Not everyone can say they’ve represented the country in an international competition and won. Fortunately for me, I had this experience last month as member of a choir. When you see your country’s flag hoisted as your national anthem plays throughout the stadium, it’s hard not to be emotional.
I joined the Ateneo Chamber Singers (ACS) in 2008. The last time the group competed and won was in 2006. When our conductor Jonathan Velasco brought up the idea of competing again, like most of us in the choir, I was a bit apprehensive about it. Aside from traveling costs, it would mean hard work, pressure and stress. When you join a contest, you’re in it to win it. What if you don’t win? In a country where it seems almost every choir that competes abroad brings some award home, there is that pressure to not return empty-handed.
In spite of my apprehensions for ACS, ultimately it was easy for me to go along with the idea. The selfish part of me started thinking only of myself, of my personal reputation. I had nothing to lose. This would have no bearing on my career. I would sing my best and if it wasn’t good enough, so what? I’d get to travel with friends and have a good time. It wasn’t going to be my name out there but the choir’s. And that of our conductor.
I felt more nervous for Jojo. He’s known to many as the President of the Philippine Choral Directors Association (PCDA). He’s an expert in the field of choral music, he gets invited to judge in the most prestigious international choral contests, gives workshops on conducting and choral music all over the world. He’s one person who could very well just rest on his laurels. Instead, he’d be putting himself in a position where his colleagues and people he’s lectured to can say, “okay, let’s see you walk your talk. Let’s see what you can make YOUR choir do.”
It’s either this reputation thing meant nothing to him, or he was that confident about our choir’s abilities. Through most of our rehearsals though, it was hard to believe the latter, because he was critical about everything – our diction, intonation, harmony and so on – as of course, he had to be.
We had a running joke in the months leading up to our tour. He told us a story of a choir that competed and everything seemed okay until the last part of the song where they messed up, and one of the judges gave them a score of 50/100. From then on, every time he didn’t like how we sounded, he’d tell us “hay naku, cinquanta, cinquanta!” And when things got really bad, he’d “give” us a score of 40. We’d all just laugh about it, but sometimes we also felt we were still so far off the mark we were aiming for.
Although he’d rarely show he was very pleased with our sound, Jojo wasn’t panicking over our progress either, so we wondered what was really going through his mind about us. Several days before our departure, we asked him how he felt. Was he nervous about the competitions? Any message for us as we prepared for the trip?
What he said came as a heartwarming surprise, and probably the best thing I’ve ever heard him say to us. He said that what he felt was excitement. He was excited to let the European audience hear us because he has been bragging to them about us for a long time, and finally we were going on this trip. He was rounding up his friends in Europe, telling them to make sure to catch our performances.
I teared up. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who did. It was like you have this very strict parent whose approval you so badly sought, and you find out he’s been proud of you all along. I guess it didn’t matter much to him whether we won in the competitions or not. He believed in us more than we did ourselves, and wanted to share what we could do with the rest of the world. Winning would be a bonus.
I, on the other hand, wanted for us to win. I wanted it more than I dared to admit to myself for fear of disappointment. I’m not sure how my other choir mates felt. There would be prayers during rehearsals where some of us would say, “Lord, we want to glorify You through this competition.” I’d always have a hard time meaning those words because my idea of glorifying God was through other means that didn’t involve my own selfish desire to achieve something.
But was I really being selfish if this wasn’t something I was doing for personal glory? What was I doing this for?
A bit of introspection led me to, perhaps quite disappointingly, not a very profound reason but at least I knew it wasn’t selfish either: I wanted our choir to win for Jojo to earn the recognition I thought he deserved. I wanted victory for him.
And hey, it wasn’t a bad thing to want. After all, there was a bit of glorifying God in it, too, because I know Jojo to be a spiritual person, one who gives of his time to his parish church even if it means having to wake up very early to accompany the choir in a simbanggabi mass. Someone told me he’s also very devoted to Mama Mary.
