March is a month that merits no less but a big celebration well-deserved for the many wonders of women in the world. Modern women of today are not only beautiful from the outside but are beautiful from the mind and spirit.
From their many influential contributions in politics, technology, philanthropy, business, music and theatre, entertainment and media and a lot more, women have definitely proven they can be as powerful as they want to be.
This month’s Music Roll, in highlight of the celebration of International Women’s Day this past March 8th, we recognize the beauty and grace of talent in acclaimed and versatile Filipino women in OPM and musical theatre such as Rachelle Ann Go’s must-watch performance as the iconic Fantine in the newest West End edition of “Les Miserables,” blissful singing comeback in Donna Cruz and Jolina Magdangal’s new albums, taking new directions and challenges in Karylle’s newest effort, and of women composers and well-known performers in the latest finalists of Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs.
And behind all these excellent showcase of talent in modern Filipino women are love and faith, which are also evident in the message of Noel Cabangon’s recent release titled “Sa’Yo Lamang: Papuri at Inspirasyon.”
Cheers to all the women, of love and faith in music!
‘Les Miserables’ in Manila starts running performances in Solaire
Filipinos got excited when it was announced that singer-actress Rachelle Ann Go clinched the role of hapless mother Fantine in the newest West End edition of “Les Miserables” in which she debuted last June, but got even greater news when it was revealed that Les Miserables is coming to Manila with performance dates starting March 11 to April 3 at The Theatre in Solaire Resort in Parañaque City.
This marks a feat in the acclaimed production as this is the first time Les Miserables heads to Manila as part of the Asian tour. But it’s even made more special because for the first time Filipinos will get to watch a home-grown Filipino talent in the leading role as Rachelle Ann returns home.
After earning a number of accolades for her performances as Gigi in the 25th anniversary production of “Miss Saigon” in London, Rachelle Ann is blessed again with another iconic role in another most celebrated and longest-running musical production that is Les Miserables.
This is why the singer-actress can’t help but be thrilled about finally performing for the Filipino public. “I was so excited I was giggling on the plane back home,” Finally, I’ve come home to perform ‘Les Misérables’ in my hometown. It’s a chance for Filipinos to see what I’ve been doing in London for the past couple of months now—and I can’t wait to share my performance with them!” Sneak peek video of the cast rehearsals of Les Miserables in Manila with Rachelle Ann Go as Fantine is courtesy of Rappler.
Even cast members Simon Gleeson who plays Jean Valjean, Earl Carpenter (Inspector Javert), Kerrie Anne Greenland (Eponine), and Chris Durling (Enjolras) are excited about performing in a country where everyone loves to sing.
Don’t miss the gala night on March 16, Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Buy your tickets now from the Ticketworld website and outlets with prices at P7,000 for the VIP area, P5,800, P4,500, 3,350, and P1,750.
Donna Cruz returns to her first love in ‘Now and Forever’
“The Original Multimedia Star” Donna Cruz makes her full-fledged return to one of her biggest passions in life – singing after many years out of the limelight to focus on her family. Seventeen years after her last studio album “Hulog ng Langit” (1999), Donna recently released her newest album titled “Now and Forever” under Star Music.
The singer-actress has been busy doing the promotion rounds of the album which she clearly missed doing. In an interview, she tells that it’s singing that she has missed the most and calls it one of her greatest joys in life. “Singing is my first love and I will always come back to it,” says the beautiful wife and mother of three.
Now and Forever packs in 8 songs including two originals – “A Love to Last” and “Langit ang Pag-ibig” composed by Vehnee Saturno, who Donna says played a huge part in the success of her previous albums, and personally-chosen OPM favorites “Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin,” “Friends,” “Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin,” “Nag-iisang Ikaw,” “Hanggang” and “Ika’y Mahal Pa Rin” (duet with Piolo Pascual).
Donna sings her hits at the album press con, video by PEP.
Donna sparkles best in the two originals that highlight her lovely voice, as well as Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin where she hones in on her personal story as a wife and mother, Wency Cornejo’s Hanggang, and Louie Heredia’s Nag-iisang Ikaw.
