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    80s Oro DJs reunion reminisce the good old days

    Stars on 45

    By Tito Mike

    Stars on 45 was a Dutch novelty pop act that was successful in Europe, the United States, and Australia in the early 1980s. The band recorded medley recordings made by recreating hit songs as faithfully as possible and joining them together with a common tempo and underlying drum track. The ’45’ refers to the playback speed of a vinyl record single — 45 rpm; such singles were often simply called “45s.”

    This, and other memories were the topics of a mini-reunion of Cagayan de Oro’s Disc Jockeys (DJ) from the 1980s when FM music radio held sway in the city’s airwaves with the likes of Ray Cid, Lady Love, Cousin O, QBreaker, and other DJ handles which bring forth a puzzled look among millennials and Gen Zs these days.

    “During our time, it was an era in radio when FM (or frequency modulation) radio broadcasting was done in English,” recalls Dolly B. Ilogon then known as Lady Love. “FM stations with live disc jockeys played jazz, disco, soft rock, OPM, and pop music from sign on to sign off . We played 45 and LP records provided by Dyna Products and Vicor Corporation on two turntables.”

    American Top 40 with Casey Kasem

    Back then, FM radio was dominated by music format patterned after the US American Top 40,  an internationally syndicated, independent song countdown radio program hosted by the immortal Casey Kasem from its inauguration on July 4, 1970, until August 6, 1988. Practically all FM stations across the Philippines during this time adopted its English language format, and Arneow and other “Ivy League” grads with their wersh-wersh accents were in demand, and most DJs also adopted their spiels to the prevailing American slang idioms.

    Catching up with Erick B. Corrales also a disc jockey at 99.9 RK-FM in the mid 80’s .

    During the 1980s, Cagayan de Oro only had 3 FM stations: DXRK 99.9 (PN Roa Broadcasting System); DXVM 99.1 (Radio Mindanao Network), and DXRL 101.5 (Nation Broadcasting Corp) which was essentially a relay station with a music and news format with programs originating from Manila via satellite.

    Last January 21st, Dolly hosted a gathering of her former colleagues from that era. Present were Ray Cid (now FM Win Radio station manager), Mikael G. Montalban (aka Michael Gray), Tito Monterde (Wild FM), and Rito Estrella (of DXMO, the only AM pop music station in Cagayan de Oro before the FM stations). Lawyer Annemarie Acosta Quiros, wife of the late Ernesto “Boy” G. Quiros, traveled all the way from Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental to join the group.

    “In the early 1980’s me as Lady LoveRay Cid (as Ray Cid), Omar Labuntog (Cousin O) and Boy Quiros (QBreaker) started as pioneer DJs of 99. 9 RK -FM, then known as the Music Authority in Cagayan de Oro, which was owned by PN ROA Broadcasting System. Boy Q passed on to the other world a year ago, and Omar 2 years ago,” she recalled.

    Atty Annemarie Acosta Quiros (wife of the late Ernesto Boy G Quiros or QBreaker on DXRK-FM) Marilou and Antonio Uy.

    Also joining the group were Tony Uy and wife Malou of MusicVision and Oro Record Center, who used to be the official dealer and distributor of Universal Records Philippines who kept the FM stations humming with the latest music hits on 45 and LP vinyl records, and later cassette tapes.

    Actually, this was the fourth reunion of the 99. 9 DXRK -FM originals (Lady Love, Cousin O, Ray Cid, and QBreaker over the past 13 years. The first on September 29 , 2011 was attended by the 4 and other staff from DXOR, AM sister station of DXRK. The next on Nov. 9, 2017 was joined by Boy Quiros, his wife Anne and Omar Labuntog. Dec. 26, 2019 was the third reunion, also joined by Bong Montalban (Michael Gray) who started his DJ career at DXRK -FM, then went on to DXVM -FM and later to Killer Bee, Luz Pangan (Missy Clark) also of DXRK, now based in California, and Tony Uy. Among the originals of DXRK, only Dolly and Ray Cid are left.

     “Feelings of nostalgia and gratitude. Reminiscing and longing,” Tony said of the reunion. “Answers to long forgotten questions! Lots, lots. lots of fun and laughter. Especially the funny moments. How today’s technology has totally changed the entire industry.”

    Ray Cid, Tito Monterde

    “The mini reunion of the former deejays, of Cagayan de Oro were filled with great memories of the golden days of radio, when the radio announcers were ad-libbing in straight English, and not in the vernacular,” recalls Tito Monterde, Managing Consultant/Acting Station Manager of UMBN’s Wild FM.

    “We were so nostalgic in remembering the use of the vinyl, in 33 and 45, the DAT, the cassette tapes, and other vintage broadcast equipment. We enjoyed our fun and laughter, as we reminisced about our experiences in answering the requests of the listeners through landlines       (Misortel and Philcom),” he mused. “We were a little bit sad, remembering the other jocks, who passed away, and missed them in gatherings like what we had.”

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