[Only IN Hollywood] We ask Jose Mari Chan what he thinks of each of his hit songs

LOS ANGELES, USA – “I look forward to being surprised,” Jose Mari Chan mentioned about his hit compositions, beloved by Filipinos for a few years, being carried out by the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) on the world-famous Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on August 20, 7 pm.

In its first in-person live performance since 2019, the one Filipino symphony orchestra outdoors of the Philippines may even fittingly return to the place it carried out reside the final time – Frank Gehry’s internationally famend architectural landmark and thought of by many music aficionados as one of probably the most acoustically subtle efficiency halls on the earth.

Titled Celebration!, the much-awaited reside live performance of FASO, beneath the route of maestro Robert “Bob” Shroder, will spotlight the cherished hits of Jose Mari Chan, who might be in attendance.

Jose Mari, who marks his 55 years as a singer-songwriter, has recorded 14 hit albums and enriched Philippine pop music with an extended checklist of songs that maintain a sentimental and particular place in Filipinos’ hearts. He additionally penned business jingles that captured the Filipino pop consciousness.

JOSE MARI. ‘I’m wanting ahead to listening to FASO’s interpretation of my music,’ Jose Mari Chan says about ‘Celebration!’

In a night that guarantees to be a particular one for Filipino musical artistry, the long-lasting live performance corridor will reverberate with many of Jose Mari’s treasured authentic compositions, together with “Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile,” “Hahanapin Ko,” “Constant Change,” “Beautiful Girl,” “Refrain,” “Sing Me Your Song Again, Daddy,” “Let’s Stop and Talk Awhile,” “My Girl, My Woman, My Friend,” “Afterglow,” “I Remember the Boy,” “Please Be Careful With My Heart,” “Good Old-Fashioned Romance,” “Minsan Pa,” “Big Beautiful Country,” and “Love at Thirty Thousand Feet.”

As an added deal with, it will likely be Yuletide in August when FASO performs Jose Mari’s “Christmas In Our Hearts,” usually described because the Philippines’ greatest promoting Filipino Christmas tune.

At 77, Jose Mari, who will obtain FASO’s Excellence in Music Award for his lengthy profession and accomplishments as a singer-songwriter, is as sharp, participating, and personable as ever. He was at residence within the Philippines once I interviewed him through Zoom however he is scheduled to fly quickly to LA.

“I’m looking forward to listening to FASO’s interpretation of my music because each arranger has a vision of my songs,” Jose Mari enthused, flashing his well-known genial smile. “And sometimes it’s a slightly different take.”

“It’s quite interesting to see from their viewpoint rather than copying the exact arrangements of my recording. So, I’m looking forward to that.”

COMEBACK. In its first in-person live performance since 2019, FASO, the one Filipino symphony orchestra outdoors of the Philippines, will return to the place it carried out reside the final time, Walt Disney Concert Hall. RICK GAVINO

No stress to the arrangers tapped by FASO – hope you’ve surprises for Mr. Music Man – Louie Ramos, Ria Osorio-Villena, Orlando Dela Cruz, Saunder Choi, Resty Dela Cruz, Naldy Rodriguez, and at least National Artist Ryan Cayabyab.

I then requested Jose Mari to say what got here to his thoughts – simply one thing brief – once I rattled off some of his hottest songs on Spotify.

The man, whose household was and is within the sugar Business, was impressively fast and eloquent about each composition that I randomly picked. What stunned me was how some of his hits have political and patriotic underpinnings.

“Beautiful Girl”

“I remember Vilma Santos and Gretchen Barreto. People thought that I wrote the song for several other actresses. So even my wife was beginning to be suspicious: ‘Did you really write the song for them?’”

“Please Be Careful With My Heart”

“‘Please Be Careful With My Heart’ started as a solo song for Jam Morales. And then several years later, I decided to make it a duet. So, I had a response assuring the girl that yes, I’ll be careful with your heart from the very start.”

“My Girl, My Woman, My Friend”

“I wrote that song on the occasion of the wedding of one of my sisters. I wanted to write something inspirational, something that would inspire them to look forward to a beautiful lifetime together.”

“So, I said the secret to a successful marriage is to have your wife be your girl, your woman, your best friend, your lover. So, I combined them into one. You’re my girl, my woman, and my friend.”

