The Mandaue Singing Sons

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

Many years ago one heard the original “Mandaue Singing Sons” and, was highly impressed by their mellifluent blended harmony. But more than the emotion touched by their vocal expertise, what was more touching was their devotion in assisting Holy Masses, social affairs, and death wakes calling for condolences to console.

Some of the “origs” were Judge Conrado D. Seno, Cesar “Let” Seno, Reginaldo D. Flores, Judge Alejandro Mendoza, Ruben “Bimbo” and Jessie Suico, Papias Sanchez, Estan Sanchez, Sr., Gene Ceniza, Serge Untal, and many others. In fact, one had featured the “orig” “Singing Sons”’ organized by the late Mrs. Vicenta “Mana Tintay” Cabahug, widow of the illustrious Mandauehanon Sotero “Mano Terong” Cabahug, and activated by their son Terry Cabahug.

Of recent vintage – successors of the smooth, dulcet, and bitter-sweet tang of “vintage” wine – is the revived “Singing Sons.” The resuscitated choir is led by Judge Gerardo E. Gestopa, Jr. who vocalizes with a good singing voice. The members are Estan “Jun” Sanchez, Jr., Bob Malazarte, the noted media stringer, Felin Flores, old reliables Jessie Lumapas, Rudy Cortes, and Adoy Limatok and his sons Wilson and Glenn, organist Anthony Carabaña, guitarist Rudy Fernandez, Val Quiñahan, Fredo Sanchez, Jimmy Briones, Ondo Zosa, and Dodong Kiamco.

Like the old “Singing Sons,” the revived group mainly serves during the Holy Mass. They also cater to important social programs and during the nine-day “novena” for the deceased. While they’re still aspiring for that suave musical maturity of their predecessors that had complete accompaniments, they compensate with their enthusiasm and flair for excellence.

To the bereaved family and clan of any newly-departed loved one, the Singing Sons’ personal renditions are soulful panacea to their sorrow. Experience and observation attest that beyond expressions of condolences, there are varied deeds and gestures that go beyond the unquantifiable empathy for the heart-broken. And music is one.

One has been very impressed by the religious hymns and liturgical songs blending with the Holy Mass during the “pangadye.” Even for a layman, their first and second voices intermittently enriched by tenor chords and bass variations, or spiced by the alto as counter-tenor, make their performance more soothing and nicely pleasant.

Like the “orig” Mandaue Singing Sons, the recent group also performs gratis et amore. Going out of their way in comforting the bereaved family is pure expression of consoling the grieving. Many have varied callings to attend to daily, such that, instead of welcome rest in early evening, they go out – and incur expenses – when they are engaged during death wakes, for one.

 Benevolent community involvements are often overlooked, unlike affairs of political figures that land in media. It’s ironical that simple caring without anticipation of whatever gains, and at self-sacrifice – but for civic-mindedness – that people likely take for granted.

A famous verse of a poem runs that “music hath charm.” In times of sorrow that comes with the inevitability of death, the “charm” goes into the core of one’s being which engenders such passionate, soulful, and spiritual solace, particularly for the grieving beneficiaries. And one speaks with effusive authority about the Singing Sons, and with unquantifiable gratitude because we’ve recently been beneficiaries on the death wake of the late Atty. Pompio A. Paradiang.

Like the “orig” Singing Sons which became a famous cultural legacy like the old “Night Hawks” orchestra of the Seno brothers, may the new Singing Sons follow their footsteps in public service as a cultural commitment and heritage!

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