Job Lowill Calumpang Benuya: Sings the Blues and Rocks with Country Music Like No Other


and Rocks with Country Music Like No Other

By Apolinario Villalobos


I first met Job when I was checking in for my flight back to Manila many years back when he was yet with Philippine Airlines that he joined on May 26, 1988. Unfortunately, when the airline underwent a spin-off in December 1, 2015, he was among those who reluctantly accepted the offered package.


I did not know then, that he is a multi-talented singer as his voice range covers country/folk, blues, rock and roll, aside from deftly playing the acoustic guitar. I first got the information about him from a friend who told me that there’s a PALer who performs at the Outback Grill. I forgot all about it until a PAL employee at the Davao airport confirmed the information, adding that it is Job, so I googled his name and true enough, his facebook is filled with photo showing him during animated performances and with his band. I was thrilled as I was also a folk singer during my early years in Manila to earn extra, a job on the side which my boss in PAL did not know. Compared to Job, however, my skill pales to his versatility.


Twice, I tried to connect with him while I was in Davao but failed due to his hectic schedule. I had no idea about the schedule of hi gigs so that I was at a loss as to where to find him. What I did was ask friends in Davao if they are familiar with him and aside from saying yes, they even added the information about his kerchief-covered head which they added, could be his distinct statement. And, they told me that he, indeed, is a singer.


With those confirmations, I decided to go ahead with this blog and just catch up with his live performance at any of the venues, after which I would write another one. Luck was with me when finally, we got connected and he agreed to send me the latest information about his gigs. I want to make sure where to find him, as soon as I got time for an overnight stay in Davao the next time I fly south.


So, here folks, is his schedule: Monday – Reggae Grill (Torres St.);  Tuesday – Outback Grill; Wednesday – Barukan Grill (Ma-a); Saturday – Uptown Grill (Cabantian); Sunday – Comus Grill (Mamay Road). Although, he performs solo, sometimes he plays with his band, JOVI AND THE COWBOYS, especially, when they are contracted.  The band members are Val Mat (acoustic guitar/vocalist); Edgar Echavez (bass); Jun Mercado (lead guitaris); Lito Bosque (drummer); Randy Avila (vocalist). Aside from playing the acoustic guitar and the band leader, he is also a vocalist of the band.


I relate with Job as we are both artists and I also sympathize with him when he confided that with a heavy heart he left PAL. Unlike me, however, I got burned up with my job in PAL so that leaving it gave me some sort of a relief, although, nothing can stop me from looking back to the airline that became so much part of my life. Perhaps, when I can have another chance to talk again to Job, I would advise him to move on with his music, as I did with my writing…and still remain a member of the original PAL family.


In the Name of Love (poem)

Happy Hearts Day!



In the name of Love…

By Apolinario Villalobos


In the name of love…

Kilometric lines of praise can be uttered

Mountains of words can be piled

Tsunamic throbs can be sighed

And stones can come to life.


In the name of love…

Chilling nights can simmer with warmth

Swaying leaves can turn to fairies

That dance with delightful grace

And undulate with the breeze.


In the name of love…

Even the scrawny twigs can bear flowers

Grass made brown by searing sun

Can turn into cool green, so calm –

Under the sky’s cerulean expanse.






Pagmamahalang Walang Hanggan (para kay Linda at Gil Carolino)

Pagmamahalang Walang Hanggan

(para kay Linda at Gil Carolino)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Madali ang magpakita ng pagmamahal

Napakadali ring mag-alay ng mga regalo

At ang magpahiwatig ng tinitibok ng puso

Subali’t mahirap ang tumupad ng mga pangako.


May nangangakong pipitas ng mga bituin

Nang sa kandungan ng nililiyag ay maialay

May pangakong katumbas naman ay buhay

Mga pangakong halos kanilang iwinawagayway.


Subali’t iba ang namuong pagmamahalan

Sa pagitan nina Linda at Gil na napakatibay

Katatagan nito’y ‘di nangangailangan ng suhay

Dahil nakatakda sa kapalaran nila habang buhay.


Pag-ibig na walang hanggan ang natupad

May namayapa man, ang naiwa’y nangako

Na ano man ang mangyari, hindi siya susuko

Matindi man ang sakit, iindahin ng kanyang puso!


Ang walang hanggang pag-ibig at pagmamahal

At walang katumbas na makamundong yaman

Alay ni Gil sa nag-iisang Linda upang patunayan –

Ang nakaukit sa puso niya ay kanyang pangalan!


The Senate Investigation on Corruption at the Bureau of Immigration, February 9

The Senate Investigation on the Corruption

At the Bureau of Immigration, February 9

By Apolinario Villalobos


Listening to the Senate hearing last February 9 could drive one to extreme irritation, what with humorous statements and insinuations, incongruous questions that got equally inconsistent answers and revelations about incompetence in the job of the presidential appointees as shown by their stammering and beating around the bush to hide their ignorance. One instance is about the allowing of a resource person to take the flight out of the country, despite the issuance of the “watch out bulletin” against him.


The responsible airport guys of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reasoned out that the name reflected on the passport which is the “legal name” is different from what is reflected on the “watch out bulletin” which is the “nickname”, so he was allowed to take the flight.  These BI airport guys knew very well that despite the different names, they refer to the same person and still, they had the prerogative to remove any doubt by at least asking two IDs to establish the guy’s “legal” identity. What they did was a grave irresponsibility and misconduct as the guy who was allowed to depart was a very important resource person in a serious case. As usual, all that the ever &*^$#@ DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre did was just SUSPEND the incompetent BI officials. If the Senate investigating committee is looking at “connivance” as another facet of the case on hand, it should include Aguirre.


On the other hand, the Senate investigators and the DOJ secretary forgot, that because what has been issued was only a “look out bulletin”, the BI airport guys had no right to hold the subject, because only a “hold departure order” can make them so. Nothing about it has been mentioned in the course of the hearing. Had it been noticed, blames thrown at the airport BI guys could have boomeranged to Aguirre who is obviously at fault for the biggest oversight which shows another side of his incompetence that just keeps on ballooning – more than reason enough for his removal from his post.


Finally, it is observed that there is no seriousness in any hearing that the Senate conducts. Each one of the senators tries to outdo each other with humorous and ego-boosting statements, most of which are not necessary to the issues being discussed. The hall seems to be inflated with air of arrogance that could make its walls burst. They make investigations as basis for the formulation of laws…but what “good law” has been implemented “properly”…if, at all?