So secretly, that was my prayer. “God, I want the ACS to win for Jojo,” I said. “He believes in You, he makes time to serve You. He’s shared his talent and knowledge with us and with the rest of the world. It would make me very happy for Jojo to win.”
In Latvia, when our choir was declared Category Champion for Musica Sacra and we all ran to the stage jumping, screaming, hugging one another, I caught a glimpse of Jojo on the wide screen, and saw him crying as he was being handed our trophy and gold medal. It was like God had tapped me on the shoulder to look up, and His voice could not be any clearer. An answered prayer, without a doubt. That’s when I lost it and started crying, too.
We also won in Spain. No "ugly cry" on Jojo’s part this time. He stood among the conductors of other winning choirs, smiling as he held the biggest trophy. Standing alongside my choir mates in the audience section, I beamed with pride for him.
Our tour ended with a stop in Puig Reig, a little town in Catalonia that Jojo first visited as a member of Saringhimig Singers. He was just a teenage chorister back then. This time, he was returning as a conductor, bringing with him his own choir to meet the same people who had hosted his stay 35 years ago. He came full circle.
The competition victories were just the icing on the cake. One of our basses, Pastor Rainier, led us a number of times in prayer saying we looked forward to the ways in which God would reveal Himself to us through this tour. And He most certainly has, for the tour and all the preparations for it has fed our souls in so many ways. A month after we've come home, our hearts are still overflowing.
One of the ways we are hoping to give back is through our Thanksgiving Concert this Saturday, August 30 at the Ateneo High School Chapel. The concert is for free. We really hope a lot of people make it and share in our joy.
I'm so glad Jojo convinced us all to do this. What a ride it has been. For him and for all of us. Thank you, Sir Jojo, for taking us on this journey with you.
If you are a music-loving Filipino and you hear the word "maestro," in all likelihood only one name enters your mind: Ryan Cayabyab. His music has moved us for decades and it comes as no surprise that the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra has chosen to pay tribute to him on his 60th birthday as part of their Spotlight Series.
"The Music of Ryan Cayabyab" has 2 shows at the CCP Main Theater tomorrow, May 3: a matinee show at 3pm and a gala show at 8pm. Some of our country's best performers like Martin Nievera, Noel Cabangon, Ogie Alcasid, Celeste Legaspi, Mitch Valdes, Piolo Pascual and many more will perform some of his most notable works. Musical direction is by no less than Gerard Salonga.
My participation in this show is as one of its choristers. A 60-piece choir made up of two groups - the Ateneo Chamber Singers and Mass Appeal - was assembled by Philippine Choral Directors Association (PCDA) President Jonathan Velasco, who is Mr.C's longtime friend, especially for this occasion. These 2 choirs sang together in "Do You Hear The People Sing" (a Yolanda fundraiser produced by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg with the help of siblings Lea and Gerard Salonga). Apparently our presence and performance didn't go unnoticed. ABS-CBN wanted "the wonderful choir" from that fundraiser to sing again for this Mr. C tribute, and so this is our second time to work with Gerard and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. (We now jokingly call ourselves TWC a.k.a. The Wonderful Choir. LOL!)
It has been a joy for me through the years to have sung and to continue to sing many of Mr.C's choral works. I must say my love affair with Ryan Cayabyab's music began when my dad bought a cassette tape of his "One" album. It was probably my first exposure to a capella music.
As a member of the Ateneo College Glee Club from 1986 to 1990, I got to sing the songs from this album. Limang Dipang Tao is one of them.
We also got to sing other compositions of his that perhaps only choristers really have an appreciation for: pieces like "Buligi" which I think was a competition piece at NAMCYA (National Music Competitions for Young Artists) and his "Gloria" which we sang in Europe in 1989. The piece impressed foreign audiences and had them asking for copies of it.
