MOVIEGOER: Love of others, love of country in Anthony Castelo’s new album

Published February 4, 2021, 7:24 AM

by Robert Requintina

JUST A THOUGHT: If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.—Angelina Jolie


       TYPECASTING: The worst thing that could happen to an artist is typecasting. It hampers growth, limits roles and performances.

        For instance, an actor, who was built up by his home studio in glamour roles, later on faces the dilemma of being confined to forever sweet, good boy roles.

      It’s the same disharmony facing singers. Those who sold gold records singing ballads are typecast and expected to sing nothing but forever and ever. Imagine our balladeers recording rock or rap? Their audience would    

probably cringe, ‘’It’s  out of character.’’


   PASSION AND COMPASSION: In his own humble way, Anthony Castelo says he’s happy he’s stepping out of the box, for a change, after a long, long while.

     Musically, it’s not a radical shift as the strains of the old love-song- and-ballad formula echo with an equal dose of passion and compassion, rhyme and reason, yet the sound that reverberates proudly from the veteran singer’s new album speaks so much more of his desire to grow furthermore as an artist of great sensitivity changing, growing with the times.

      There are strong touches of jazz and Latin beats that lend both soul, spunk and character to some of the cuts, and this is probably where Anthony is happiest about.

       ‘’In my time, when I would be working with a producer, I’d be given a set of songs to record, and that was it. It feels good to have some kind of artistic control in my material now,’’ he says.

       The old set-up, Castelo says, has cast him in a stereotype—romantic ballads—which he doesn’t resent anyway.

       ‘’My music has been very good to me all these years,’’ he acknowledges. Hit songs like Balatkayo, Nang Dahil sa Pag-ibig, Hahanapin Ko, and many other love songs elevated Anthony to the enviable status of a music superstar in the 70s and 80s.


    PANGARAP MO’Y MAKAKAMIT:     Via Spotify and other streamers, Castelo has just released a new album, Pangarap Moý Makakamit (co-written with Sen. Tito Sotto), featuring “Minamahal Kita, Pilipinas,” a collection of inspiring, scintillating songs that speak of love in a broader, uplifting sense.

      Celebrated through the 10 songs in the album rendered in that signature baritone of his are love of self, love of others, love of God, love of country.

       The songs were produced and recorded within a span of several years, some dating back to the time the singer was still based in Los Angeles, California. They had been rearranged and re-recorded in collaboration with Mitch Morala, former musical director of the famed 70s all-Fil-Am group, Society of Seven.

       Recording was done at the Morala Studios in LA and in Bohol, Philippines. Note that Morala’s more contemporary arrangement, enriched furthermore by western influences, has given the album international quality and flair.     

      Other cuts are Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko; Salamat Po, Panginoon; Mahal Kita; Let’s Fall in Love Again; I Got Love; A Letter To The Lord; Dakilang Lahi; I’m Coming Home, Philippine Islands.

    Saxophonist Ian Jacinto is featured on two songs: “I Got Love” and “I’m Coming Home.’’

   Background vocals are by Lyric Williams and Mari Nallos.

   Other credits: Mitch Morala, musical arranger; Jose “JV” Valledo, mastering; Raymark Aguilar, album cover.