Connect with us


The Brown Academy of Music Cultivates Homegrown Talent

The vision to create a world-hub of music education that enhances the music and arts community of Cebu and elevates the local community on the national level has been the root of everything the Browns have gone through to make the Academy possible.

Artists of different sorts have continued to reign in Cebu’s local scene for more than a decade. These homegrown talents from the same Bisaya roots continue to make names for themselves and their respective crafts, shining a spotlight on the fields of music, theater, and film, to name a few.

Filipina singer and actress Anna Fegi-Brown, recognized by her powerful voice, high vocal range, and trademark curly hair, established her own academy for the arts of performance—the Brown Academy for Music with her beau, Adam Brown, who is both a musician and a music educator from the United states.

Anna is well known for her appearances in international and national stages, a long way from her humble beginnings with auditioning for Ryan Cayabyab for a pop group. It has always been her dream to establish a music school to give everyone equal chances to learn about music.

We planned BAM while performing abroad in 2014 and 2015 and came back to Cebu in August 2015 to start putting everything in place from scouting locations to early marketing and hiring faculty members,” shares Anna.

The musician pair’s dream academy opened in early 2016 where they started off with about 9 staffers and had 40-50 students enrolled. Its headquarters were at the Northgate Centre in Banilad. It was a truly a far cry from today’s 260 talented students serenading the metro with oozing musical talent.

All the while performing abroad, Anna and Adam would plan out everything for the school from the curriculum down to the classroom setups. They took time to iron out everything and gather enough resources to establish the academy, plus having the opportunity to travel to nearly 60 different countries, which then became their inspiration when setting up the school.

“In two and a half years, our enrollment has gone up 650%, our faculty size has almost doubled, and the size of the school has tripled,” shares Anna of her talent-developing Academy. Just last year, Anna shares that a lot of her students’ parents kept requesting dance classes since they were already enrolling their children in voice lessons. Outsourcing local talent Monica Orellano of the Knapsack Dancers was a big step for them to take to develop their Academy.

Brown Academy of Music (BAM) has taught over 1,500 students since opening its doors in January 2016. Age truly doesn’t matter when it comes to enhancing your talent as their students range from just over a year old to those all the way up to 70 years old. With over 10 major culminating shows, there have been over 850 talents performing on stage.

“One of our long-range goals is that the music scene in Cebu is recognized as an equal to Manila.  It would be nice that one day, artists have the option to stay and perform in Cebu rather than having to leave in order to make a living,” shares Anna.
When asked about their major strength, the dynamic duo highlights how they bring their own experience in performing into the school. Teaching music is not just a hobby for her and her husband, aside from it being their area of expertise, it continues to be their passion for over a decade now.
“When we are in front of the students and teaching them, we have been in their shoes as students and as young performers on stage,” Anna muses.

Passing on the talent and skills, the Academy’s Elite BAMStars, is a group who auditions every year to get in and a group that the duo personally and directly produces. The students have also had the chance to perform in shows with major stars both locally and internationally, with whom they have shared lasting experiences and insights with, having a glimpse of the showbiz industry.

Sharing the Academy’s pride, Anna shares that it continues to exist with the aim of  bringing true music education to Cebu. Providing the highest quality music education, based upon the fundamentals of music, wherein students would be able to find their own voice, nurturing their creativity and artistry is what makes the Brown Academy of Music live on. 

The vision to create a world-hub of music education that enhances the music and arts community of Cebu and elevates the local community on the national level has been the root of everything the Browns have gone through to make the Academy possible. Creating melodies and speaking one’s heart out through music was is what BAM is trying to establish in Cebu, and in its 2nd year of existence, it continues to live on the dream, one stage at a time.



You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Cebuano Pride: The National Museum of Cebu

Pride of Cebu

By Eva Gullas 
photos courtesy of DOT
“With the National Museum of Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the country, we open the doors to a temple in history and culture, inviting tourists and locals to witness our archaeological and natural treasures. The NMP-Cebu is not just a museum but a bridge to our past and a window into our future,” declares Christina Frasco, our Secretary of Tourism, at the ceremonial opening last July 28.
Located at the heart of the city’s historic port area, the former colonial Customs House, built in 1910, was transformed into an elegant edifice worthy of the city’s place in history. It was in Cebu where the Spanish conquistadors first landed in 1521 and where Magellan met his end at the hands of the local chieftain Lapu-Lapu. Starting August 1, the National Museum of Cebu will open its doors daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Monday.

Cebu City Tourism’s Neil Odjigue, Cembeth Hortillano and CCTC Chairperson Joy Pesquera

Worth checking is the first floor, where a few art pieces from national artists like Cebu’s own Martino Abellana, Fernando Amorsolo, and Jose Joya take pride of place. On the right wing are finds from archeological digs found all over the islands. Called Ang Karaang Sugbo or Old Cebu, they include a gold death mask and ancient vases from China. There’s also Kinaiyahan: Cebu’s Natural Wonders, which features an impressive wall containing the different layers underneath our soil. There is also a display case that interactively showcases the various elements around the area, like gold, copper, and gypsum. Another wing is Paglawig: Cultural Movember Across the Seas, showcasing the islands’ maritime history and sea bounty, including rare shells.

Museum Director Jeremy Barns, Maryanne Arculli, Andronik Aboitiz and wife Doreen, Amanda Luym

Some of the abstract art from the New York collection

It is on the second floor, though, where the museum shines. Up the grand staircase, guests are greeted by Elmer Borlongan’s massive Battle of Mactan, facing a facsimile of the Sta Maria galleon, Magellan’s flagship. Then on to a limited-time exhibit on loan from the Philippine Center New York Core Collection of 1974, a treasure trove of almost 90 paintings collected by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, including Ang Kioks, Sanso, Manuel Rodrigues, and many more representing both avant-garde and classic Filipino masters. The New York collection is only available until March 2024 and is not to be missed.

Writer Eva Gullas beside Elmer Borlongan’s Battle of Mactan

The National Museum Cebu has been years in the making, and this cultural milestone has finally been made possible under the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who famously said during the inauguration, “I am a museum fan, and I can stay in art museums for hours and hours.” He added, ” museums are considered valuable natural assets to a nation as they build a sense of community, document history, inspire creativity, promote tourism, and unite people through a shared heritage.” Kudos to the National Museum Board of Trustees, chaired by Andoni Aboitiz and Museum Director Jeremy Barnes, for this cultural gift to Cebu!
Continue Reading


The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:


Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.


Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.


In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.


Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.


Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.


In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

Continue Reading


Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+


Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

Continue Reading