Perhaps most Filipinos only started getting to know Mr.C's choral and orchestral works when he became the Executive and Artistic Director of the San Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts, which gave us the San Miguel Master Chorale and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra. Although the SMMC and SMPO existed for just a few years, I think it was fortunate that they were able to record a few albums we Filipinos can most certainly be proud of.
If you've never heard a single cut from Pasko I and Pasko II, this video will give you a different appreciation of our very own Christmas songs given this kind of an arrangement by Mr.C.
Of course, everyone knows Mr. C wasn't just an arranger but a brilliant songwriter as well. One of his songs that didn't become as big a hit as say, "Paraiso" and "Kailan" by Smokey Mountain is this ballad "Iniibig Kita" originally recorded by James Coronel. According to Jonathan Velasco (who was one of the SMMC's conductors), during the first rehearsal of this song, as the tenors and basses read through the piece, all the SMMC girls were so moved that they started crying. And I do agree that this is one of his best love songs. See if this moves you, too.
Another one of his works that I've sung since college is his "Aba Po Santa Mariang Reyna" (Hail Holy Queen). This one and many others he's written are compositions meant to be performed by choirs (as opposed to existing songs given a choral arrangement). When I joined the Ateneo Chamber Singers in 2008, we sang this on our US Tour. Here's one of our performances of this beautiful piece, which we'll also be singing in July when we compete in Europe.
The Ateneo Chamber Singers has also sung Mr.C's works at the Three Festival (a biennial concert performed with Japan's Gaia Philharmonic Choir and Singapore's SYC Ensemble Singers). "Anima Christi," which we performed in Tokyo in 2009, is another one of my favorites.
As a member of Mass Appeal (a choir based in La Salle Greenhills which sings there every fourth Sunday of the month), I get to sing songs from Mr.C's Mass For Peace, which has always been part of our repertoire.
And so it all comes full circle for me as far as the music of Ryan Cayabyab goes to be part of this tribute as a member of this show's chorus. I've been singing his songs since I started out as a chorister in college and and I continue to do so to this very day. To sing with the 2 choirs I am currently active with is the best way I can give back to a musician and friend who means so much to me on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
Don't miss this show tomorrow. Tickets are (still hopefully) available at TicketWorld 891-9999 or you can try booking online by clicking HERE.
TO BE CONTINUED
Tomorrow, one of the country's best male singers (and I daresay an absolute favorite of mine to work with) will celebrate his 10th year in the business with a concert at the PICC Plenary Hall.
I met Jed about a decade ago when he was still doing "puwesto" with a band and even then I was already blown away by his talent. As far back as those days, my dream was to write a song for him.
Last year, I begged him to sing this song I wrote called "Home To You" if it made the finals to PhilPop. It was one of two entries I submitted. Jed said he had had it with contests, too much pressure. My other song "Bigtime" became a finalist but "Home To You" did not, and perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because if it had made it, another singer would have had to sing it. Since it didn't, I gave it to Jed for his All Original album.
This is a song I had poured my heart and soul into, a song I spent a lot of time writing because I didn't want to settle for anything less than one whose lyrics made use of internal rhyming and still made sense. I wanted something with a moving melody, something that would soar and highlight Jed's fantastic vocal range, something that would hopefully give people goosebumps.
I got to produce the song myself and had the pleasure of working with Jed. He was better than I imagined. I can't say enough about what a skillful singer he is. The result is this recording, which I am proud of.
Jed has since performed this song live in the US when he was honored last July at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Hollywood, CA. I wish I had been there!
Congratulations on your 10th year, Jed and more power!
I had the pleasure of watching the first ever Akapela Open last night at the Meralco Theater. It was a contemporary a capella singing contest participated in by various groups all over the country. Beloved Maestro Ryan Cayabyab was the brains behind this project and he had the support of the PhilPop Foundation and many other companies in this venture to further yet another aspect of Original Pilipino Music.