The album is now available digitally on iTunes, ABS-CBN Store, iTunes, Mymusicstore.com.ph, Amazon.com, OneMusic.ph, and Starmusic.ph., streaming on Spotify and physical albums nationwide starting March 11 at P250.
Jolina Magdangal’s comeback album ‘Back to Love’ turns gold
Jolina Magdangal is back in the music scene and has come home with Star Music with the release of her newest album “Back to Love,” and only two weeks after its initial release, the album is now certified gold. The album is her follow-up seven years since the release of the album “Destiny” in 2008.
Known for romantic, sentimental ballads and trendy songs, fans can get to listen to Jolina’s kind of music once again that made her popular as a singer in this 11-track album. The album also showcases her maturity having forayed into marriage and motherhood.
The 11-track album includes the carrier single “Ikaw Ba ‘Yon” composed by Joven Tan and all-originals “Kaya Mo Pa Ba,” “Paano Na ‘To,” and “Nasaan Na”, as well as “Sa Panaginip Lang,” “Still You,” “Ganito Pala Ang Pag-ibig” (composed by husband Mark Escueta), “Throwback Lang” (duet with Kyla), mellow 2015 version and remix featuring Gloc-9 of her 90’s hit “Kapag Ako Ay Nagmahal” and an updated version of “Chuva Choo 2.0” (with Vice Ganda). “Ikaw Ba ‘Yon” official music video courtesy of ABS-CBN Starmusic.
Aside from being involved in the album’s whole process, from conceptualizing the photo shoot, packaging, to choosing songs; Jolina also got to collaborate with other notable names in the industry – Jamie Rivera, Nyoy Volante, Yeng Constantino, and Jungee Marcelo.
Jolina shares it’s been a delightful experience to be given the chance to be part of the creative process of the album and singing again. “I so missed the feeling, the process. Everything felt new to me,” the happy singer-actress shares at a press conference. She also dished out her affinity to love songs. “It’s who I really am, I love love songs. I am sentimental. I’m happy when I sing “hugot” songs. Mas kinikilig ako kapag senti ‘yung kanta.”
The album is still out in all record bars nationwide for P299, streaming on Spotify, and digital downloads on iTunes, ABS-CBN Store, MyMusicStore.com.ph, Amazon.com, OneMusic.ph, and StarMusic.ph.
Karylle is more fun, casual and playful in ‘A Different Playground’
Two years since her last album “K” in 2013, singer-host Karylle introduces her brand new sound in new album “A Different Playground” that is a reflection of what has changed in her as a person and an artist since marrying Sponge Cola frontman Yael Yuzon. The “It’s Showtime” host describes this new sound as “more soulful” and “more casual” than her previous efforts.
The 8-track album boasts of mostly original songs including upbeat track “Can’t Shut Up” that she wrote for husband Yael in reference to his penchant for talking, “Half A Million,” “Sunny Dazed,” and “Sunflowers” co-written with childhood friend Robin Nievera. Rounding up the tracks are carrier single and Kiko Salazar penned “Baliktanaw,” Tito Cayamanda’s “Paano Ko Tuturuan ang Puso,” Rosemary Clooney’s classic “Tenderly,” and Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and Bienvenido Lumbera’s “Magbalik Ka na Mahal” from the musical “Rama Hari” in which she starred in. “Baliktanaw” performed by Karylle, video by ABS-CBN Entertainment.
Karylle shares that she’s now more used to the pressure than before, taking her cue from her musician husband Yael. She adds, “I can do songs faster now because Yael always writes songs at home. Now that we have a studio at home, I have to write songs more efficiently.”
She also adds that Yael encouraged her to be more involved with the album process which she applied to this album, as well as crediting him for helping up in finishing her 2011 album “Roadtrip” due to his expansive recording experience. To her, her husband is her inspiration to becoming a better musician.
The singer is also featured on the recent issue of the Filipino-Japanese Journal available in Filipino stores in Japan as she tells more about the new album. The new album is now available digitally on iTunes, SpinnrPh, Amazon and Deezer and in leading music stores nationwide.
Himig Handog 2016 reveals top 15 finalists
One of the biggest OPM music competitions in the country, Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2016 finally announces its top 15 finalists for the 2016 season with songs set to make waves in OPM and bring in fresh tunes to sing along for every music fan.
