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!
Even before I joined the Ateneo Chamber Singers in 2008, they were already singing an arrangement of my song by one of its suki arrangers, N.Arnel De Pano. It's a song that the ACS has included in its inspirational repertoire, and more recently, it was made one of the cuts in its latest album titled "Hanggang Langit."
This album was launched last weekend during our 11th Anniversary Concert held at the Church of the Gesu in Ateneo. It's an inspirational album with the following cuts:
1. Dakilang Katapatan (De Pano)
2. Shine (Belamide)
3. Hesus Ng Aking Buhay (Aquino)
4. Take Me Out Of The Dark (Valenciano)
5. How Beautiful (Paris)
6. Hanggang Langit (Navarro)
7. Shepherd Of My Heart (Tunney/Baldwin)
8. Awit Ni David (De Pano)
9. You Lift Me Up (Tan/Simon)
10. Nag-iisang Pag-Ibig Ko (De Pano)
The song "Shine" was my entry to the 1996 Metropop Song Festival (where it won 2nd Prize) but it did not gain popularity until 2004 when Regine Velasquez recorded it for a commercial. So the song has gone from being a love song to becoming a skin whitening product promotions tool, to now becoming more of an inspirational song with its inclusion in this album.
Here is our performance of the song at last weekend's concert. I was the one accompanying the choir on piano, so you won't see me until the very last second of the clip (or make that the last split-second of the clip. LOL!).
For details on purchasing the "Hanggang Langit" album, you can visit its page on the Jesuit Communications website by clicking HERE.
"Proclaim!" (Songs for the New English Translation of the Roman Missal) is a new album by Musica Chiesa and the Ateneo Chamber Singers (which I'm a member of) released earlier this year under Jesuit Communications. I'll write longer about it another time, but for now I just wanted to share a video clip I took at a rehearsal in preparation for this album's launch, which took place in Ateneo a few months ago. It's always a joy for me to hear my songs performed, but even more exciting for me when it involves an orchestra. Here's a glimpse into the "Proclaim" album, which I'm glad to be part of.
For more information on this album and where you can purchase it, click HERE.
More than a decade ago I went indie and released "Happy Valentine's Day" - a 5-song CD that mainly featured my USA Songwriting Competition-winning composition. I sold it in Music One and Tower Records, and I remember having had the satisfaction of landing their list of best-sellers at the time (quite a feat back then for an independently released album).
Not all of the copies got sold and eventually I had the remaining units pulled out. I lost track of where they were stored and thought there was just a handful of pieces left.
A few months ago I got an email from someone asking where he could purchase the CD since it was no longer available anywhere. What a pleasant surprise to know someone was still interested in it! I asked my mom if she had any copies left lying around in her house. She looked through her storage and lo and behold - apparently there was still an entire boxful of CDs left!
A few days ago, my friend Tanya got me in touch with her friend Andy who also wanted to buy a few copies of the CD. Talk about perfect timing! Since he worked nearby I just asked him to come to the house yesterday and I was more than happy to sign each of the CDs he bought. It made my day to meet someone who appreciated my work! Hopefully he was happy about our meeting, too, as well as his purchase.
And so speaking of perfect timing... what better time to start selling this CD again than on Valentine's Day?
So this is my Valentine message to all: you can purchase this 5-song CD (or what some would call an EP for Extended Play) directly from me for just P100. (This used to sell for P170 in Music One and Tower.) If you purchase 3 CDs, I'll throw in a fourth one for free! All CD's will be signed by me - whether you buy just one or more than one to give as a gift to others.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested, since this is going to be a very personalized approach to selling these CDs. (I sure hope this works!) We'll figure out how best to get the CD/s to you and how you can pay for them. Meeting up in the Ortigas Center area is an option. Or those of you who have messengers or drivers can also have it picked up from my condo reception. If there is any shipping involved, you'll have to shoulder the cost, but it is an option and I can arrange for that. So it all depends on where you are and your delivery preferences. Send me an e-mail and we'll figure out what works best. =)
This CD brings back great memories for me, from winning in the contest (Overall 2nd Prize out of more than 31,000 songs from more than 50 countries blew my mind) to making "lako" my own CD at the malls (the stores would say "Ma'am, puwede niyo na ipadala yung tauhan niyo para mag-inventory" and they would be shocked to see I would do the inventory myself) to creating its music video (special thanks to friends Chad Arrieta and Sean Lim) and its airing on MYX. You can see the music video on this page: http://www.trinabelamide.com/works.html
This is somewhat of a collector's item now so hurry - offer is good while supplies last! (How's that for a sales pitch?) ;-)
To those who will buy, I thank you all in advance and I look forward to hearing from each of you.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Watching Regine's Silver concert on TV last night, I was grateful that two of my songs made it, not only to her concert lineup (to think she's had so many hits throughout her career and not every one of them were performed at the concert), but also to last night's coverage of the concert as well, as not all of her spot numbers were aired.
I was sure they'd show "Shine" because it was the concert's opening number, but I wondered about "You've Made Me Stronger" - and I'm glad they included it in last night's special. I guess that aside from it being part of a memorable time in her career, which she herself talked about (the song was released as the single of her album "My Love Emotion" when she broke up with Ariel Rivera, so the timing was just perfect), the song has been given new life with a fabulous new arrangement by Mon Faustino. Here's a clip I found on youtube of Regine performing this new version on Party Pilipinas.
