JOB LOWILL CALUMPANG BENUYA: Sings the Blues
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.