Saturday, August 10, 2019

“LCB: Decades of dance”
Sun.Star Davao, August 10, 2019

He loved to dance, but never realized that dancing can be a career.

Businessman Chin Bon Lu serendipitously met Davao’s Diva of Dance, Ma. Lourdes Carmen “Bing” Locsin, when they creatively collaborated for his batch’s musical theatre presentation. He was the homecoming president then and ambitiously thought that mounting a wholesome show to entertain the alumni was an enticing come-on. With Locsin at the helm, their grand production expectedly received rave reviews that it became an annual tradition for the school to stage shows in succeeding homecomings.

“It was in those production days that Bing and I became close friends. She eventually proposed to me to open a dance studio. That was the birth of LCB-Performing Arts Center Foundation (LCB-PACF),” reminisces Lu, the passionate president and founding father of 

Soon after, the old Lu ancestral home along Sobrecarey St. in Obrero was painstakingly transformed into the first home of LCB-PACF, with only one studio.

On May 4, 1998, the Center officially opened its doors to the first batch of students with an initial showcase of acting, ballet, cheerleading, guitar, jazz, modelling, painting, piano, singing, and tap.

Keeping performing arts alive

Co-founder Locsin was zealous as LCB-PACF’s remarkable artistic director. “I had the privilege of teaching both the young ones and the young once how to dance and perform on stage. These talents took their part responsibly to ensure that the performing arts continue to be alive in Davao City,” Locsin gratefully reveals.

Another co-founder was highly respected choirmaster Ma. Luisa “Inday” Montero who firmly believed that every child is an artist. “It was our dream to provide a proper training ground for every child to discover and to hone his/her talents in whatever form it may be….I share in the pride of every parent seeing their child’s talent unfold and blossom—be it as a singer or as a dancer,” she enthuses.

Also considered as among LCB-PACF’s fervent pioneers were Eliezer “Les” Merquita with Sue Justimbaste and Joy Demafiles as assistants.

“The enthusiasm of the group, and the eagerness to share talents, especially of Bing’s, made what LCB-PACF is today!”, declares Lu.

LCB turns 20

Beginning with “Look at me Now” to the recent 20th year anniversary production, “Decades of Dance”, LCB has staged over forty well-received shows and proudly honed the amazing talents of world-class Dabawenyo performing artists such as Ritz Charles Beltran (principal dancer/choreographer of G-Force, ABS-CBN, Manila); Julia Angela Ruste (dancer/choreographer at Disneyland Anaheim, California); MJay Martinez (company dancer at Ramasser En Cloche in Japan); among others.

For Beltran, LCB-PACF did not only teach him to be a better dancer but also a better person. “The aim was (and still is) to produce great dancers who are responsible, compassionate, and above all, God-fearing. This is the very reason why the studio is still standing after twenty years”, he attests.

Alcaraz hopes that the Center will continuously “help its dancers sustain their passion for the performing arts, and for those who have lost their spark, to have a better chance of rekindling the flame.”

Without a doubt, Karen is following in the dancing footsteps of his visionary dad as she fires up a lasting cultural legacy to the Dabawenyos through LCB-PACF.

Special thanks to Keryl Joyce Pahayac for the anniversary photos.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

“Anicka blooms at 18”
Sun.Star Davao, July 20, 2019

No pre-debut shoot, zero dancing, and just the closest of friends. This was how my eldest daughter Anicka Beatriz Teves envisioned her intimate 18th birthday celebration to be.

Her original wish was just to quietly spend her milestone with a barkada birthday trip and a reunion with her adopted Chief Girl Scout community in Purok Baybay. 

But, as her special day drew near, Anicka suddenly had a sinking feeling that she might regret not also celebrating her birthday with dear friends. After all, it will be their last year together in senior high.

So, in just two weeks, we organized Anicka’s small debut get-together for sixty of her cherished friends and teachers at Aposento Davao, Matina I.T. Park.

Vibrant florals

For Anicka’s sweet soiree, Bluefairy-Davao’s Dyan Nuere-Te remarkably transformed 
Aposento into a vibrant floral-themed paradise with varying sizes and shades of blossoms set against a serene aqua backdrop.