I love hearing about how the song has helped many people going through a breakup. People have often asked me who or what was my inspiration for the song. It was inspired by an someone who, months after we had gone our separate ways, appeared to think I was still not over him. And I felt so insulted! I had moved on and was doing fine. Well, instead of writing a "don't flatter yourself" kind of angry song, I decided on a more positive spin. Positive with still a bit of a sting in the bridge which goes "Think again/Don't feel so sorry for me, my friend/Don't you know/I'm not the one at the losing end." In other words, huwag kang maawa sa akin - maawa ka sa sarili mo because it's your loss, not mine. Ouch!! ;-) And I meant it, too! What other feeling could I have for someone who hurt me other than knowing deep inside that I deserved better? And that I'd be better off without him? So yes, it really can be therapeutic to listen to and sing this song. =)
One of the stories I heard that I got such a kick out of came from drummer Niño Regalado who says he was in the US many years ago and was talking to some homeless guy who was understandably at the end of his rope. Desperate to find words of encouragement, he decided to quote some "Asian poet" and proceeded to recite the words of my song. It makes me chuckle to imagine Niño reciting my lyrics with all conviction. But hey, the homeless guy nodded and thanked Niño for giving him hope so it all worked out. =)
And so speaking of hope, mine is for this song to continue finding its way into the hearts of people more than two decades after it was written. Thank you, Regine, for continuing to sing this song. With your help, it will continue to be a source of inspiration and strength for those who need it.
Nothing is more rewarding for a songwriter like me than to hear other people sing songs I've written. But a song becomes extra special when it touches people in ways one never quite imagined.
"Shine" has always been one of my favorite compositions. It won Second Prize in the 1996 Metropop Song Festival, but it wasn't a hit until Regine Velasquez recorded it in 2004 for a SkinWhite ad. It still surprises me that something I wrote as a love song has also appealed to others as an inspirational song. Choirs have sung various arrangements of it. My friend Mike Kilayko from Guam, whose work entails providing music and musicians to Japanese clients, told me how the song seems to appeal to Japanese people, too. Maybe it's the easy-to-recall melody, or the waltzy feel. For those who have sung it in singing contests, it's a song that provides them an opportunity to showcase their high notes.
The song's appeal, I recently realized, was broader than I thought. My college best friend Dedette shared with me this video of a blind, autistic girl named Sam who sang "Shine." I must say, it's the most heartwarming rendition of the song I've encountered. She seemed to be in her own world while singing the song, you'd never guess the pure tones were coming from her. What a blessing it is to have written a song that could bring out the best in someone so special.
You make me shine, shine
Like the stars in the heavens
You keep me shining through
With the love that you've given
I'm shining on
All because of you
The song is all about bringing out the best in others. I'd like to think the song has brought out the best in Sam, and people have seen a side of her and of autism that they perhaps have not seen before. Sam has also inspired and brought out the best in other people - those who have loved and supported her, as well as those who have heard her sing for the first time. Reading the comments on that page, she has brought people to tears and renewed their faith in God and in what is possible.
As for me, boy, what an honor and a blessing to know that somehow I have made this kind of a connection with someone so special. It's people like these who make a songwriter like me shine. Thank you for singing my song, Sam.
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.
Times like these bring out the best in the Red Cross and in anyone who's got the Red Cross spirit in them. I am blessed to be part of this organization's history by way of having written this song in 1999. They launched a songwriting contest whose theme was Red Cross: The Power of Humanity. I thought about what the phrase meant, came up with a song called "Life Power" and won the Grand Prize. The best part of it all is seeing various videos of the song on youtube highlighting photos and clips of volunteers in action. It's heartwarming to see how people have made the song their own and found ways to express how they feel about what they do through these videos. This one's my favorite so far. (You can play the video or click HERE to watch it on youtube.)
For those who'd like to donate to the red cross, you can click HERE to find out the different ways you can help. Donations go a long way, as we can see in this photo. I didn't realize we had these. Pretty awesome!
I've actually written 2 songs for the Red Cross. The second one was a collaboration with Chairman Dick Gordon himself. This one's more "traditional" sounding, which is what he wanted. If I had to describe this guy in one word, it would be PASSIONATE. You can hear it in the way he talks about the Red Cross. Click HERE to listen to "Always First, Always Ready, Always There."
I hope these songs continue to be a source of inspiration for Red Cross volunteers and to everyone else to give of themselves in times of need.
Since tomorrow is the first day of December, I'd like to share one of my Christmas songs with you. I originally wrote "This Little Child" for Joey Albert (and it got an Awit nomination for Best Christmas Song back then). This one is the Ateneo Chamber Singers' a capella version of it, recorded and released last year. My friends Jay and Aui Tamayo have told me that the song sends them into the "ugly cry" mode. Precious! =) I hope you guys enjoy it, too. You can listen to it and view the lyrics HERE. Season's Greetings to all!
"Ang Ating Pasko" is a short song I wrote last year. It's so short that it doesn't even reach the 1.5 minute mark. And so it's been a pleasant surprise to me that some choristers have been asking if they could get hold of its sheet music so they could sing it.
The song opens the album of the same title, a Chrismtas CD by the Ateneo Chamber Singers released last year. I remember how we were working on the album and realized we didn't have an album title yet. We tried choosing among the songs we had, but none of them really summed up what the album was about. "Ang Ating Pasko" seemed the most appropriate title because it was a collection of Filipino Christmas songs but more specifically, songs written and arranged by people in the Ateneo community. My friend Niner De Pano, the album's overall producer, told me to come up with a short song that would serve as the album's opening or prelude (much like the cuts in The Carpenters' Christmas Portrait album) and this is the song I came up with. Fellow-Atenean Marvin Querido did the instrumental arrangement and I did the vocal arrangement, and I must say I'm happy with how it came out.
Since I don't own the rights to the recording, I can't sell it nor its accompaniment track but if any of you would like to get hold of the sheet music, you can download it from here: http://www.greatsongstosing.com/ang-ating-pasko.html - and you can listen to the song as well by clicking on the video link or watching it here:
Enjoy and an early Christmas greeting to you all!
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.