Thursday, October 18, 2007

Angelicum Revisited

I just arrived from a long PAASCU accreditation meeting in Angelicum College. I was asked by the new PR Head to be one of the resource persons representing the alumni in the accreditation renewal for the school.

I decided to go an hour and a half early so i can tour the campus before the meeting. I was pleasently surprised at how classy the school grounds has become, compared to when i was still there. The PR Office is no longer the shabby corner office at the second floor of St. Dominic Bldg. It is now a 1 room, 2 cubicle affair at the St. Thomas Ground Floor which formerly housed the school's cyber cafe.

The cyber cafe itself is now a classy hi-tech affair situated right beside cafetorium 2. The grounds no longer looked like alcatraz revisited. The REctor's office, which was once a gaudy mess is now as classy as a corporate CEO's suite, complete with better furnished board room complete with high back swivel leather chairs.

It was a pleasant surprise as well that my friend Boyet San Diego, former president of APO (Angelicum Parents Organization) was also invited to be one of the parent representatives. The meeting lasted about a couple and a half hours at the College Case Room (Thesis Defense Room).

All in all, Angelicum has changed a lot physically. It is yet to be decided if the system too has changed... and if so, we will find out if it changed for the better or for worse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To Kill A Mockingbird

I've had Harper Lee's classic novel for the longest time but never found it an interesting read. In fact, I found just the cover to be so uninteresting that it never even crossed my mind to read it -- until last month. Last month i decided i would take this critically-acclaimed masterpiece out of my book box and read it for the first time. I was not disappointed. Harper Lee's characters Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch, Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie, Miss Rachel, Stephanie Crawford, Dill and the other characters of To Kill A Mockingbird stuck to my mind like glue to paper. The story is set in Maycomb County (I think it is in Alabama) during the time when negroes were segregated and shunned. Atticus, being a lawyer (and a state legislature representative to boot) was asked by the court to represent Tom Robinson, a negro accused of raping a member of the Ewell Clan. The story talks of innocence at a time of unrest. The main character, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch narrates the story from her perspective.

This book is definitely a must read.

Questionaire (From Miel)

isip ka ng ISANG tao. i-base mo sa
kanya ang mga isasagot mo. WALANG
ibahan ng naisip.

A nong lugar ang naaalala mo sa kanya?
- rufo's

- masarap ang tapa atbp doon

Anong song ang naaalala mo sa kanya?
- Even Now

- may naaalala siguro siya sa awiting ito

Okay ba ang height?
- tamang-tama

Magaling ba kumanta?
- oo

Sumayaw ?
- i think so

May kamukha ba siyang artista/singer?
- meron

Close ba kayo?
- dati. di na siguro ngayon.

Nakita mo na siyang magalit?
- isang beses pa lang.

Ngumiti ?
- maraming beses.

- marami ring beses.

Ano fave foods nya?
- italian, tapa, junk food atbp

Bakit ?
- trip lang siguro niya

Bakit siya ang napili mo para sa
survey na ito?
- siya unang pumasok sa isip ko.

Pinaiyak ka ba niya?
- i claim executive privilege, your honor.

Pinaiyak mo ba siya?
- sa aking sapantaha ay hindi.

Pinangiti ka ba niya?
- maraming beses

Amazing Palabok!

I'm not the type to brag, but i can't help but feel proud that my first try in making apalbok was a success, and it was delicious! I used Mama Sita's instant palabok mix, and the product was actually good. I use Mama Sita's chop suey/canton mix and i know that the product is really goog (okay, enough of the advertisement). I sauteed some tinapa flakes with some shrimp and cooked it with the instant sauce. Voila! Success. One thing i have to learn though is to learn to make just enough for the three of us at home, and not this fiesta-sized extravaganza. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007


As part of our annual tradition, Noel & girlfriend Aubrey and I went to Santo Domingo Church for the Centenial celebration of the Feast of the Nuestra Senora de Santissima Rosario de La Naval de Manila or Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. We arrived around 5 pm, and parking was difficult to come by. We finally found a reasonable parking space a block from the church. We went to the front of the church just as the carosas of the different dominican saints were being rolled out of the church. Barangays of Quezon City were well-represented in the procession which started 5 pm and lasted until about 7:00 pm.

It is also part of our tradition to drop by our dear friend Doc Kho's house near Sto. Domingo to partake in his birthday-cum-fiesta feast. Yesterday was no exception. We went to Doc's right after the procession and stuffed ourselves with Doc's trademark lechon and siomai, calderetta, embotido, aroz valenciana, roast chicken and lots of other delicious stuff.I got to see my old teachers and friends from Angelicum who were also there, including some of our old students and fellow alumni. I also visited my dear friend Che (Maricel) Munoz, a neighbor of Doc's, who has not changed a bit since we saw each other last.

Yesterday was a time of reflection and reunion, a time of prayer and thanksgiving, a time for meeting new friends and re-establishing ties with old ones. We are very fortunate to have had been a part and continue to be a part of this wodnerful tradition.


Friday, October 12, 2007


Today marks Eid Al Fitr, the end of the holliest month for millions of our brother msulims all over the world. The word "eid" means "festivity" and "fitr" to break a fast in Arabic and it is common to hear greetings for the holiday like "Eid Mubarak!" or "Blessed Eid", "Eid Saeed!" or "Happy Eid!" and "Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair!" or "May every year find you in good health!".

The day before Eid al-Fitr families typically donate food such as rice, barley or dates, to the less well off. The donation is known as "sadaqah al-fitr" or charity of fast-breaking. Eid itself marks the first day of the Islamic calendar's month of Shawwal.

