I’M giving my “superwoman” friend, Ria Serrano, the opportunity to share with us her forthcoming project with Miguel Braganza.

The two are bringing in a group of student musical performers from Davao called “Songspell.”

Take it away, Ria.  

Songspell — A dream coming true


I am ecstatic to be able to co-produce this wonderful upcoming show “Songspell” on May 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm at the Cathedral High School in New York City.  

This international showcase of young performers from Davao is truly one dream coming true for me.

Let me tell you a bit of my journey about my love for music.

(But first, may I say for the record...I am not a public performer or singer ??. I just love music)

The earliest I could remember enjoying music was when I was 9 years old, when my sister asked me to join her in our school choir in St. John’s Academy in San Juan, Manila.

I was not a good singer but I joined the choir because I would get to hang out with my sister and her classmates.  

Three years later, my parents enrolled me in a voice class in Treble in Quezon City.

I was still young and inattentive.

I would come to class with my rehearsed song, but the excitement of having a milkshake from a nearby store from my class was more exciting.

I knew this was going to be a problem but I couldn’t argue with what I wanted.

I wanted the milkshake.

I continued for years.

I registered in our school’s music club, especially when Miss Saigon became popular.

I was provided opportunities to perform on stage with groups.

I got to sing as a soloist for our school’s program and prom nights.

And in college, I registered with UST’s ministry choir, MEC, which allowed me to sing at the monthly overnight vigils in Manila Cathedral.

The highlight of my UST experience was, when I was given the opportunity by the UST priests, Father Roy and Father Dennis, to lead the singing of the World Youth Day theme song “Tell the World of His Love” for the entire 1994-1995 recollections.

They also led me in singing at the UST Grandstand for Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1995.

When our family moved to NY in 1996, our association was limited to a small circle and friends.

Opportunities to sing in public was rare unless it was a karaoke.

After working for years and having enough to start with, I pulled small shows.

Then in 2010, through the kindness of Aris Tuazon, of Ugly Kitchen, allowed me to do small shows on Tuesday nights in his then Cafe 81.

Then I moved to managing soloists, duos and bands.

I volunteered in numerous organizations to get performers on bigger stages.

But, balancing a day job, community work, and a demanding passion was just impossible, I would do a small show here and there, but this year is an opportunity I could not pass.
Producing “Songspell,” brings memories of my enjoyment in singing as a child.

At the same time, the privilege of working with Kuya Miguel Braganza is unfathomable.

I hope the New York/New Jersey crowd will give these kids a chance to see how amazing they are.

Maybe, in years to come, they will be producing their own shows for others. #

(End of Ria’s.)

So, folks, she’s our pro-community super beauty, Ria, a.k.a., Ria Serrano.

Let’s support her “Songspell” concert.

The “Songspell” ads are all over Facebook.

Contact e-mail is: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Philippine elections

There was a time in the political history of the native country (that was before the political vacuum created by almost 20 years of Marcos strongman rule), when during election time, it was the saying and belief, that “wherever Manila goes, the rest of the Philippines go.”

It seems, that’s no longer the case.

The outcome of the May 9 elections, which will bring about the end of the Aquino presidency, might, from my own survey, be influenced by the Mindanao vote.

This could be one of the big surprises in this election.


The author, Manny Caballero, with Joycelyn Sanchez Aligarbes, chair of the PIDCI Kalayaan (Independence) Beauty Pageant.

PIDCI Kalayaan (Independence) Beauty Pageant Winners

Congratulations to all Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) Kalayaan beauty pageant winners on April 17 in New York City in a six-hour lively and colorful event.

Joycelyn Sanchez Aligarbes, chair of the beauty pageant, and Dr. Pros Lim, PIDCI President, and all officers of the group deserve to be greeted for the successful activity.


Caballero with Tenette Juarez Lirio, 2016 Ms. PAFCOM.

2016 Ms. PAFCOM

Tenette Juarez Lirio, 2016 Ms. PAFCOM, deserves her title.

She is the symbol of friendship between Filipinos and Americans in this area.

Let’s support Tenette and help make her reign as 2016 Ms. PAFCOM a total success.


Condemnation of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (above) continues with the camp of Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II calling him an embarrassment to the nation and a threat to the security and well-being of overseas Filipino workers.  ( Bolando, file)

Rody Duterte

Last week was not Duterte’s week in Philippine politics.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the front-runner in the Philippine presidential elections on May 9, 2016.

But, after his evident irresponsible and unpresidential statement about a late Australian lay missionary who was raped and murdered by prisoners in his Davao province while on mission inside the prison, would he still be?

He was quoted saying in a political speech before a big group of Filipino voters, in effect, “...shame to those rapists; they raped the beautiful missionary first, ahead of (me) the mayor...Kill them all!”

Mr. Duterte refuses to apologize.

Instead, he keeps saying it was a “joke uttered in a state of anger” against the actuations of the rapists and the rapists themselves.

Joke or not, even for one who is not a public figure, you don’t joke or speak of unpleasant things about a dead person.

That’s basic manners.

Media around the world published this embarrassing Duterte story.

There were conflicting reports whether the candidate apologized or not.

Clark Clifford, Presidential Assistant to President Harry Truman, once said, “The character of a President colors his entire administration.”

If Mr. Duterte wins, I wonder what the color of his administration would be?

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