A total of 9 groups made it to the finals (I understand several groups auditioned from Metro Manila and many provinces well) - and three groups were chosen as winners.
The show opened with an a capella medley arranged by Mr.C himself and performed by RCS singers and Baihana.
Almost all groups (all except 1) performed with a beat-boxer and I was pleasantly surprised to see that what used to be somewhat of a novelty (there was a time that it seemed to me only the Akafellas could do this sort of thing) is now becoming almost a standard requirement for contemporary a capella performances in this country.
And here are the 9 contestants. (I hope I got the group names and spelling right.)
While judges deliberated, the 3 hosts for that evening (I would've appreciated if they had introduced themselves in the beginning of the show!) had the audience in stitches with their a capella improvisation segment.
And then awarding time came.
Best vocal arrangement (all vocal arrangements had to be original) went to the group 1415.
Third Prize Winner was 1415.
Second Prize Winner was Pinopela.
First Prize went to Akapela Go.
My personal favorite among the contestants was Pinopela, who won Second Prize, but I do believe the First Prize winner Akapella Go (love the name!) deserved their victory, too - considering the level of difficulty of singing when you have practically just a quartet plus a beat-boxer (who gave a solid performance too, by the way). I had a couple of friends who were members of Third Prize Winner 1415 as well so I'm happy for them, too!
If there was an award for best beat-boxer though, I would have given it to Taftonic's female beat-boxer who surprised us all and made the audience break the rule of not applauding until the number was over. Wouldn't be one bit surprised if she started appearing on TV and making a career of this talent of hers. (I wonder if she'd be open to performing with our La Salle group Mass Appeal. La Salle din naman eh. Hmm...;-) )
Although I continue to sing with a couple of choirs, I have had limited experience in singing a capella with microphones onstage, and that limited experience has made me realize how difficult and even confusing and disorienting it can be to hear your voice from another source and still have to balance it everything out with the people you're singing with. I have utmost respect for local groups like Tux, The CompanY and Baihana who have made it seem so easy. Even without the use of beat-boxers, these groups still set the standard for effective arrangement and clean harmonies that future Akapela Open contestants can pick up from.
Congratulations to all the winners, participants and organizers of the first Akapaela Open! Looking forward to more in the years to come.
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As part of the Madrigals' 50th year celebration, they treated Filipino choristers to an experience of a lifetime.
"2 For The Gold" was a 2-day event featuring 2 great artists: 2-time European Grand Prix winner (for non-choristers: that's like the ultimate worldwide choral competition) the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and the world famous Swingle Singers from the UK, who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Aside from the 2-day concert, there was an option to attend their Workshop and Masterclass.
A few chorister friends and I attended last Saturday's workshop. I thought it would be a typical lecture-based or lecture-heavy workshop with the Swingles doing most of the work and singing or demonstrating vocal techniques. Instead, the entire workshop required our active participation - wtih the Swingles themselves! We got to sing with them and exercise our improvisation skills. Fun!!
Two brave vocal groups nervously performed and allowed themselves to be critiqued by the Swingles, who gave very interesting and helpful tips to improve on performance.
At the end of the workshop, we got a chance to have our photos taken with them, and we each got a certificate of participation signed by each member of the Swingle Singers. What a treat!
And then I watched yesterday's concert. It felt like a choral community reunion at the CCP lobby. Some of my choirmates from both the Ateneo Chamber Singers and Mass Appeal were there. Members of the Philippine Choral Directors Association were present. Pop vocal group The CompanY was there, too. As well as choristers who came all the way from different provinces.
Part 1 of the concert was by the Madz, and they were in tip-top form. Wonderful sound, great choice of songs including a classy and fresh rendition of their famous "Italian Salad" (which could be challenging to pull off in front of an audience that has seen the song performed many times - but they did a great job).