Aside from well-known names and previous Himig Handog interpreters such as KZ Tandingan, Juris and Jolina Magdangal, and other big names in the industry, this year also rounds up exciting new names and interesting tandems from MarNella and BaiLona loveteams, new Kapamilya Jonalyn Viray now known as Jona and first time duet collaborations. Presentation video of interpreters is courtesy of ABS-CBN Starmusic.
1. “Ambon” by Nica Del Rosario, interpreted by Barbie Almalbis
2. “Bibitawan Ka” by Hazel Faith Dela Cruz, interpreted by Juris
3. “Dalawang Letra”by Davey Langit, interpreted by Itchyworms
4. “Diamante” by Jungee Marcelo, interpreted by Morissette
5. “Laban Pa” by David Dimaguila, interpreted by KZ Tandingan feat. Jay-R
6. “Maghihintay Ako” byDante Bantatua, interpreted by Jona
7. “Mananatili” by Francis Louis Salazar, interpreted by Janella Salvador and Marlo Mortel
8. “Minamahal Pa Rin Ako” by Rolando Azor, interpreted by Daryl Ong
9. “Monumento” by Jungee Marcelo, interpreted by Kyla and Kris Lawrence
10. “Nyebe” by Aries Sales, interpreted by Kaye Cal
11. “O Pag-Ibig” by Honlani Rabe and Jack Rufo, interpreted by Ylona Garcia & Bailey May
12. “Parang Tayo Pero Hindi” by Marlon Barnuevo, interpreted by Angeline Quinto & Michael Pangilinan
13. “Patay na si Uto” by Oliver Narag, interpreted by Nyoy Volante
14. “Sana’y Tumibok Muli” by Jose Joel Mendoza, interpreted by Klarisse De Guzman
15. “Tama Lang” by Agatha and Melvin Morallos, interpreted by Jolina Magdangal
The Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs Final Night is set to happen on April 24, 8PM at the Kia Theatre.
Noel Cabangon gives back in ‘Sa’Yo Lamang: Papuri at Inspirasyon’
Folk singer-composer Noel Cabangon recently released a new album titled “Sa’Yo Lamang: Papuri at Inspirasyon” produced by Universal Records and Jesuits Communication (JesCom) and his sixth recording under Universal.
The singer says the idea of coming up with the album is his way of giving back to JesCom that paved the way for the release of his first album.
The album compiles seven inspirational and gospel songs written by JesCom and three originals such as “Tanging Yaman,” “Humayo’t Ihayag,” “Panalangin Ng Pagbubukas-palad,” “Huwag Kang Mangamba,” “Sa’Yo Lamang,” “Panunumpa,” “O Bayan Ng Diyos,” “After the Deluge” that Cabangon wrote in tribute to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, “Panginoon,” and “Inang Pilipinas.” Album preview in the video below courtesy of UniversalRecPH.
The prolific songwriter shares, “The album being inspirational is not just about faith but also of love for the country. The song Panalangin ng Pagbubukas-palad talks about offering without asking something in return. So even the religious songs from the Jesuits can also be interpreted not just praising but serving other people that is also an expression of faith.”
The album is now available at all record bars nationwide and digital on iTunes, Deezer, Spinnr, and Amazon.
Foreign Concerts in the Metro
Looking for the next big concert to go to? Here’s a quick round-up of upcoming big concerts in the metro.
Tom Jones – April 2, Araneta Coliseum
Il Divo – April 6, MOA Arena
Melissa Manchester / David Pomeranz – April 6, Araneta Coliseum
Paradise International Music Festival – April 9, Aseana City, Parañaque
Andrea Bocelli – April 26, MOA Arena
Of Monsters And Men – May 12, World Trade Center
Little Mix – May 12, Kia Theater
Jason Derulo – May 27, MOA Arena
Secure your tickets via www.ticketworld.com.ph and www.ticketnet.com.ph.
Enjoys capturing, editing, and sharing content across social media platforms alongside music photography. The birth of this blog is a testament of my credence on the power of images in conveying stories.