Meeting THE Carol Banawa

Probably the best Friday of my life. It’s the Friday when Carol Banawa did her long awaited Sydney show. As a further matter, it was a time again to get in touch with my “fan-kid” side. But I swear, it was a lot more manageable this time.

Photos have been long over due I know. I wanted to wait ’til all my uni stuff are finished, and gosh it did take me a while.

Image

If you must know, I have always been a huge Carol Banawa fan. If I had the serious guts to put up a fan club alongside the many popular die-hard fan clubs (like Popsters (Sarah G’s), Blackjacks (2NE1), Fighters (Christina Aguilera), or even KathNiel (really, who still hasn’t heard of this?)), I definitely would.

Image

 

Image

Obviously, my family’s sitting pretty close to the stage. That’s why some a lot of the photos just look kinda funny.

 

Image

Here’s The Amazing Peanut! Thankful that he did explain why he chose that name. He’s really, really talented, and so hilarious!

Strolling a bit down memory lane, Carol was my first love in music, and remains to be one of my biggest inspirations, really. As a 7 or 8-year-old, I remember asking my Mum to buy me Carol’s very first album (which was still in a cassette tape type) because her popular song, Iingatan Ka was such a smasher hit. You could hear it being played pretty much everywhere.

Image

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY. This is the album I’m talking about. My most fav out of all her albums.

Everybody just loves and even cries at this song.  And up to this day that song still is the Philippine Mother’s Day Anthem, along with Ugoy ng Duyan. That song has always been an important song rendered in all kinds of special occasions for mum’s. And lo, it was made the title of her show!

I eventually bought the repackaged version of that same album that was then in a CD (If I remember it correctly, they wanted to re-release the album because they re-arranged/re-mastered Bakit ‘Di Totohanin because it was used as a soundtrack for that Juday-Piolo flick that was also a smasher).

Those two things were my priceless possessions. However, it is sad that I failed to look after them because as a kid, I wasn’t really mindful of my stuff, and I remember it being fixated on our stereo system. Also, I still don’t understand how I wasn’t able to bring them with me when we moved to Sydney.

Image

Her singing is just flawless. I was right next to the left speaker to indulge freely in her sweet, crystal-clear voice.

But anyway, I can be considered a real, genuine fan who pretty much know ALL of the songs in that album (and all her hits thereafter)—lyrics, ad libs (all the ooh’s and ash’s), the backup vocals bits, the mellow and the difficult parts; even the track listing, the photos in the album, the album design, font style and all that. I know them all by heart as I would listen and sing along to her songs pretty much everyday. And so I called myself a fan ever since.

Image

Amazing voice. Beautiful soul.

Carol is an icon. She was the church singers’ idol of that time! She was like the epitome of church ballads after she did Panunumpa, Tanging Yaman, and other church tunes that got really popular in the mainstream. I even used to sound (try hard to sound) like her. I was brilliant!

Image

Anyway, I guess I’m talking way too much now. Jumping back to the present time, after realising that she’s coming to do a couple of shows, I had no qualms about wanting to join the local cast, and was privileged to get myself in the production.

Things got a little too serious when I was offered by our producer and our director the opportunity to do a duet with her. I was floored but tried very hard to hold myself together. It was way beyond a fan’s dream to be given the chance to sing with an idol.

Rie Manaloto Carol Banawa

Singing “All of Me” by John Legend. I’m not a tenor so I had to modify some bits to sound decent

 

Image

The experience was simply indescribable. It’s like singing with the butterflies, experiencing a literal war of nerves on the inside. The hand that was holding the mic was jittery but did not really sweat (Thank the Lord!). It was awfully hard to focus.

Image

Trying to keep my eyes closed for the most part or else I’ll pass out. HAHAHA!

 

Image

Hitting the climax part. You can probably tell. Her voice is just astounding!

Looking at that beautiful face, and the tantalising eyes that would just liquify you alive and make you freeze at the same time. And gosh, her voice is just so dang fantastic. Fantastic is an understatement, truth be told. You are just drawn to listening to that amazing voice that you could definitely lose concentration.

Gosh, imagine all that happening at the same time, not to mention I hardly memorised the song lyrics. It was astonishing.

Image

Image

Wrapping up the song. My sister captured that giggling moment so perfectly.

