MOVIEGOER: How singers cope during lockdown

Published April 14, 2021, 7:45 PM

by Nestor Cuartero

Rachel Alejandro

MISSING THE APPLAUSE: It’s a different feeling, says high-strung singer Jed Madela, ‘’when one performs in a virtual concert.’’

   You sing your heart out, but there’s one thing, one important element that’s missing. It’s the bond between singer and audience that creates instant rapport.

    Jed makes no bones about it. ‘’I miss the palakpakan.’’

    The veteran singer may well be referring to the spontaneous, ecstatic outpouring of emotion, approval, of the joy that a song can bring to one’s audience.

Jed Madela

       Jed recently mounted a Valentine concert, beamed online, last February. He’s just one of many singers who are trying to reach out to their followers, and make ends meet, in this time of pandemic.


    HARDEST HIT BY LOCKDOWN: Singers and other performers are among the hardest hit by lockdown slapped against bars and similar entertainment outlets.

   These enclosed places are presumed among the most vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. They gather crowds that are simply not allowed these days.

    So, how are our singers coping in the time of pandemic? Unlike actors who can continue to work under locked-in shoots, singers don’t have the same privilege.

Marco Sison

     Rachel Alejandro says she misses performing immensely. She has been using this downtime to travel with her New York-based husband, Carlos.

       She also reverted to recording and making new music, such as her latest offering, Takipsilim.

        Celeste Legaspi has been home-based for a whole year. She has been cooking, gardening, dressing up her plants with her now-seldom used costume jewelry.

        Celeste recently posted on Facebook her own new version (more laid back, truly heartfelt) of that Willy Cruz classic, Never Ever Say Goodbye, arranged by Ryan Cayabyab.

Celeste Legaspi


   OTHER BUSINESSES: Marco Sison has put on hold  a thriving food business in his hometown, Binan, Laguna to focus on his farm in nearby Carmona, where he breeds and raises game cocks numbering 500 as of last count.

        Marco misses the stage, but not as much as he misses the rest of his family left behind in Los Angeles, California.

        Anthony Castelo released a new digital album, via Spotify and other streamers. Pangarap Moý Makakamit, featuring “Minamahal Kita, Pilipinas,” is 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.

Anthony Castelo


     BOYS IN THE BAND:  Easily the most affected by lockdown and pandemic are the bands, whose work places are bars, hotels, restaurants, concert halls.

       At the rate we’re going, it doesn’t seem like these outlets are going to open anytime soon.

       Arnel Pineda, lead singer of American band Journey, has been using the downtime in Manila for creative endeavors. He writes new material, and attends to his recording.

   “Lockdown, when people don’t have much to do and can’t go out, is the best opportunity to create music content,” he says.

Arnel Pineda

     He urges other creatives to seize this opportunity to create, write, express themselves.

    Arnel is the voice behind FPJ Ang Probinsyano’s new theme song, Cardo Dalisay.


    SIMPLE WISH: My wish is simple.

    I hope these singers, gifted all, never get to sing, prematurely, that Matt Monro classic, If I Never Sing Another Song.

    A touching ode to singers, its refrain echoes: ‘’If I never sing another song, It shouldn’t bother me, I’ve had my share of fame, you know my name.’’