Sept.8,2009Feature StoryWhat Really Happens To Josephine B. Ramos?True Story About A Young Singer Who Gets SickBy Quirico M. Gorpido, JrMaasin City, Southern Leyte-Bad rumors silently spread like wild fire when a localyoung singer gets afflicted with a paralyzing disease that deeply grieved herparents, who also have to bear the pitiful condition of their child. At first thesinger’s mother wants to retaliate and confront those badmouths, but the spirit ofhumility pervades in her heart and lulls down her plans to file charges in courtagainst those backbiters. Instead she keeps her composure and is hopeful though,that when the time ripens, the truth of her child’s affliction will vindicatetheir malicious gossips.Here is the real thing, a true story of Josephine Batistil Ramos that becomes ahousehold byword by many in some communities of the province during her popularityas a promising young singer. By her behaviors and choices of activities andinclinations, one can say that she’s has the in-born talent for singing. Unlikeother children her age, by common observation they could hardly attune theirvoices to a song’s particular melody even with a musical accompaniment. But forJosephine, adjusting her voice’s flexibility to a song’s tune is as normal as anyother child’s activities she’s engaged in and gradually attaining mastery of herchosen pieces.What really happens to her, who in her days of popularity has unimaginablefalls into the pit of utter desperation after savoring her crown of glory reapfrom her winning stints in major singing competitions? Josephine starts singing inpublic at the age of 5 at St. Joseph College. Always passing the first auditionsin many amateur singing contests sponsors by different barangays of Tagnipa,Badiang, Lanao, Manhilo, Guadalupe, and Ibarra, she usually emerges as either achampion or a grand champion. She also marks her winning prowess in theneighboring town of Macrohon’s 2 barangays of Ilihan and LaraySinging Competitions.In 1993 at 10 years old, she was the grand champion in DYDM’s “Battle ofChampion” and Tacloban’s DYVL station, maintaining a winning streak in a weekly,monthly and grand final during that year. At eleven and12 years old, she won aconsecutive Grand Champion titles after defeating all those winners whoparticipated in that 2 events. Josephine seems so insatiable with all hersuccesses in the provincial and regional competitions. In all of the singingcompetitions she has participated in different places of the province and inregion 8(Leyte and Samar), it is always her father Segundino F. Ramos, now 65, whois her personal chaperon.At the age of 14 in Sept 1998, she decided to transfer to Sauyo National HighSchool in Novaliches, Quezon City where her aunt resides with her family. Knowingthe talent of her niece, she accompanies her for an audition at ABS-CBN’s KTV orKatunog Ng Voice. She passes. During the competition, she was asked by the hostabout her place. While other well-known personalities in this province who gain aniche in the field of music and in sports are somewhat reluctant to tell of theirrespective places, Ms.Ramos shamelessly told the audience that she is from brgy.Tagnipa, Maasin, Southern Leyte.(Equally proud of her roots, actress JenalynMercado speaks with candor that she hails from Southern Leyte when asks about herreaction of a great catastrophe that hits brgy Guinsaugon, a farming village). Inthat particular contest, she became the Grand Champion with her rendition of CelinDion’s song “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”. She competes in this programrelentlessly maintaining her position for 4 months from August up to the grandfinals in November 1998.