Entry 017

Story of His Life

I was in Smart-Araneta Coliseum on 28 November for the birthday concert of broadcaster Kuya Daniel Razon dubbed “Story of My Life”. He is celebrating his 28th year of public service.

His story was a humble one. He admitted, and his family and friends also did, that he was better at reciting poetry and rhetoric speaking, earning him the moniker “Pacio”, short for the Filipino revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio.

But ever since his elementary days he wanted to sing. He tried to showcase this personally esteemed skill but people around him were comfortable hearing him declaim, instead. Not really no-one believed him but he had no clearer chance to prove them his worth.

By high school he tried playing the guitar and sing but he had a rival–Pareng Bong, who is far better. It was also during this time that Kuya Daniel’s voice began to deepen, a perfect for crooning but the hip that time was high-pitched male vocals (like the Air Supply). So, again, he was somewhat out of place (or time, perhaps).

Anyway, Kuya Daniel made good use of becoming a mass communications student (he wanted to be a medical doctor really). Now he is a famous veteran broadcaster who has worked with big networks. He is recently awarded as most outstanding male news presenter at the 8th Golden Screen TV Awards.

Now, Kuya Daniel can definitely sing. He has the good voice and the good words and music. He penned several songs, most of which are Church-related but can otherwise make up for a love song.  Jed Madela’s “Alay sa Yo” is a composition of Kuya. His lyrics are thought-provoking and profound in contrast with popular songs nowadays. I think he has a deeper experience and inspiration to create his lyrics from. Anyway, I heard him say once that he could have not penned them without the help form the Divine.

(I didn’t watch the concert on its entirety, though. So this is the extent that I can write about. I heard the concert ended at 2 a.m. Wow! I left at around 12.20 a.m.)

But a good thing that night was Kuya Daniel’s special guests. To the surprise of many, there was no big celebrity-singers to graze the event. What he did was to invite three differently abled persons, otherwise unknown people, to sing at the Araneta stage, in front of more-than-ten-thousand-strong audience. All Filipino celebrity singers have the dream to sing in Araneta, but these guests were lucky enough to stand there and sing a piece or two.

They were Mang Johnny Susi, Francia Abalos, and a certain Marivic (sorry I didn’t get her surname). Mang Johnny and Marivic borth are visually impaired. Francia is wheelchair-ridden.

Kuya’s rationale was simply this: instead of paying big-name singers with a 30,000-talent fee, for example, it is better give the less fortunate ones the amount plus a scholarship to his or her child and other goods. That is putting your resources to charity and to better use. The less fortunate ones need our hep more than anyone else. The government and the citizens should understand that. A common man has the every opportunity to aid his or her fellow. The government has  the mandate to take care of all its citizens. That’s the ideal way of people helping people, of the haves supporting the have-nots.  That is simple philanthropy.

Kuya Daniel said, “Every singer wants to be heard.” That was his introduction before presenting Mang Johnny. It was moving to see his guests given the opportunity not only to perform but also to inspire many. They are the “lowly” people of society, those unremembered by many, those often neglected. Now their voices were heard–not as mendicants asking for alms but as fellows who deserve respect and support.

Bro Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan religious programme (The Old Path), speaking a piece at the concert (by the way, Bro Eli is Kuya Daniel’s uncle), said that the sense of sight adds the feeling of compassion toward our fellows. If Mang Johnny is able to love his wife and children (eight of them) despite his physical condition, there is more chance for us to love and spread it with others.

As a tribute, I will be posting a crude record (later on my updates to this post) of one of the performances of Mang Johnny and Marivic. By the way, Mang Johnny works at the Ortigas district overpass as a singing mendicant. Marivic, if I am not mistaken, also sings for money. They got the loud cheers from the audience after performing. Mang Johnny sang “Malayo Pa ang Umaga” (I think this is the symbolic desire of Mang Johhny to see again) adn “Kahit Maputi Na ang Buhok Ko”; Francia sang “Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan”; and Marivic performed the highly-applauded “Run to You” and “I’ll Be There”.

For images of the concert, you can visit this site: http://www.idatgirl.com/2011/11/29/story-of-my-life-concert-experience/


Noli Me Tangere: The Opera

My souvenir programme and ticket

On 26 November, I went to the Wlfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre at the Palma Hall in UP Diliman to watch an opera. It was my first to behold such. This year I have been “extensively” going to choral concerts, orchestral perfomances, and other performing arts, but this was my first to an opera. The music was composed by National Artist Felipe Padilla de Leon to the libretto by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino. I’ll be saving my thought for this after I see another run of the opera. Yes! I’ll be watching it again. I want to see again some memorable scenes (especially the one with Basilio and his mother Sisa).

After seeing the show, I told myself, “So that was how a theatre goes!”

And I want to see more.


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