Jul 23
MUSIC AND MEMORIES by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jul 23, 2010

It’s 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon but instead of taking her usual siesta, Nene Cervantes Rivera sits in front of the television. It’s teleradyo, mind you, the visual counterpart of DZMM 630 on the AM dial.

And there goes the old song for an introduction.

For those born after World War 2, memories would be coming back to haunt you. With the music of Connie Francis, Jerry Vale, Nat King Cole and so many others, it would be like traveling back in time.

Long ago retired from her job at the HR department of UP in Diliman, Nene has her sentimental side. Together with her husband, Dr. Crisanto Rivera, former head of Filipino Department of Philippine Normal University, the couple enjoys the reminiscings presented by Music and Memories.

Dr. Crisanto and Nene Cervantes Rivera with granddaughter Krisela

From time to time, the hosts give out trivia from the past eras. What were the famous local bands in the 1960s? Who was your favorite Hollywood star when John F. Kennedy was shot? And how did you look before Martial Law was proclaimed?

For their part, the listeners text their contributions and requests, of songs or topics to discuss. And some even take the effort of calling the studio for an informal interview. Understandably, the callers are mostly senior citizens.

One time, there was a caller named Domingo Landicho who says he’s an associate of one of the hosts. It turned out that this Dr. Landicho was the poet Landicho who’s a retired UP professor. Of course, poems took the floor.

Most of the times, the callers are ordinary people who just want to share an anecdote or who want to express their gratefulness for such a radio program. To prove that she’s an avid listener, Nene continually texts in her contributions, be it trivias or requests.

Music and Memories runs for 2 hours with discussions ranging from the related stories of the songs, interpretations of quotations up to comparisons of the cultural, social and other values of the present with the past.

The high-rating radio program caters mostly to the older set but sometimes it also tackle topics for the younger set. And despite the dominance of the music of the 1960s, songs of the later decades are also played.

Young listeners would appreciate to hear that there were no computers or celphones back then. And with only a turntable, one’s house can be converted into a party place complemented by sandwiches and pineapple juice.

As for the stories behind the music, it’s surprising to know that Tears In Heaven was written by Eric Clapton to lessen his anguish. His son, Connor, fell from the 25th floor of a building.

For the first time listener, it is unexpected that the hosts of the show are familiar faces. The unlikely pair of Boots Anson-Roa and Willie Nepomuceno makes for a great team because of their chemistry on air. As a caller said, “Maganda ang batuhan at saluhan.”

Boot Anson Roa

Yes, it’s Boots Anson-Roa, the actress and TV host. And it’s Willie Nepomuceno, the great impersonator. They liven Nene’s Sunday afternoon with Willie’s jokes from time to time complemented by the laughter of Boots.

First and foremost an actress, Boots Anson Roa has earned innumerable awards from FAMAS and other award-giving bodies. A graduate of the University of the Philippines, Boots Anson Roa is currently holding a professorial job in some universities like UP, Ateneo and La Salle.

Boots is presently the Executive Director of Mowelfund (Movie Workers Welfare Foundation). And despite her busy schedule, Boots never forgets her advocacies in community-based services.

Another UP graduate, Willie Nepomuceno had worn different hats. After earning a degree in Fine Arts, Willie joined several radio stations as anchor, wrote as a columnist for a newspaper and taught at Philippine Science High School.

Willie Nepomuceno

Willie gained fame for his impersonations of popular figures particularly in the political field. Just before the recent presidential elections, Willie mounted a show in Music Museum. With the apt title Presidentiables Gut Talent, Willie impersonated Dick Gordon, Noynoy Aquino, Manny Villar and, his favorite character, Erap Estrada.

Music and Memories, a simple radio program that gives joy to countless of listeners. From Nene Cervantes Rivera, “thank you, Boots and Willie for making my Sunday afternoons alive.”

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