Madz Conductor Mark Carpio closed their set with a wonderful short spiel about how the Madrigals' semi-circle was a circle completed by the audience, from which they continue to draw strength and inspiration. And how they - like the rest of us - draw inspiration from great artists, including that night's main feature. They sang "Circle of Life" to close Part 1 (which gave me goosebumps - in a good way! I loved how they were able to give the song an African flavor and sound, and I was impressed by their bass soloist (who made me think of Mufasa!). After that, the choir, instead of exiting to the wings, came down from the stage to be part of the audience - to be one of us, and one with us, in what was to be an unforgettable musical experience.
Obviously we all knew that the Swingle Singers were excellent and highly skilled performers. But even that knowledge and that already high expectation did not prepare us for what we witnessed. Every single song - and I am not exaggerating - had me shaking my head in disbelief at the level of skill and artistry this group showed. There were no fancy stage effects, no special lighting, no instruments. Just 7 people singing a capella.
My choirmate Roger Sigwa could not have put it better when he posted this status on Facebook late last night: "Still on musical high after watching an amazing and fantastic concert! This batch has 4 alternating vocal percussionists, 2 alternating basses, 2 sky-is-the-limit sopranos and impeccable sound engineer. Best music experience of CCP so far!"
I don't remember ever watching a concert before where there was not a single song that felt like a filler. Watching several concerts through the years, even those by my favorite artists, there would always be highs and lows in terms of energy from the artist or my own preference for the songs being performed. With the Swingles, EACH song had its own magic and had something new to offer us. Each song would highlight a different strength, put us in a different mood, entertain us in a different way.
They made us laugh and they made us cry. They brought the house down with their version of "Single Ladies" - oh, the memory of their 2 tenors Oliver and CJ doing Beyonce's moves! I think we're scarred for life! LOL!! What great entertainers! And their rendition of Debussy's Clair De Lune was so beautiful it brought tears to the audience's eyes. Maybe choristers are weepy, emotional people. Or maybe it was simply because we know beauty when we hear it.
Another emotional point for us was their final song. After the group said their thank you's to the Madz and making sure we all knew that their trip to the Philippines was the best tour they EVER had, they told us that their final song was arranged by one of Madz members. The moment soprano Sara sang "Ili-ili tulog anay..." the entire audience went "Awww...." I got teary-eyed because I felt it was such a thoughtful gesture on their part to sing a Filipino song, and for them to put their heart and soul into it. They sang it so well it sounded like they had been singing this song forever. I thought about the friendship ties the Swingles had most certainly built with the Madz, who had hosted them for an entire week, taken them to Subic, fed them, entertained them, sang with them. And these thoughts must have run through Sara's head, too, because towards the end of the song she got all choked up and fought back tears while trying to sing her last few lines. That was it. There was not a dry eye in the house after that.
After the show, the audience flocked to the Swingles table to have their CDs signed and photos taken. This was also bonding time with fellow choristers and we all pretty much felt the same way. My good friend Moy Ortiz of The CompanY took the words right out of my mouth when he said "I feel so inadequate!" Many of us were saying the same thing as we left our seats. We were like, "oh so THAT'S what singing is supposed to be!" and "Nakakahiya ang mga pinag-gagagawa nating pagkanta!" Of course, more than this feeling of smallness, we all felt inspired to strive to be better artists. Mark Carpio had said it in his spiel. This was one group we would really draw inspiration from.
This was one concert where the adrenalin I had after watching the show matched my adrenalin level during our own performances! Ibang klase talaga. "Hindi ko kinaya!" - 'ika nga ni Moy and we were laughing our heads off because it was true - this concert was something else and something that will take some time for us to get over, even though we were mere members of the audience. I can't imagine the kind of high this experience has been for the Madrigals!
Congratulations, Madz! What a successful project to celebrate your 50 years! Thank you for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime inspiring experience, and for also giving the Swingles what was surely a memorable experience for them as well. We can only hope they'll come back soon so we can experience their music again.
