The Dipolog Cathedral Mixed Choir was formally launch in 1973 with 10 original members, including the Founder/Director Primitivo "Tibbs" Ajero.  I was recruited in 1977 and was able to join the first Choir Concert at the Dipolog Cultural Center.  Our choreographer, the late Nick Acopiado and the Music Director/ Founder Tibbs Ajero, work hand in hand promoting the said concert.  In my vivid memories, that night was THE night. The cultural center was filled up with people, sticking their necks out to see all the choir members performed. That was just the start. the following month we were invited to do the same at Calamba, Misamis which was promoted by all church workers and different organizations. It was followed by another then another, Labason, Ipil, Sta. Clara, and Salug.  It was a lot of fun. That was 25 years ago.

Last June of 2001, My friend Zenaida and I decided to organized a reunion. We started calling people asking everybody's addresses and telephone numbers. Mr. Tibbs Ajero, the founder was so thrilled and happy that we came up with the idea. I started mailing out some bio-data forms to each member to know their last names (married) and informed them about the  reunion. A lot of phone cards were consumed, and it was a very exhausting but exciting organizational process.

Getting ready for the Motorcade. At the SVC grounds.

June 29, 2002 was THE DAY.  We started at 9:00 A.M. with a motorcade around the city of Dipolog, headed by the Dipolog City Police and ended at the Zamboanga del Norte Exhibition and Convention Center. It was then followed by a concelebrated mass by Fr. Artemio Deo  and Fr. Eric Zafra, both members of the DCMChoir. Snacks and lunch were served.

The formal program started at 7:00 P.M. at Plenary Hall, Convention Center. A lot of Food and Drinks were waiting on the tables.  Zenaida Necosia Timosa gave her warm welcome and was followed by a brief history of the choir by the founder Tibbs Ajero. Fr. Vic Amplayo, O. S. A.  was the guest speaker, a songwriter/composer from Labason and now assigned in Makati City.  Good Food was served by the Calimutan Caterers and the ZN Executive Band headed by Toto Calimutan the soloist who is also the DCMChoi member entertained the guests, members and their spouses. I did closed the program with a toast.
Here's the excerpts:

It's been almost 3 decades since we parted ways, and after a yearlong of torturous preparation, your dream and my dream of reuniting finally came. This is our big night, and it's a pleasure seeing you all again.

Good evening. On June 19, 2001, I went with my husband to his 40th high school reunion. Even though I felt out of place, it was an uplifting and memorable experience for both of us. Everybody was friendly and a good time was had by all 200 people in attendance, classmates and their spouses.  Weeks later I started to ask myself. Why not a reunion of the Dipolog Cathedral Mixed choir. I love the camaraderie of the organization and I wanted to see everybody again and sing with the group once more. It was about on that time that Zenaida and Roni were in Chicago, and we started the organizational process of putting the pieces in place.

Being part of the choir was such a unique and fulfilling experience, to be able to be singing with such a diverse group of people, it meant the world to me.

To the tune of "When I fall in love," You'll never Walk Alone, "I have dreamed," "I need you," from "Moon River," " Get Together" to "Guantanamera," from early morning vocalization the beach, Weddings, Mananitas, concerts, ordinations, to funerals, these are some of the songs and things that binds the choir together. And who could beat the voices of Loloy Bastasa, Bebot and Jun Ramirez, Boy Adaza, Henry and Darayday, the amazing altos of Zenaida and Lanie and the sopranos of Felsie and Maribel to name a few. Of course, all of us have great voices I should say, or else we would not be in the choir.

I've always enjoyed participating in music, singing and dancing as an expression of oneself. Doing it as a member of a choir is truly a community activity where the focus is not on me but "WE." In the form of 'WE' the activity becomes for the greater good of everybody with the result being a free expression of the community.

It's been very difficult to replicate those same emotions outside the choir for one reason or another. That same feeling of humanity, peacefulness and tranquility with each member was almost impossible to find. Only through the Dipolog Cathedral Mixed Choir, did I find myself development as an individual thorough the organization of freely expressed ideas. It is a part of me that I will always cherished.

L-R Boy Dasok , Pio Minerales, Johhny Paluca, Hi-Fi Ajero, Jun Jamila, Tibbs Ajero, Fe Batilona Ramirez, Ligaya Lagutin Gementiza, Ligaya's daughter, Babie Sotillo Realiza and kids

  The MOTORCADE -  June 29, 2002

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone of you for attending this reunion, especially to the guest speaker, Fr. Vic Amplayo for you inspirational message and your time; to the founder/music Director  Tibbs Ajero for sharing us his talents and leading the group once more; to the late Nick Acopiado, who gave us his time and talent in choreography and taught us to have fun in acting and dancing, you are terribly missed; to all the guests; to the different committees, who took their time from their other responsibilities and helped out organizing this affair, you did a wonderful job; To those who didn't make it tonight, but willingly gave their financial support like: Virgie Alabastro Cholibois; Marifel Hampac Husfelt; Jojo
Sorronda Merrill; Genevieve Dalumpines Refugio; and to some friends like: Eglyn Peligrino, Josephine Peligrino; Virgie Caboverde and Lupe Patangan; to my sister Linda, thank you all for your donations. To my wonderful and loving husband Jerry who is my best friend, my adviser and my critic, who stood by me during my ups and downs in the organizational process and supported me all the way from start to finished, thank you so much. To a dear friend of mine, Zenaida for the weekly report for updates through telephone conversation; to all the people I called and listened to my complains, ideas and chica-chicas; and to those who in one way or another made this night a night to remember, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I hope that organizing this reunion, I brought a little cheer in you lives, as you did into mine and I wish that after tonight we would still be able to keep in touch by all means of communication, excluding collect calls.

The ladies at the Registration : L-R Beatriz Sotillo Realiza, Ma. Theresa   Acopiado  Ocampo, Zenaida Necosia Timosa, Nenita Ortega Maningo,  one Marilou Magsipok Jauculan. At the back: Mahlyn Nieves  Kagan, Daisy

The 3 special couples of the Choir got a treat from the organizer. A free night stay at Top Plaza Hotel, Dipolog City with Dinner and Breakfast. The Lucky couples are:  Fe Batilona Ramirez and Cesar Ramirez ; Nenita Capulan de la Torre, and James Maningo.  Ortega Maningo and James Maningo and Josefina Ulla Putian and Edwin Putian.  We watched their relationship grow until they got married!  Congratulations guys !!!

We sure are getting older all right, with some gray hairs, and maybe in our menopausal period, with aching bones and knees, but those timeless memories that we had and shared will always be treasured in our hearts. So tonight, ignore those aches and pains, just dance the night away and savor every minute of it, because after tomorrow, we will be going back to the real world, our jobs and respective homes to continue our responsibilities as parents to our children and hope for the best that our legacy will continue from generation to generation.  Someday, I will have a story to tell to my children and grandchildren, that I, AM A PROUD MEMBER of the Dipolog Cathedral Mixed Choir, once upon a time.

Before ending the program, I would like to propose a toast, to Music, Friendship, Memories and Hardwork, MABUHAY ANG DIPOLOG CATHEDRAL MIXED CHOIR.

Thank you, have fun and enjoy the rest of the evening.

                       Closing remarks by:

                                   Marylyn Nieves Kagan
 Dipolog Cathedral Mixed Choir - First Grand Reunion
June 29, 2002 - Zamboanga del Norte Exhibition & Convention Center
Dipolog City, Philippines




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