Honoring Jovy Salonga, Pete Lacaba with music and poetry


    Social idealism and music are among legacies of the late outstanding Senate President Jovito “Jovy” R. Salonga whose 100th birth anniversary was last June 22 quietly marked at his former hotspring pools resthouse in Pansol, Laguna which is now W Resort. Temporarily closed last year due to the quarantine, W Resort is now open for vacationers, team-building and events.

    Its owner, writer, entrepreneur and Kamuning Bakery Café owner Wilson Lee Flores said that after the pandemic, he plans to host a musical tribute there for Jovy Salonga with a reunion of his favorite singers who used to perform there, like Andion Fernandez, Celeste Legaspi, Homer Son, Frankie Aseniero, and the UP singing group. One of Salonga’s favorite singers was the late Nolyn Cabahug. His guests at this Pansol resthouse included three presidents: Cory C. Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada; many other leaders, foreign diplomats and intellectuals.

    This proposed music tribute to Jovy Salonga shall be similar to the March 7, 2020 Pandesal Forum hosted by 82-year-old Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City just before the lockdown, in honor of poet, veteran journalist and screenwriter Jose “Pete” Lacaba called “Kape’t Ka Pete Music & Poetry Night.” Lacaba said he became a “suki” customer of Kamuning Bakery ever since the late movie actress Nida Blanca brought him there. Other movie queens who also enjoyed this pioneer bakery’s pastries include Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, the late Amalia Fuentes, etc.

    Among the numerous luminaries who attended Kamuning Bakery Café’s tribute for Pete Lacaba were National Artists Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera and BenCab, leaders like Satur Ocampo and Sonia Roco, painters like Danny Dalena and Jose Tence Ruiz, intellectuals like University of the Philippines (U.P.) Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo and former Ateneo Dean Tony La Viña. Music and poetry performers included Noel Cabangon, Dr. Gemino Abad, Cooky Chua, Vim Nadera, Danton Remoto, Hazel Faith, Skarlet Brown, Michael Coroza, Charlson Ong, Becky Demetillo-Abraham, Jess Santiago, Cavite Young Writers Association (CYWA), Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) and others. San Miguel beer, Eden Cheese, Philippine Foremost Milling and Pagcor gave support for foods and drinks for performers and guests.

    It was on July 22, 2013 that Wilson Lee Flores purchased the pool resthouse in Pansol, Laguna of Senator Jovy Salonga and his late wife Lydia Busuego Salonga, which they had built in 1974.

    Now named W Resort, it is located in Miramonte Village, Brgy. Pansol, Calamba City, Laguna (0933-853-6436, 0918-807-7777 or 0917-848-1818). After the pandemic, Wilson Lee Flores plans to host some of Kamuning Bakery Café’s tertulia-inspired Pandesal Forum sessions with leaders and media, also music and literary events at W Resort.