Filipino diplomats to grace Bicol Canada induction gala night

PHOTO shows Philippine Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan (left) and Consul General Pedro O. Chan (right). (Photo by Eugene Deocareza)

By Manny Papa and Romy Zetazate

PHILIPPINE Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Leslie B. Gatan, and Consul General Pedro O. Chan will grace the forthcoming induction of the new officers of Bicol Canada Community Association Inc. (BCCA) and its gala night on March 31 at the famous St. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall located at 231 Milner Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1S 5E3.

Rafael Nebres, BCCA president, is calling Bicolanos from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon, who have settled in Toronto and other parts of Canada to join their fellow Bicolanos in this affair so as to renew their relationships and, at the same time, to acquaint themselves of their fellow Bicolanos from other parts of Canada.

He is also inviting other Bicolanos and even other Filipinos to join them.

Aside from President Nebres, the other officers of BCCA include Noli Aquino, vice president for government relations; Jess Cabrias, vice president for membership; Jojo T. Taduran, vice president for public relations; Arlene Martinez, secretary; Beth Malanyaon, assistant secretary; Bobby Achacon, treasurer; Felix Reyes, assistant treasurer; Alex Guerina, auditor; and Eugene Deocareza and Jun Salcedo, directors for special projects.

The other BCCA members of the board of directors are: Naty de la Torre Gutierrez, Fely Ortega, Ching Ragos, Esther Dilla Carpenter, Willy Nabus, Larry Bercasio, Ely Olayon, Floro A. Dabu, Jr., Edgar Recon and
Homer Senson.

For those who are interested to become sponsors, kindly get in touch with President Nebres through 416-618-1362 and email:; or any officers of the BCCA.

For those who are interested to put their advertisements in the souvenir program, please call Salcedo at 416-407-7859, email:; Bobby Achacon, 416-265-2085, email:; or inquire from any officers of the Bicol Canada Community Association Inc. (St. Jamestown News Service)

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CEBU CITY — A documentary film about Cebuanos’ strong faith in Sr. Sto. Nino in the midst of the recent fires that hit the city is this year’s Sinulog 2012 Best Video Documentary. “F-Stops” was written and directed by Aldo Nelbert Banaynal, a photographer of The Freeman, one of Cebu’s local newspapers. F-STOPS: A Documentary [...]

Voice of Filipina conquers Germany

Dyscem Echivarre Mueldener

By Jhay-ar A. Book

MUSIC resides in every Filipino home. No birthday or fiesta is complete without the videoke. It is no surprise then why many Filipinos are making a name in the music industry locally and abroad. Include in the list Dyscem Echivarre Mueldener, whose voice has brought her to places beyond she imagined.

Dyscem, a Filipina who was married to a German, won first place in the Voice of McDonald’s (VOM) worldwide singing competition West Europe division and will compete as a global semi-finalist in the final rounds of the VOM. Born in Cebu City, Philippines, she now lives in Germany with her husband and four-year-old daughter.

Voice of McDonald’s, a singing contest showcasing the talents of the giant fast-food chain’s crew and managers worldwide, will bring top 16 global semi-finalists coming from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, to compete in the final rounds at the McDonald’s 2012 Worldwide Convention in Orlando, Florida, USA, in April.

Luck is indeed in the hands of Dyscem whose good life in Germany doesn’t stop from having a supportive husband and lovely daughter but goes beyond having experienced recording tracks, shooting music videos, meeting producers, and traveling the best places in the world.

“It was life-changing (referring to her winning in the VOM in her division). I’ve been to places I’ve never been. I experienced recording and shooting a music video. I met producers in London and in Germany too. I’ve been to London to record a video and a song. The last event was I’ve been to Portugal last January 18-20 to sing to the McDonald’s European managing directors,” she says.

“The experience visiting different places because of me singing and because of McDonald’s was really life-changing. The support of the managing directors was great and really awesome,” she adds.

All these she honors to her roots back in the Philippines. She says her father is a choir instructor and her relatives to her father’s side are into music too. She was also a member of the band in the Philippines, although she admits she’s never joined a singing contest in the country.

Dyscem, who takes pride of her roots, enjoys the support of the Filipino community in Germany. “All my friends here in Germany, the Filipino community, they are very excited about this event,” she says.

Dyscem’s musical influences include Adele, Eva Cassidy, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, to name a few.

Although she’s on top of her life, Dyscem’s excitement doesn’t spare her family – a true Filipina.

Like any competitor, Dyscem hopes to make her family and friends proud by winning the contest, but nothing could make her loved ones prouder by saying, “Win or lose, I’m fine with it. I felt like a winner already because staying in Orlando for two weeks with my whole family is already a prize for me, and what happened on my VOM journey was already a dream come true.”

The champion in the VOM finals will take home US$25,000; second place, US$17,000; third place, US$12,500; fourth place, US$7,500; and global semi-finalists will get US$3,000 each.