I am so proud of my friends Dodjie and Bambi Fabian, the people behind Wedding Expo Philippines, the biggest bridal fair in the country (or is it in Asia?). Dodjie was a fellow member of the Ateneo College Glee Club and we've been friends all these years. Bambi and I both took Communication, although I was a batch ahead. My mom was ninang at their wedding. I admire this couple so much. I'm amazed at all the hard work they've put into building their company into what it is today.
Wedding Expo had its 20th Edition a few months ago, for which this version of the song was created. This was performed by the Ateneo Chamber Singers, which I am part of.
We'll be singing this at tomorrow's 21st Edition of Wedding Expo at the SMX Convention Center. For details, click HERE.
Now for my own share of shameless plugging, the song EVERYTHING I NEED is available HERE. I have my own booth, too, at Wedding Expo. If you're a soon-to-wed, Wedding Expo is definitely something you need to go to.
One of my favorite PhilPop blessings: weight loss.
Knowing that PhilPop would be televised, and knowing that one gains about 10 lbs on TV, I was determined more than ever to lose some weight. I had made a number of attempts over the past couple of years to exercise in the hopes of losing some weight - extra weight that has come with the slowing down of metabolism with age - and my attempts had only been discouraging. Working out continuously or brisk walking and semi-jogging for 40-45 minutes and not losing a single pound made me feel it was all a waste of time. I started buying bigger clothes instead.
But big clothes can't hide face fat, so who was I kidding? I had to lose some weight and I wanted to. I searched the internet for options to increase metabolism and came across this page. I had never heard of Shaun Hadsall, but I took the time to watch his videos. A 14-day Rapid Loss Plan sounded like something I needed and could certainly use in time for PhilPop. It seemed doable and seemed to make sense. The concept of High Intensity Interval Training was new to me, but something I was willing to try.
Here's a photo of me with Mr.C at the presscon of PhilPop in June, and this is how I looked before the exercise and diet program.
After 2 weeks, this is how I looked in time for PhilPop Finals Night, which was when this photo below was taken (by my friend Gino Cruz).
I lost 8-9 lbs in just 2 weeks - and it might not sound like a big number, but I had never lost that many pounds it that span of time ever in my life! In fact, I had never lost that much weight ever. I lost about 7% of my starting weight and lost 1-2 inches around my waist and hips. I fit into my old pants again! And so far so good... it's been about a month and a half and I haven't gained the weight back.
I've also learned a bit about Tabata, which is good news for people like me who are generally lazy about working out. Imagine a 4-8 minute workout that's more effective than all those 45-minute exercises I used to do! So this is what I do now to maintain this weight. It's very much in line with that 2-week program I followed. Plus of course I still try to stick to the diet principles the program recommended.
So there you have it: vanity gave me a much needed push, got me reading about these exercise and diet options. I'll certainly do my very best to keep myself looking and feeling this way. Thank you for my new look, PhilPop!
TO BE CONTINUED...
July 14, 2012 was Finals Night for the first PhilPop. It was also the birthday of the PhilPop Music Foundation's Chairman, no less than Manny V. Pangilinan. How often does one get "invited" to his birthday party?
Well, I suppose this wasn't exactly his birthday party - he must have celebrated with people close to him over dinner before the show started. Still, those of us who stayed for the event's after-party were thrilled to see he was there, too. We thought he might have left already. And it was still his birthday. I think you can see in all our smiles how happy we were to have this instant photo op with him (pati si Direk Rowell Santiago nakisali na rin). So thanks, PhilPop, for making this day memorable from start to finish.
TO BE CONTINUED...
My friend and fellow finalist Mike Villegas hit the nail right on the head when he said "I didn't place but boy, did I win!" I feel exactly the same way about PhilPop. So many good things have come out of it despite not coming home with that beautiful Orlina trophy.
I've already named two of them the past couple of days: making new friends and the honor of having a song of mine become part of a great collection of new songs.