 

Watch a snippet of our rehearsal here:

 

Image

Dress number 2! Stunning!

Image

 

Image

Finally singing her classic, “Iingatan Ka” to some mum’s from the audience. They look thrilled. LOL

 

Image

Love the chit-chat moments! Her speaking voice is just as beautiful as her singing voice as well!

 

Image

Met this smart, cute and pretty Chelsea, Ate Carol’s daughter.

 

Image

Finally a decent photo with Ate. This is just a few moments before she came out for her last set. Photo taken by Darryl O’Brien

 

Image

Finale number! The Diva’s medley.

 

Image

Image

Image

With our director, Kuya Arvin Acosta. Really a privilege working with him and his wife, Ate Rose

 

Image

Autograph signing!

 

Image

With my ever supportive parents

 

Image

With my awesome sister who again was our official photographer! Thanks, neng!

 

Image

WOOOH! Finally got this signed! It’s been sitting in my collection for years now!

Oh well, I guess it’s another dream that has come true. Never underestimate the power of wishful thinking and daydreaming (or fan dreaming?). It’s been an incredible and gratifying experience that’s gonna be hard to forget. I won’t even dare.

 

 

R.

Rie Manaloto

Advertisements

Do You Want To Build… A New Lair?

Image

 

I know that the world suffers all kinds of problems every single day. And today, for me, it can’t be more sad to try to come to terms with the fact that my only favourite TV series, The Tomorrow People has been cancelled primarily because of the apparently ‘insufficient’ TV ratings, which I just don’t understand because this series is massively, massively incredible.

The fans have fought hard to try to convince whoever needs to be convinced to keep the show and glissade down to a second season—voted in polls, tweeted media bigwigs, campaigned on various social networks and blogs, and consistently watched the few remaining episodes every single night it’s on. I guess it wasn’t enough reason to save our Monday lair. I am just completely devastated.

Just last night, I was contemplating on how the story will flow on the next season. I mean, d’oh, the story is not even finished yet. It was on a roll. What the hell would’ve happened to John and his badass uncle, Jedikiah? How about the whole new Ultra? How did Stephen’s family react on apparently the second death of their dad, Roger? What’s gonna happen to #JASTRID? And #STARA? (Yes, with their respective hashtags. You should visit Twitter a lot more often, folks.)

Dude, they could’ve taken it to places. It could’ve summoned more ingenious breakout stories, double-crossing incidents, chasing scenes and what not.

Anyway, emotional vent hole-ing aside, TTP has been quite a fantastic show. It’s not like it was defeated because the content was pitifully bad, or the audience didn’t appreciate the quality of the craft, nor the great prowess each actor in this show possessed. Not to mention the astounding special effects. Gosh.

I really think that in one way or another, it has triumphed in maybe one of its many objectives, and that is to create a remarkably captivating sci-fi series that will not only capture people’s minds and imaginations (and, all right, hearts, too), but will also leave an ineradicable mark in them. That despite the show’s cancellation and the management’s refusal to renew it, people will still talk about The Tomorrow People, people will continue to relive and reimagine each formidable scene, remember each punch-line and kickass-line, and admire the resilience in the characters of Stephen, Cara, John, Astrid, Russell, the bad guys as headed by Uncle Jed, the Founder and all other artists that are worthy of note and have all made an imperishable mark in our imaginative minds.

I don’t usually fall for fictitious stuff, especially ones that involve science or whatever kind of physics or supernatural. But this one has really made a significant difference. And an unforgettable one, too. I give respect and reverence to all the brilliant writers, producers, the creative minds behind such an extraordinary work. You all did a terrific job!

Having said all that, and I understand the potential reaction to the cheeseballs, I just want to pretty much express my deep admiration, gratefulness and appreciation of the whole TTP venture (and of course, a bit of sadness for yet another end of an amazing ride). Nevertheless, I wish every artist and production member all the best for future endeavours, and many more successes in the industry. You’re all tops! Real tops!

R.

This isn’t over.

This isn’t over.

Just saw the season finale of The Tomorrow People. And I only got a couple of things to say. This isn’t over. It’s far from over.       R.

This May!

This May!

It is just staggering to realise that it’s only a few weeks ’til the concert. Plus, it’s mothers’ month. My siblings’ birthday month. Also, my assessment month. I can’t even begin to describe how packed it’s going to be. But … Continue reading