his wife, in the song Ikaw Ug Ako.

Ukulele. What’s nice about this particular album is the fact that the Cebu-made ukulele is being featured in all 11 songs. Wagas told us that it is his humble way of paying tribute to this cute musical instrument. He said in Hawaii, most of its local musicians play the ukuleles that come from Cebu. We commend Wagas for featuring this cute musical instrument in his debut album. In our view, the ukulele lends a relaxing sound to all 11 songs in this Wagas album. RJ Dacumos and Noel Villarba played the acoustic guitars while Michael Wagas and Gideon Ray Wagas served as consultant and cover designer, respectively. Debbie and daughter Ulrika fully supported and inspired Ritchie in writing and interpreting his songs.

Outlets. After listening to the songs contained in Gugmang Ayayay, we decided to strongly endorse it to the general public. All the songs, even the march, are pleasing to the ears because the arrangement was beautifully done by Elvis Somosot. You should grab a copy as soon as possible by visiting the different outlets of St. Paul’s in Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro as well as Wagascrafts in Ayala Center Cebu.

Airing. It is always good to give credit where credit is due, so in behalf of the Cebu Arts Foundation Inc., the organizer of the yearly Cebu Popular Music Festival, yours truly would like to sincerely thank the Word Broadcasting Corp. for airing the almost three-hour songwriting competition last Jan. 17 at the Cebu Coliseum. Station manager Fr. Bobby Ebisa SVD and assistant manager Fr. Felmar Fiel SVD were gracious enough to offer the free airing of the event over the network’s two stations: DyRF 1215 AM and Power 89.1 FM. The airtime rate would have cost the event organizers a fortune but the radio network didn’t get even a single centavo. Fr. Ebisa told us that it was his humble way of helping promote Cebuano/Visayan music. The two stations were the only broadcast outfits that aired the songwriting competition in its entirety. Two thumbs up to both stations and Frs. Ebisa and Fiel!

Induction. It was a highly successful induction ceremony that we witnessed last week at the Sacred Heart Center where the charter officers of the Cebu chapter of the Publishers’ Association of the Philippines Inc. (Papi), led by Bantay Radyo commentator Engr. Greg Senining, took their oath before Papi national president Louie Arriola. Papi founding chair Juan Dayang was also around to witness the historic event. Cebu Catholic Television Network channel 47’s Andy Manatad (he handles the weekly talk show Direct Line) was instrumental in forming the Cebu chapter of Papi.

Projects. Senining and his co-officers are now planning to implement some projects like the Papi weekly media forum, the monthly Celebrity Night and mangrove planting, among others. Kudos to Papi Cebu chapter and all those behind it!


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