Filipino teen Damodar Das Castillo is building a name as a cello prodigy as he continues to bag awards in the international music competitions.
So impressive that at the age of 14, Damodar Das already won five international grand prize wins. In 2021, he got the top prize at the Musica Gorintiensis International Music Competition based in Italy.
The other four awards he won as champion were 2017 First North Competition International Music Autumn, Tallinn, Estonia 2018 Competition for Young Artists; 2020 International Artur Rubinstein Competition in Dusseldorf, Germany; and 2020 Young Ludwig International Music Competition in Berlin, Germany.
Damodar started young
Damodar Das’ love for music must have been a gift for his musician parents. He was born as an only child to Alvin Castillo, a cellist, and Daloiza Bartolay, a violinist. They named him Damodar Das because it meant “servant of God.”
According to Dad Alvin, he knew even at a young age that Damodar had a special gift.
He shared on ANC, “Nakita ko after a week, itinotono na niyang mag-isa ang cello. Normally, it would take six months to one year before a student can learn to tune his instrument. Then I checked with the tuner, eksakto. Ibig sabihin may ear siya na perfect pitch.”
At age eight, Damodar underwent formal training with Dr. Renato Lucas, the current president of National Music Competitions for Young Artists Foundation (NAMCYA). At the age of nine, he competed in Vienna with his group the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO).
Eventhough the group failed to secure the top prize, it was a jackpot opportunity for Damodar. The major sponsor, Standard Insurance, offered him a scholarship to study in any of the best music schools he wanted abroad.
It was in Salzburg, Austria where the aspiring musician decided to study. He got accepted at the Mozarteum University, where he studied for four years. At the same time, he also studied in the Highly Gifted program of the Leopold Mozart Institute.
While he is an award-winning cellist, Damodar reveals he is just like any teenager. As someone who plays classical music, it may be surprising that he is a big fan of rock. He enjoys loud music, especially heavy metal, death metal, and grind. He also listens to rap and pop.
The teen musician is currently in the Philippines to attend regular school until he turns 16 years old. It was Austrian policy for children aged 16 and below to attend regular school. He continues to study online with his German teacher.
Damodar also has a rock band called Atmarama, where he plays electric cello. They also have original compositions.
SHS Student Brings Photos of Late Parents on Graduation Day
A senior high school (SHS) student brought framed photos of her late parents on her graduation day, touching many hearts and making netizens cry.
Her story has gone viral, with many netizens cheering her on and praying for her success in life…
SHS Student Brings Photos of Late Parents on Graduation Day
Graduation day is one of the best days in a student’s life, but it’s not always the happiest for all.
Some also experience a bittersweet moment because their loved ones aren’t with them. While many are due to having OFW parents who can’t be home for the special, others are because the parents have already passed on.
SHS student Juvelyn Dela Torre Eugenio, 18, of North Cotabato made netizens cry after she carried her parents’ framed photos as she marched and posed on stage to receive her diploma.
She explained that during recognition days and other special events when she was younger, it was always her mother who would accompany her on stage.
She wants to share her success and milestones with her parents, but they’re no longer around.
They lost their father to heart failure in July 2020.
In 2022, the siblings decided to let their mother enjoy a vacation with her older children in Manila, only to discover that she was sick and already in the terminal stages of a stage 4 battle with the Big C. They lost her shortly thereafter.
Juvelyn shared that losing their parents took a toll on her mental health, especially because she had to stand as a parent to her younger brother.
On graduation day, she vowed that she wouldn’t cry despite seeing all the other students with their parents.
But she broke down on stage when a concerned teacher asked her about her parents and offered words of consolation after she showed her their photos.
Despite the challenges, Juvelyn plans on continuing her journey as she dreams of becoming a lawyer someday.
How to Become a Lawyer in the Philippines
- Complete a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Arts or Sciences.
- Pass the PhiLSAT (Philippine Law School Admission Test)
- Complete law school.
- Complete the law internship.
- Pass the bar exams.
Did you know that lawyers in PAO (Public Attorney’s Office) with an entry-level position (Public Attorney I) earn a basic salary of Php95,000 (salary grade 25)?
Elementary Students Praised for Playing “One Day” Using Ukuleles
Elementary students at a school in Mindanao earned praise online after playing “One Day” using their ukuleles for a presentation.
Many netizens were impressed about their skills, with some commenting that it’s a difficult piece to play on a ukulele, yet most of them nailed it! Wow.
Elementary Students Play “One Day” Using Their Ukuleles
A lot of people these days have this mistaken notion that kids are only fond of using cellphones and no longer enjoy playing with traditional toys or learning how to use a traditional musical instrument – because you can find lots of options for those online or with their phones.
But a group of students from Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School impressed netizens with their skills in playing the ukulele as they presented “One Day” for the school’s 100-year celebration.
Seated on the steps of their school, the kids played the musical instruments seamlessly, except for a few issues.
And while some netizens pointed out that one of the kids appear to be struggling with the proper chords and kept shifting around during the entire performance, the overall presentation is still quite impressive!
Many netizens even commented on the post of the Facebook page “Kung Taga-Oroquieta City Ka” that they were deeply touched by the kids’ presentation and were crying while watching. Awww.
A lot also praised the coaches who made this possible – and others felt proud of the children even if they had no idea who these little ones are.
It’s also quite impressive to see that the class had so many ukuleles. It is unknown whether the kids own the musical instruments or if the school provided them, but what’s clear is that their presentation is truly admirable.
What’s a Ukulele?
A ukulele is a type of string musical instrument that’s smaller than a guitar. It usually has nylon strings as opposed to the metal used in standard guitars.
The instrument also has four strings but isn’t considered a “kid’s instrument” only. Instead, it can be played by kids and adults alike.
Proud Vendor Dad Offers Free Taho after Daughter Passes Board Exams for Teachers
One proud vendor dad offered free taho for everyone when his daughter passed the LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers).
Netizens were even more impressed to learn that the young lady passed after doing a self-review.
Truly amazing, right?
Vendor Offers Free Taho after Daughter Passes Teacher’s Board
Passing the board exams is truly a milestone that everyone can be proud of – and most of the time, the parents are their children’s proudest cheerleaders!
Of course, spouses and kids also feel the same thing. For example, a taxi driver offered free rides after his wife passed the LET.
The proud parents of a student who passed that same LET are also offering free taho to their customers.
Bobby and Rose Torallo happily got a tarpaulin up to celebrate the success of their daughter, Rosebel Cielo Torallo. The young woman had graduated cum laude from Baao Community College in Baao, Camarines Sur.
Apparently, based on her mom’s post on Facebook, she had also self-reviewed for the licensure exams – and this made her success even sweeter for the family.
In the post of her mom, Rose, it showed that the family’s main source of income is from selling taho. It was through this that the parents were able to send their kids to school.
Rose lamented that there were times when people looked down on their because they are “just” taho vendors.
Thankfully, the family didn’t mind what these people are saying. Instead, they persevered and put their faith in God.
She thanked all her kids for cooperating and striving hard to succeed in their studies even if their parents are only supporting them by selling taho.
How to Celebrate Passing the Board Exams
There are many ways to celebrate passing the board the exams. Some of these are:
- Throwing a party
- Buying cake
- Going on a trip
- Treating your family, friends, or even strangers to something (such as a free rides from taxi drivers or free taho from vendors)