The author Val Villanueva shows President Aquino locally-made audio gadgets as HiFi Show top honcho Tonyboy De Leon (left) looks on. Photo by LITO GOZUN]

MANILA, DECEMBER 3, 2012 (PHILSTAR) AUDIOFILE By Val A.Villanueva (photo at right) (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 2, 2012 - 12:00am

It’s not every day that you get an audience with the President to discuss topics unrelated to political and social issues. So it was no surprise that I found myself groping for words when he started quizzing me on a subject that I fortunately know by heart.

President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) is a certified audiophile, and I know for a fact that he maintains a decent home stereo system, which he brought from Times Street to Malacañang.

We were playing his favorite genre, bossa nova, when he entered Room 445 of the Dusit Thani Hotel on Nov. 11, the last day of this year’s staging of the November HiFi Show where your AudioFile and Philippine STAR jointly displayed the ingenuity of Filipino audio craftsmen.

Our speaker system was made by Lin Gomez and Larry Roxas of Music Box in Dau Pampanga, the amplifiers by Trodt Audio of Rod Teope, preamplifiers by Erik Flores, turntable and tone arm by Mandy Mariño, cables and interconnects by Cal Cano, audio rack by Boy Bustamante and Mike Reyes and power strips by Ed Rafiñal.

The whole system was drawn up and integrated by JV Audio Concept, a partnership between your “AudioFile” and bosom buddy electronics engineer John Alegre.

P-Noy was all ears when I told him that everything on display at Room 445 was locally made except for several items (speakers drivers, Cocktail Audio, Miyajma Kansui cart both courtesy of Audioamplified, Rhytmik Audio sub woofers and DBX Driverack).

He marveled at the sophistication of the gadgets on display, and whispered to me that indeed Philippine-made products have come a long way. P-Noy is not into analog audio (yet), so he was as curious as our other guests about where we source our vacuum tubes, turntables and cartridges, among other analog audio gadgets.

I felt jubilant that he liked the sound quality of what he was hearing. It’s a positive affirmation that comes from a music lover who retreats to the comfort of his listening room after a grueling day of managing the country’s affairs. I could sense that he is someone who loves music so deeply that he can pinpoint every note and beat of songs that move him or have the power to lift his soul.

P-Noy spent a good two hours of that Sunday, his day off, hopping from selected displays of the HiFi Show. We were told that he had wanted to attend the show as early as last year but could not because of his hectic schedule. Francis Sogono, Wiredstate.com owner, made P-Noy’s visit a reality this time with the help of a common friend.

Arriving at 3 p.m., the President was escorted during his visit by HIFi Show’s top honcho, Tonyboy de Leon.

His first stop was at the room of Audio Visual Driver Philippines Inc. (AVDI) of Wilfred Lim. He then dropped by the displays of former Congressman Jack Duavit’s Puresound, Architectural Audio, and the Harana Group. He bought some CDs from Vinyl Depot, before proceeding to Lito Gelano’s Sensible Audio display, Chino Raymundo’s Modright Audio, and ended his tour with a visit to A. Audio.Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 We were the fifth display that P-Noy visited, but it was in our room where I believe he seemed most relaxed. After all, we were showcasing the Philippines’ best, and there is no better way to promote locally made products than with the President of the country himself making the pitch.

I would like to express my thanks to all those who came to our exhibit, especially to my readers from whom I get my inspiration.

I was touched and humbled by the visit of one of these readers who even asked me to sign his neatly bound compilation of all my “AudioFile” columns.

Thank you also to the group of audiophiles from Iloilo who came to Manila to view our exhibit, and promised to continue reading this column. Congratulations to Francis Sogono of wiredstate.com, the HiFi Show team of Tonyboy de Leon, Boy Bustamante, Robert Crespo, Jay Amante and Raffy Santos for staging the most successful show thus far.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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