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A kababayan in Tel Aviv, anywhere

Congrats Rose Fostanes, a caregiver based in Tel Aviv who is “originally” from the Philippines. She is now popular in Israel after winning the X-Factor Israel reality television singing contest. Such a raw talent Rose have. She admitted having “small” self-confidence. But really raw talent comes out.

I admire her humility and courage. She must be a very hard working person. Most Filipinos abroad do not have Rose’s singing powers. What they have is love for family, perseverance, and unwavering human spirit.

I think that’s the inspiring part – Rose somehow represents all hard working, simple, loving family member anywhere they are in the world.

I also remember a relative in her voice. She talks like an aunt who passed away in a bus accident back in 1995 in Cagayan de Oro. Iya-an was strict, ambitious, and vocal. But she was also kind, hard working, and family-centered.

Thanks Rose.

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Reflections: Home Sick

“You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you
But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I’ll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow

I’ve never been more homesick than now.” (END)

Good bye Davao!
June 2004 – November 2007

(Song by Mercy Me)

Davao choral group wins Asian tilt

Davao City’s renowned Himig Singers won the grand prize of the 1st Asian Choir Games in Jakarta, Indonesia over the weekend, City Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz said. But Ortiz still could not give other details of the group’s victory. The all-Dabawenyo choral group won in one of the 21 categories of the pioneering tilt participated by more than 70 choral groups, mostly Indonesian-based, from around Asia-Pacific.  

The group was one of 12 from the Philippines that competed in various categories in the competition.  According to the competition’s website, the group was conducted by Aldwin Curambao and Alvin E. Aviola.  

The other Mindanao-based group in the competition is the Xavier University Glee Club from Cagayan de Oro City.  Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

KADAYAWAN 2007: Calendar of Activities

All roads lead to Davao City for this year’s Kadayawan Festival. The whole month of August is festival fever in the city. Visitors from other places in Mindanao, the country and the world are expected to troop to Dabaw.

Organizers speak of this year’s focus on returning to the city’s indigenous ancestry. Will it bring in new energy for the booming city? Or it will hurt the tourism sector as some people feared?

Take Davao by yourself. Experience the festival to find out the excitement with this guide: Read More…

Violins, not violence

The phrase isn’t original. But that’s what I remembered when I was in front of a scene in GSIS Heights Subdivision here in Davao City by noon time today.

I saw two men in the new sidewalk of Virgo Street while I was waiting for my turn for a pedal cab from the office to MacArthur Highway. They were playing pop music on a violin and a guitar.

I love the violin and it is the instrument I’d like to master and play everyday. To experience a performance out in the street was, of course,  a bonus. Read More…