Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bingo Mayor Bonggo

Bonggo is Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. of Olongapo City. The beloved patriarch of the former United States naval base is Fighting for Excellence.

This may sound like his campaign platform, but this is actually the title of an album. Yes you read it right. Mayor Bong Gordon is a musician, a politician and a visionary.

His passion for music started as a member of Ateneo Glee Club and eventually had his talent shared with all other politicians who enjoy music and playing instruments. Thus, the band Houseboys was born. The band was composed of representatives who were also musicians.

But Mayor Bong’s passion for music does not stop with just playing guitar and writing songs, he utilizes the talent to affect people and to mobilize their vast potentials.

Fighting For Excellence is a perfect slogan that heralds the visions of this public servant. The album itself contains seven tracks written by Mayor Bong with the help of his band Bonggo, formed in 1996 to further entertain colleagues and friends that in the long run became a band he uses to educate his constituents through their performances.

The album’s nationalistic approach reflects the willingness of Mayor Bong to bring about change. “Sibit-sibit,” a boat used by old folks for fishing, is a song that narrates the tale of Olongapo’s transition from a simple rural town to a bustling city.

The satiric track “Balimbing” sounds strange because it comes from a politician. It pertains to people in the government who blatantly shift loyalty (another common occurrence in the government).

“May Mga Tao Sa Subic,” is a cry for recognition. It is actually a tribute to the 8,000 volunteers who have unselfishly dedicated their skills and talents in boosting the economy of Central Luzon, yet somehow have now been marginalized.

If you are fond of oldies, “Songs Of Love” is for you. However, it does not have the same impact as the other songs in the album. Similarly, “Pinoy! Check ng Check” falls into the same pit.

Mayor Bong made it contemporary by collaborating with a rapper. We bet, this is the track in the album that even his constituents wouldn’t listen to. Sometimes, no matter how deep the message is, when the melody isn’t too pleasing, the song will remain nothing but a statistics.

Fighting for Excellence, which is also the title of the promotional track, and “Pilipinas Bayan Ko” are the most striking songs in the album. The first recognizes the government thrust to motivate people to fight for excellence, and the latter, which has become the anthem of people who still believe that there is hope in this country, creates a stronger impact in the hearts and in the minds of people who happened to hear the song.

Truly, delivering a message and advocacy can be channeled through different media. Mayor Bong’s strategy is an example. Instead of doing the conventional way, music, as a form of communication, is another effective method to relay a message. Bingo!
By Nickie Wang - Manila Standard Today

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