Reconnecting with some of my peers has also been one of my many PhilPop blessings. Lord knows there are many of these guys I hardly get to see (except on Facebook!) so it's always great spending time with them when I get the chance.
On the day of the Press Conference, I walked into that resto at Resorts World not knowing who else I would see there. I wondered who else made it to the Top 14. I was engaged in conversation with Karl (if I remember correctly) when I heard a loud voice behind me go "TRINA BELAMIDE!!!" I turned and saw it was my dear friend Mike Villegas. I jumped up from my seat and he and I screamed at each other and hugged and jumped for joy. Boy, this was bigger than our individual reactions finding out we had made it to the Top 14! Mike was with twin brother Angelo, also a great songwriter. So happy to see my favorite twins!
Mike and I first met when we both made it into the Top 12 of Metropop 1996. My song was "Shine" (it won 2nd Prize that year) and his was "Bagong Umaga," which coincidentally was the very first song performed and opened that whole Metropop season, just as his "Negastar" was also the very first song performed for PhilPop. We've been good friends since, and that's what we've been telling the newbies in this contest, that the friends you make at contests like these become not just your business contacts but sometimes, too, your friends for life. We were together again in Metropop 2003. This time Mike's song "Pretend That I Don't Love You" won 2nd Prize and his wife Bayang won the Grand Prize with "Malayo Man, Malapit Din" (what a night for that couple!).
Soc is one such friend, too. We were fellow finalists in Metropop 1997 where he won 3rd Prize with "Delicado, Delicadeza." He's become sort of a family friend because we ended up buying his Starex when he moved to Perth, Australia, which is now where my brother also lives and where I was able to spend a day with Soc and his wife Arleen the first time I went to visit my brother.
Gary Granada was my fellow finalist in Metropop 1998 (wait a minute... sunod-sunod ko palang naging kalaban at kaibigan ang mga ito! Realized it just now!) and he won the Grand Prize with "Mabuti Pa Sila" - a song that was technically overtime, so the organizers actually consulted with all of us finalists one meeting to ask if we would require Gary to shorten his song to fit the time limit, to be fair to everyone. All of us felt his song was too beautiful to touch so we opted for him to leave it the way it was. Ayun, nanalo tuloy. But that gives you an idea of how supportive songwriters can be towards competitors. We have so much respect and empathy for one another, so the friendships formed are at some other level that we don't necessarily have with other people.
People ask us what keeps us contest "veterans" coming back when we've already had our share of the limelight. Well, a P1M prize is certainly attractive, but it's also all the camaraderie and the opportunity for us to connect and reconnect with kindred spirits. PhilPop has given me the opportunity to make new friends and hang out with colleagues with whom I have a shared history.
More on my PhilPop blessings in blog entries to come.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Today I was at LaSalle Greenhills to sing with Mass Appeal for Bro. Rolly Dizon and at the simple reception outside the LSGH Chapel, I was delighted to see Randy Santiago again. I've only "worked" with him once - on a song I wrote for his brother Raymart who had then asked me to write a song for Claudine as a gift to his bride-to-be. And so I took a trip down memory lane today as a result running into Randy...
I spoke to Raymart before writing this song, interviewed him about his relationship, how they met and so on and what message he had for her. It was difficult to draw anything out of him. He was more of the silent type, but I could definitely feel the love he had for his fiancee. He spoke clearly about the day he first saw Claudine and the things he loved about her. But what message did he have for her? That part was left to me.
And so this is the song I came up with. I think it's a song that expresses how a lot of men feel, and I bet this is something they all wish their girlfriends and wives would understand. Well, if you're one of those silent guys challenged in the love expression department, go ahead and play this for your loved one.
Click here to listen to "No Words". Enjoy!
My name is Trina Belamide and I'm a songwriter and record producer.
GreatSongsToSing is my online store and I thank you for dropping by! Do comment on my blog posts. I'd love to hear from you!
Learn more about me on www.trinabelamide.com.