Whenever National Artist Ryan Cayabyab and revered folk-pop singer Noel Cabangon think of their mothers this time of the year, sweet music comes to mind.
In a short interview with Bulletin Entertainment for our Mother’s Day issue, the two revealed how their moms influenced and nurtured their musicality, as well as the very first time they performed in public with mother in the audience.
How did mother influence and nurture your musicality?
Ryan: “Sa kanya galing ang hilig ko sa music. My mom was an opera singer but she died when I was six years old. Still, I cannot ever forget the very first time na tinugtugan ko siya sa piano when I was about four years old. She sang while I played.”
Noel: “Hindi matatawaran ang pagmamahal ng ina sa kanyang anak. ’Yung pagbibigay ng tribute tuwing Mother’s Day ay kulang pa sa kanyang sinakripisyo kaya para sa akin ang mahalaga kung paano niya kami pinalaki, paano niya kami inalagaan, maging kung ano man ako ngayon, malaking bagay iyon lalo na ’yung mga values na naituro niya.”
Have you written a song for your mother?
Ryan: “Not written for her but nilagay ko siya on the very first song I wrote, a pop song nu’ng sumali ako sa isang competition. Ang title ay ‘Isang Awit.’ Sinulat ko siya du’n sa part na ‘Nuong ako’y pitong gulang nais ko nang umawit, ang bilin sa akin ng nanay ko sige anak pagbutihin mo.’ The contest was called World Popular Music Festival in 1976, and though I finished as third placer, it became a turning point in my career. Sabi ko kung sasali ako ng contest ipapakanta ko dapat sa isang professional singer. So the next song I wrote was ‘Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika’ sung by Hajji Alejandro kasi magkasama kami sa isang recording company.”
Noel: “Actually wala pa. But if I’ll be given a chance to do so, siguro it’s going to be a lullaby. Kasi ang nanay ko mahilig mag hum even sa mga kapatid ko nuon na bata pa. So it’s going to be a lullaby maybe about kung ano ’yung pangarap ng nanay ko sa amin.”
Do you remember the first time your mother watched you perform in public?
Ryan: “Never, because my mom died when I was six years old. But then I can imagine kung buhay siya ngayon, magugulat siya. Kasi sinasabi niya nuon nu’ng buhay pa siya na ’wag kaming pakuhanin ng music kasi mahirap ang buhay ng musikero.”
Noel: “Yeah, she had watched my concerts several times. And the first time she saw me in concert was at Music Museum. It was very memorable because she was living in the province so I had to bring her to Manila.
“For her reaction, like all mothers, tuwang-tuwa siya – makikita mo sa mukha niya na napaka proud na ina at napapanuod niya ’yung anak niya na nagpe-perform.”
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Ryan and Noel are participating in The Candon Music Festival. The former serves as festival director, while Noel, an Ilocano, is one of the performers.
The first-ever grand concert of its kind in the north is a collaboration of Congressman Eric D. Singson with the provincial government headed by Governor Ryan Singson, the City of Candon headed by Mayor Ericson Singson, and Project Manager Kristine Singson-Meehan with the Council for Culture, Arts and Tourism of the 2nd District of Ilocos Sur.
The three-day festival runs from May 23 to May 25 which at the Bagani Campo Concert Grounds of the City of Candon, Ilocos Sur.
The Candon Music Festival is an offshoot of the first concert in Candon City staged in 2008. The concert dubbed “Intay Lagipen (Let us Remember)” reintroduced music and culture to the city.
Eric said the festival aims to awaken in Ilocos a profound appreciation of the different genres of music, and to boost their community as a tourist destination.
The participating artists are on May 23 are: Banda ni Kleggy, Deck of Cards, IMAGO, Manila Symphony Orchestra, Noel, Philippine Cello Ensemble, Prof. Ronan Ferrer, Tenor and Spongecola; May 24: 6Cyclemind, Candon City Chamber Orchestra, Candon City Children’s Choir, Candon City Chorale, Gloc-9, Gracenote, Moonstar88, Pinoy Brass, and Tila Baliw; May 25: Aimee Mina de la Cruz ( Marimba ), Cardona Youth Symphonic Band, Davey Langit, DJ Patty Tiu, Jammers, Kabataang Gitarista, Orange & Lemons, Rivermaya, and Ryan Cayabyab Singers.
Special guest performers include Regina Garabiles (soprano), Jedessa Calacday (soprano), Melissa Nartatez (piano), Joy Allan de la Cruz (viola), and DJ Lester Paul M. Vaño.
Free concert passes are available at partner establishments and government offices. Limited free concert passes will also be issued on site.