A clarification on Kasadya ning Taknaa

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

It is officially the beginning of the Christmas season (but our Department stores start playing their Christmas songs when September comes as it is considered the "ber" months) and yes, you can expect more kids especially in busy intersections to go on car window caroling, belting out their Christmas songs in the hope that kind hearts would respond favorably. Of course, these kids are exposing themselves to unexpected danger especially from many motorcycles that pass in-between vehicles.

One of the very favorite Christmas carols that we used to sing a lot when we were kids and went on caroling is the composition of the late Cebuano composer, Vicente Rubi, with lyrics by Mariano Vestil. Unfortunately, this song was translated into Tagalog, re-titled as "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" allegedly composed by National Artist Levi Celerio. Well not only was "Kasadya" mistakenly credited to Levi Celerio, the song "Rosas Pandan" was also credited to him. In today's lingo, it is called plagiarism.

I'm writing this piece to acknowledge what my good friend and fellow Philippine Star columnist and editor of the Entertainment Section Mr. Ricardo "Ricky" Lo wrote in his slot in his column "Fanfare" in yesterday's Philippine Star which he entitled "The True Story behind Ang Pasko ay Sumapit, other Filipino Songs." I didn't know that there was a controversy regarding the composers of these songs in the past week.

So Ricky Lo printed a letter from Mr. Ivar Tulfo Gica, Founder-Trustee of the Kultura Bisaya Foundation, Inc. where he clarified this misconception and clearly indicated that Vicente Rubi with Mariano Vestil should be credited in composing the song "Kasadya ning Taknaa, including a clarification on the Waray song, Tinikling, which he credits to the late Norberto Romualdez. If you have a copy of yesterday's Philippine Star, I suggest that you should read it for your own satisfaction. But thanks to Ricky Lo who is the country's top Entertainment columnist for allowing this clarification to see print in his column yesterday.


Last week we wrote an item asking many questions about the issues surrounding the old Carreta Catholic Cemetery, which has somehow triggered a new rift between former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and incumbent Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama where in the former Mayor filed an injunction before the Regional Trial Courts to prevent Mayor Rama from pushing on with the project to turn this old and decrepit cemetery into some kind of park. But no one dared or cared to answer me.

Anyway from what we read in the news, the majority of the old families who are still using that cemetery to bury their dearly departed have already agreed to the move of transforming this cemetery into a park. Of course we expected that the majority would agree to this plan. After all, if nothing would be done in that cemetery then the squatters would still use it for their own dwelling. With no alternative in sight, of course it is better to turn this place into some kind of park.

But it does not answer my question as to who changed the name of this cemetery to Doña Pepang Cemetery? If no one can give me any documents that showed that this cemetery was renamed as Doña Pepang Cemetery, then may I suggest or exhort our newspaper writers or editors to say that this is the Old Carreta Catholic Cemetery as that are the official name before. From that report, we read that this cemetery is still very much owned by the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Anyway there is a group that also wants to keep their cemetery plots untouched. So this gives some kind of a problem for my good friend, Archt. Soccoro Atega on how to turn this cemetery into a park. She said that it would be in the lines of the Paco Park in Manila, where originally, Dr. Jose Rizal was buried before his remains were transferred to the Luneta Park. At this point, I certainly would like to find out how Ms. Atega can transform this decrepit cemetery into a park. All I can say is good luck!

Finally, since the City of Cebu under Mayor Rama is working feverishly to come up with mini-parks then may I suggest that he also create parks for children? I remember seeing such a mini-park when we visited Taipei, Taiwan where a small street corner is turned into a mini children's park with a small swing and colorful structures similar to what we can see in Jollibee or MacDonald's. This is something that Cebu City needs.

In fact, Mayor Rama can even ask both Jollibee and MacDonald's to donate their old and refurbished playgrounds for this particular purpose so that our children will not be playing on the streets anymore and keep them safe. In fact this is what the barangay officials should have been done a long time ago!

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