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Diday’s magical voice

Diday's voice transported me back in time to the days when I would listen to the Visayan classic “Usahay.” 

Diday is Carmina Lourdes D. Atienza, the second of three children of Martin Vicente Atienza and Sheilah D Fierro. Diday will be a freshman this year at the Ateneo de Manila University taking up Computer Science.

A Grade 12 student of Corpus Christi School in Barangay Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City, Diday had a voice recital at the Rodelsa Hall of Liceo de Cagayan University.

Diday trained under Liceo's Conservatory Music Extension Program for Classical Voice under the tutelage of Professor Michael Jhun Padua Paceno, M.M and she placed third in the  National Music Competitions for young artists in Nov. 21 last year, the only Mindanaon who qualified for the competition.

Diday's extensive training shows off in her soprano voice which is magnificent for her age. Listening to her gave me goosebumps and I listened to her four times, looking for that magic that caused these sensations in me.

I did find the magic and I discovered Diday's excellence in her chosen craft. The intensity of her voice is great and she complements it with hand movements that enhance and give that soulful quality in her performance of songs like “Usahay.”

Diday's two Christian names were all taken from her grandmothers both in the paternal and maternal sides.

The name Carmina is taken from her late maternal grandmother Carmen Galindo Del Fierro and Lourdes from her paternal grandmother Mariette Lourdes Chaves Atienza of Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental. 

Grandma Mariette is the younger sister of the late 2nd district congressman of Misamis Oriental Victorico Concoy Chaves. Mariette is married to Roy Atienza,the grandfather of Diday.

Both Diday and her sister Anna are part of the newly organized  Cagayan  de Oro  Symphony Orchestra as violinists. “We fondly call her Diday or Didz,” her chinita mom Sheilah shared.

Diday's mom Sheilah recalled that the future Renee Fleming  was born chinita  and everyone in the family were excited to have a girl in the household. 

Diday loves to read books and is a wide reader. She is a very loving daughter who is always contented with the simple things in life. 

A very deep thinker and an artist, Diday gives her best in her craft, never settling for anything other than her best.

Aside from a love of music, Diday loves math and science. She is a consistent honor student. Her Papa Marty has influenced her musicality. “Marty always makes sure the kids gets musical training,” Sheilah said.

As a sister, Diday takes care of Anna Maria, her younger sister.  Back to her Rodelsa Hall performance, Diday also sang another Visayan song “Dandansoy.” 

She wore a modern white Maria Clara gown accentuated by a black kerchief that added perfection to the special occasion. Diday changed gowns after the Bisayan songs.The gowns were designed by Ann Chaves of PLUMA.Ann is the daughter of the late Concoy Chaves.

I wish I had talked to her personally so I can tell more about her personal preferences like books, singers and so on. Maybe next time so for now, I wish her  continued success and congratulations for her Feb. 4 performance


More on celebrations :A special birthday for Ronnie

It was an intimate birthday gathering for my husband Ronnie last Feb. 2 at our home. Actually, his natal day was Feb 1 but he requested that I don't mention his age which I am obliging here in my first few sentences.

But of course, he knows he is fortunate to reach that mark where others are denied.  The gathering was not planned, it just happened that close friends remembered his day.

We've shared it with friends Janet Pichon-Hixon who by the way placed 2nd runner up to the recently concluded search for Mrs. Eco Earth at Nevada last week. 

Janet came early and brought sapin sapin (sticky sweet rice snack) while Beth Kremer came all the way from Roanoke,Virginia. Rowena Schmidt brought the birthday cake and fish stew while Muffy Threrrien brought dinuguan (special pork stew), pancit, puto (rice cake) and a lot more. 

Muffy is the incumbent 1st vice president of the Filipino American Community of the Carolinas Inc. (FACC). I didn't recognize her daughter Miko who has grown in height. I last saw Miko three years ago.

Also present were Rogelio “Ro" Lawsin and his wife Stella and pretty daughter Natalie aka Natnat who is growing fast (by the way Nat I like how you did your hair).

My favorite couple Cip and wife Liz Onia, Ray and Jesett Kelly with their really smart and good looking son JR, Tony and Ranni Camarrano with daughter Maria,who was a surprise that evening with her karaoke prowess all livened up Ronnie's special day.

Maria is a budding singer. Our neighbors Jose and Zulma Cruz with daughter Melissa .Jose and Zulma are Puerto Ricans and they loved Filipino food.

My constant buddy Doreen Reynolds, her husband Dexter and her mother Nang Lydia were also on hand along with their kids Derek, Dia, Lynsey and our godson Duke Kamil.

Jean and Cris Helms with son Brad also attended while Jean's mother Nang Rachel, who also celebrated her birthday that day, tagged along. 

My good friend Florami Lao Cordero Lee came with husband Wyatt and her sister who brought her husband for the occasion. It was a night of surprises when Ro Lawsin started singing American musical legend Billy Joel's hit “Piano Man.” 

I thought Billy Joel was in my home when I heard Ro sing that day and he earned a 90 rating in the karaoke machine to the delight of the audience.

Ro's wife Stella , a pediatrician, also has a great singing voice. Not to be outdone, Doreen serenaded  Ronnie but too bad I failed to listen to Dexter's rendition of the Beatles classic “Let It Be.” Thank you, Dexter. 

Nene Helms was a surprise too as Ng Lydia and Rachel performed the Visayan kundiman songs. The Kremer kids Brad and Sean sang the night away and included in their repertoire Christmas songs. 

But the great surprise of the night was hearing Beth Nelissa Perez Kremer singing that melodramatic song “Bawal na Gamot” – I hope I got the title correct. I heard Beth  was a member of the school choir.

Oh, there was also dancing with no less than Florami leading the way in the cute dance floor. It was a fun night and we only remembered that it was already past the bedtime of the main celebrant Ronnie Dennis, the man born to the late William Hugh Dennis Sr. and Mary Guinn at Hamlet 72 years ago. 

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