La Dulce Diva: Goosebumps 10x over.

This.

Pagbigyan mo na ako. Sabi nga nila kanya-kanyang trip lang talaga. And there I was surrounded by people old enough to be my parents/grandparents. Instead of spotting maybe Anne Curtis or Rockstars or some celebrities my age I saw Kuya Germs, Boots Anson-Roa, Bro. Jun Banaag of Dr. Love Radio Show fame and National Artist Eddie Romero. Going there felt like I’ve aged 20 years. I was the youngest one to deliberately (i.e. hindi hinila ni Mommy at Daddy) go to the concert. This is my old soul manifesting itself. But I digress.

The tickets were pricey, but I really understand why people would pay such a price, and even brave the storm just to be in the concert (myself included – even if I just got the Balcony seat at the Music Museum). And I guess it’s all worth it with the AMP (Asosasyon ng Musikerong Pilipino) playing under Mel Villena’s Musical direction, hearing Jed Madela’s rendition of The Impossible Dream (pang-matanda talaga, my ghed) , and watching Pilita Corales impeccably sing in Spanish like she’s not a Filipina, and of course, watching Dulce herself belt out her stuff for the whole evening – with a voice so powerful she constantly places the mic away so that it wouldn’t sound so overpowering.

Her songs were made up of the songs she missed singing – the big-band broadway-ish songs she sang in Nightclubs when she was young, tributes to the people that made her and her career, her Jukebox Hits and her praises to the Lord. I find enjoying her Filipino songs more than the English ones – might be because I cannot catch the drift the Big Band-sound that she fondly recalls singing back in the 70s.  Hindi ko siya masyadong masakyan, probably too young for that – that I realize. Or maybe its just how Filipino speaks to you and your emotions directly. Couple it with Dulce’s emotional and powerful interpretation of the songs – boom. Yun na.

Best moment of the night, her rendition of the Sharon Cuneta medley, especially Ikaw. Have me getting goosebumps and saying expletives on how powerful but soulful her voice is. Didn’t like the jazz-ified version of Paano – it was supposed to be emotional, not upbeat. Ticket price was worth it – I got an overdose of Dulce and I think I wouldn’t be listening for  a while. I’m glad she sang the original version of Ako ang Nagwagi in the beginning and the lines really stuck with me – its the ultimate Filipino Pride-Move On song:  “Ako ang Nagwagi / Naitago ko ang Damdamin Kong Sawi / Sinong Magsasabing ito ay Mali / Kahit alaala ka bawat sandali”.

Delighted that I was able to watch one of my favorite singers and cross it out of my bucket list. I really admire Dulce for her emotional renditions and her voice – for me it really separates her from the Dime-a-Dozen singers the Philippines have. She doesn’t sound generic when she sings, her voice is soulful, reminds me of American soul singers, it can reach the lowest lows and the highest highs, vocal-wise and rendition-wise. She has restraint, she doesn’t shout. But most importantly, her renditions sound sincere and filled with feelings, may pinaghuhugutan kung baga. So sincere she can make me cry.

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