A cool night of jamming | Inquirer Entertainment

A cool night of jamming

/ 09:37 PM December 29, 2013

ROCCO Nacino and Alvin Aragon in “Pedro Calungsod”

What a blast we had at Noel Cabangon’s 50th birthday bash in his resto-bar, Conspiracy (Visayas Ave., Quezon City), on Christmas Day. It was one cool night of jamming.

Noel recalled his struggling days as a musician. “As a folk singer starting out, kaladkarin ako. Kung saan may gig, dun ako. I had to memorize the songs of James Taylor, Don McLean and Bob Dylan.”


President Noynoy [Aquino] gamely sang with the birthday boy onstage. Also spotted at the fete were Conrado de Quiros, Butch Abad, Rene Almendras, Ronald Llamas and chair Etta Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights. Cooky Chua and Noel regaled us with a duet, and Cesar Montano performed on- the-spot numbers. Noel’s son, Gabriel, is following in his dad’s footsteps. He wowed us with his original compositions, “Cheesy” and  “Guwapo Lang ang Pinagbibigyan.”


Though surrounded by VIP guests, Noel’s simplicity and laid-back nature remained unaffected. That’s exactly what drew me to him the first time we met. No airs, no pretensions. Just like his songs, the OPM icon gently creeps into your heart.

Excerpts of my post-event tete-à-tete with the Golden Boy:

What was a life- changing moment for you?

When my parents gave me a guitar on my 18th birthday. That changed my world. I never knew I was going to be a professional singer or a songwriter. Getting my first guitar led to everything that I have now and what I am.

What did you and P-Noy talk about at your party?
It was an honor to have him around.  My wife Beng and I were so happy that he came. He is really a very good friend. We just talked about music. That’s one thing we share—we love listening to good music and exchanging views about it. He gave me a simple gift, Kenny Rankin’s Christmas album. The President has a very keen ear for music. He knows how to distinguish a good mix and a good sound recording. I’m so thankful to him and my other friends in the government for finding time to join my simple celebration. I’m also grateful to my good friend, Conrado de Quiros who has been watching my gigs since the 1980s when I was still starting.

What’s your advice to your son Gabriel who’s now a musician, too?


To always get better in what he does. To always have passion. To always listen and be open to criticism and comments. He’s more of a rocker than I am. He also has more of the temperament of an artist. My wife and I are his worst critics.


What’s your song for yourself as you hit 50?

“Across the Universe” by The Beatles.

Calungsod movie   

Much has been written about the top-grossing films of the Metro Manila Film Festival. But in the true spirit of the season, it would be nice to get to know a little bit more about our Filipino saint via the film, “Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir,” starring Rocco Nacino.

Rocco shed his pretty boy image for this film. The heartthrob buckled down to work and took his role to heart.

I kidded him during a night-out: “Has your role as Calungsod made you behave better?” With a wink he said, “I try, because I feel like Calungsod is watching over me now.”

Excerpts of my one-on-one with Rocco.

How did you prepare for your role as Pedro Calungsod?

I couldn’t incorporate any part of Rocco Nacino into the character; it was well-researched and I had to be accurate. So I had to be a sponge, taking in all of Direk Francis’ (Villacorta) instructions for my portrayal.

What struck you most about his life story?

How his love for God always came first.

Did Calungsod make his presence felt during shooting? 

Yes. We had mass at San Pedro Calungsod’s chapel and when I touched his statue’s feet I suddenly became emotional and cried. It was like he was telling me that he was with me all the way.

What lessons did you learn from Calungsod’s life story?

That if you put God first, more blessings will come to you.

What’s the real score between Lovi Poe and you?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

She’s the closest one to me now. I’m so happy when we’re together.

TAGS: cinema, Noel Cabangon, Pedro Calungsod, Religion, Rocco Nacino

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.