Today, Eid itself, families wake early on the day of celebration, eat a small meal before attending special prayers at mosques, arenas or stadiums, and then go on to feast at friends or relatives' houses, although hotels and restaurants also organize lavish end of Eid spreads. It is also a day for asking for forgiveness and visiting graves.

Eid is low-key in most non-Islamic countries, but for the first time this year New York's Empire State Building will be lit up in green to honor the festival, as green symbolizes a happy occasion in Islamic culture.

Today brought back memories of my Adamson days, when my muslim classmates would tell us about ramadan and eid and the preparations they have to undertake for this holliest of months for their faith. I miss my mulsim classmates like Ansano Ali and Alenon Datuharon. I hope they are well and in good spirits.

To our brother muslims all over the world, May every year find you in good health!

information about the Eid courtesy of Reuters and FactBox.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The e-mail quoted hereunder was written by singer/songwriter Lorie Ilustre of the band HOTDOG (of Manila fame). This was posted in the Yahoo Group of UP's Cineastes Studio where my brother is a former officer and member. I asked my brother to forward the email to me so i can discuss it in my different blogs.

I read the e-mail and was shocked by this expose. Big companies should be held responsible and liable for atrocious acts like this that tend to discourage filipino artists from pursuing their talents here rather than abroad.

I strongly condemn this act by this big corporation who prides itself, or at least tries to project itself as a bastion of fairness and morality. They ought to be ashamed of what they did.

Will we ever hear this corporation explain its actions? I doubt it. I do, however, encourage you to pass the email to everyone you know so that this deceitful act will not go unpunished.



Thirty-one years ago, I wrote my last commercial song.
May 24th, 1976 I composed, arranged and orchestrated the music entitled Panaginip. It was a big hit back then during my HOTDOG years. I remember it was such a big hit that the late Bobby Ledesma would sing it everyday at the end of the noontime show Student Canteen because it became his favorite.

During the 70's I was already disappointed with the way composers/songwriters were treated. Songwriters were just given loose change for their valuable compositions. They were not recognized nor given the proper credit, nor were even paid royalties for the sale of the records. Reports from record companies would always say that there was no sale. I remember buying a lot of records which I gave away, but figures would always be zero, not considering that my song was a hit and was selling well. And so I decided not to be a songwriter anymore and I became what I am now…..a musical arranger/orchestrator, musical director.

Thirty-one years ago, I decided not to sell outright nor assign the rights of my Panaginip. Music comes from the heart and soul. It is a part of you and the composition is too valuable to just be paid a very small amount (barya lang).

I didn't receive any single centavo from all those sales through the years. It was OK as long as I knew that I own my music.

I had the song copyrighted
February 21, 1977. Document is valid for the rest of my life and fifty years after my death.

Last year friends in the US have been calling me saying they saw and heard my song being aired over ASAP and other shows in ABS CBN including a teleserya (telenovela) via TFC (which is shown in the US via Direct TV or Cox Cable) and that there was a new album out called Hotsilog which was produced by ASAP.

My collecting agent, FILSCAP, didn't notice this because we found out that in the credits, my name was taken out and replaced. Not only did they infringe copyright laws…used my song without permission, they even had the nerve to change the composer's name. Maybe knowing that I'm in the
US, nobody would notice.

Filscap has been coordinating and negotiating with the producers and their lawyers for almost a year now, still nothing has come out of it. ABS CBN has a battery of lawyers and I think has been giving Filscap the run around.

Come to think of it…sino nga ba si LORRIE ILUSTRE….. who would even bother.

When you ride the jeep, bus or taxi, you pay right??? When you eat sa karinderia….same thing, you pay. But if you want to use somebody's composition, no no no…..people don't want to pay. Up to now it's still loose change….it's not a big sum of money…it's just giving respect to the songwriter/composer . If they had paid for the rights…the money that I'll get won't even be able to pay for one of my kid's semestral tuition fee or maybe pay for a round trip ticket for one to the
US so that I can be with my family.

Correct me if I'm wrong….give me a name who made millions or who made a living. as a composer/songwriter . (Balita ko lang may isang novelty songwriter na mayaman na daw dyan daming kotse etc…but tsismis yun). Most if not all are poor… pag naaapi ang mga tao…..with raised arms and clenched fists… sa kalye they sing BAYAN KO….hindi po si Fredie Aguilar ang lumikha nung musika nun kundi si ka Constancio de Guzman na nagkasakit at namatay rin na walang pera…Same with ka Levi Celerio…just one example is pag pasko kanta tayo ng kanta ng Ang Pasko ay Sumapit…sya ang sumulat ng letra nun…pero ano sya…nag mamakaawa at humihingi ng tulong para may maibayad sa hospital. Namatay rin ng wala. Kawawa naman. ! Ilan lang ito sa nakakarami. Ika nga ng kaibigan natin na composer na si George Canseco….composers never die,……they only decompose.

Pano kaya ang buhay natin sa araw araw kung wala tayong naririnig na musika. Ano ang pag aaliwan ng mga tao…..pano kayo mag karaoke…kung walang tugtog at awit…. Ano…tutula na lang kayo? Aanhin ang mga IPODS kung wala namang silbi!!! Pang japorms na lang.

Saan na tayo patutungo…after 31 years, I look back and the music industry in the
Philippines is still the same. Sana mali ako. Pano na yung mga bagong mga composers and songwriters…. who will protect them,…. Kung ako binabali wala (who has the legal rights and documents), ano pa kayong mga bagito sa industria. Maybe in the next century…baka sakaling may pagbabago.

Mahirap ang nasa ibang bansa…malayo sa pamilya puro tiis at hirap makapag padala lang ng pera sa Pinas. People think that because you are in the
USA or abroad , sarap ng buhay mo…hindi po…….mas mahirap po ang buhay dito.


Lorrie Buencamino Ilustre