When we brainstormed for the party, Dyan then recently returned from a month-long European vacation and was battling jet lag. Considering the time constraints she was faced with, we suggested that she come up with something simple but tasteful. However, what she enchantingly created on the actual day exceeded our family’s expectations.

Complementing Bluefairy’s gorgeous fresh flower arrangements on the guest tables were Meringue Dessert Boutique’s scrumptious pastries which likewise served as delightful centerpieces.

Another talented supplier we found online was the Davao Food Guide-recommended Chatelah Cakes and Pastries. Their dainty floral-festooned two-tiered fondant birthday cake blended seamlessly with the backdrop’s multi-hued blossoms and whimsical fairy lights.  

Chatelah’s well-crafted sugar flowers were so amazingly lifelike that a few weeks after the party, I still had trouble disposing of the stunning works of art inside our ref (Help me, Marie Kondo!).

Refreshingly chill

Anicka looked lovely in a charming peach-colored dress borrowed from her closest cousin Zoe who wore it during her JS prom back in 2014. Interestingly, on her 1st birthday, Anicka also donned the same red dress which Zoe used for her own 1st birthday, three years before.

Glamming up the debutante with a fresh and dewy look were Betsy Arcena (makeup) and Mia Royo (hair).

As guests arrived at the party venue, they were requested to write their fondest memories of Anicka.

Later on, these notes were randomly picked, and guests chosen were instantly asked to be the nine candles and nine roses who touchingly shared their unforgettable memories to the crowd.

The affair’s energetic master of ceremonies, Jona “Jigs” Gacal who is Anicka’s former teacher and Student Council moderator, kept everyone on their toes with fun-filled games and trivia questions while Sweet Jam Acoustic Band Davao beautifully serenaded the debutante with her favorite songs.

A chill and meaningful night filled with good food, endless conversation, interactive games, and live music…the Student Council president got to gratefully tick off her coming-of-age wishlist plus so much more!

Special thanks to Fotofun Studio for the debut photos, video and photo booth.

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Kindermusik sings its way to Davao

 “Kindermusik sings its way to Davao”
Sun.Star Davao, July 6, 2019

Kindermusik, the world’s largest music and movement program for families with children ages 0 to 7 years old, recently opened its first provincial studio set outside of Metro Manila.
My Kindermusik story started as an enrolled parent of Kindermusik in the Fort, BGC (Bonifacio Global City) in Taguig, Metro Manila. I was searching for an age-appropriate, play-based, progressive program to gently introduce my daughter Lareese to the idea of school. She was almost 2 years old then”, says the homeschooling mom of two who is married to Rics Pascua.

The first note

Vanessa found the Kindermusik class fun, playful and musical. She also appreciated how the teacher would occasionally comment on how an activity was supporting Lareese’s development and what was happening in her brain. The hands-on mom then decided to enroll Lareese for a full schoolyear when she began homeschooling her.

“Lareese thrived in that musical environment, and her natural friendly personality came out. When I became pregnant with our second child, my husband became Lareese’s Kindermusik partner, joining her in every class. The opportunity to experience and go through the activities together, to share in her learning and her joy, was priceless. We continue to play and sing Kindermusik songs until now”, reveals Vanessa.

So impressed was Vanessa and her family with Kindermusik that they missed it when they moved back to Davao two years ago. “I was looking for a similar program and experience but couldn’t find one for my younger daughter Lana. So, we began the inquiry process for franchising”, Vanessa says.
Stimulating brains, nurturing bonds

     In Davao, Kindermusik has classes from Wednesdays to Sundays that families can choose from. Each weekly session is 45 to 60 minutes. The class schedule can be found in the Davao Studio page of their website Families may opt to enroll for a month, a semester, or for the whole school year.
     “I am excited to share Kindermusik with the families of Davao. Together with my pioneering team, we hope to spread that same musical magic that touched our own family’s life. We aim not only to stimulate connections in children’s brains that would support their development, but also to nurture stronger bonds between children and parents”, enthuses Vanessa.
Kindermusik is located at the 3rd Floor of Lenel Bldg., Robinsons Highlands, C.P. Garcia Highway, Davao City (Within the same building as Echostore Davao). Landline: (082) 324-7084; Mobile: (0916) 623-5604. Email:

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