“Constant Change”

“I was living in the United States then. I lived there in New York for 11 years doing sugar Business. And then right after the revolution, when the sugar Business in the Philippines was back to the private sector, we decided to return to Manila.”

“And so, I was on the plane and I was looking at the clouds. The clouds didn’t seem to be moving, but actually, the reality is, when you look at the formation of the cloud, five minutes later, you look and the formation has changed. So, it’s constantly changing.”

“So, I said, after having lived 11 years in New York, and now we have to move back to the Philippines, the friends we knew then, we will have to say goodbye to them.”

“So it will be a change of venue again, a change of place. So, life is really a series of constant changes and you just have to adapt to these changes.”

“Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile?”

“That song, as that idea, came to me when I walked into a coffee shop one day and I noticed that there was a girl seated by herself. And although I did not approach her, the fantasy in my head was saying, what if I…you know, and she’s attractive.”

“What if I went up to her and said, ‘Hi, may I share this table with you? Are you expecting anyone? You know, can we just stop and talk awhile?’ So, it’s like a casual meeting.”

On which was a breeze to compose, the Iloilo city-born artist rapidly replied, “The easiest to compose was ‘Mr. Songwriter.’ It was like writing a song for someone like me who writes songs, making it a short and simple melody. I was actually writing a very subtle protest against the Martial Law regime.”

“If you listen to the lyrics – plenty of lengthy discussions among leaders of nations, the weak and strong. Quarrels unending, suppression of rights, we can be strong. Let’s sing with all our might.”

“So, Mr. Songwriter, write me a song, make it a short and simple melody with words that will carry our message across. Our message of peace to every country.”

“So that was very easy because I was inspired. I woke up one morning and it was Martial Law. The Business of sugar was taken over by the government and given to one of the cronies. And so, it was a very big disappointment that for three years, we didn’t have a Business. So, ‘Mr. Songwriter’ was inspirational.”

[Only IN Hollywood] We ask Jose Mari Chan what he thinks of each of his hit songs

As to which tune was probably the most tough or difficult to compose, Jose Mari answered, “That’s a good question. I have a song called ‘Hahanapin Ko.’ I was living in the US at the time when I composed that melody on the piano. I felt that it was such a beautiful melody.”

“So, I said, ‘Where did this come from? It must have been a muse, a muse that whispered the melody to me.’ Okay? So, I wrote that and I completed the whole melody, including the middle portion where it went fast.”

“So, I said, ‘Okay, now that I have the song, I have to write the lyrics.’ And it took a long time for me to come up with lyrics. Somehow it was like, I was staring at a black wall. What should I say in this song?”

“So, a couple of months later, I came home to the Philippines and I met with Jimmy Santiago, who is an advertising man. He was telling me that there was a Metro Pop contest. I said, ‘I joined that already two years ago and I lost. And it was such a beautiful song (‘Minsan Pa’), with lyrics written by Rolando Tinio. And it lost, so I was disappointed.”

“He said, ‘No, no. Let’s try again. Come on, come on. Do you have a song? I can write the lyrics.’ So, I said, ‘Oh yeah. Okay. Okay.’ So, I submitted the melody to him and he lived with it for a couple of days.”

“So, he wrote the words to ‘Hahanapin Ko.’ And that has become one of my personal favorite compositions. But unfortunately, again, it lost (in the Metro Pop).”

“But my satisfaction is looking back over the years. That song has lived on. Very few people now listen to the winners of that year.”

“So, it’s the test of time that’s more important to a song. For example, if you hear a song like ‘Stardust’ of Hoagy Carmichael, until now that song has lived on, even though the songwriters have all gone.”

“But that song has lived on and it is much more endearing than ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.’ So, the test of time again. Sorry, I sound like a professor.”

Pressed to say which tune he want to be remembered for, Jose Mari demurred, “That’s a difficult question to answer because I’d like to be remembered for my songs. Like ‘Refrain.’ I’d like to be remembered for ‘Christmas In Our Hearts,’ ‘A Perfect Christmas,’ ‘Can We Just Stop and Talk a While?’”

Spotlight: Jose Mari Chan, and the immortal ‘Christmas In Our Hearts’

“So, several songs because each song is like a child of mine. So, each child has a unique talent. Perhaps this child of mine will become an excellent architect. This one is going to be a medical doctor. He’s going to be a surgeon. And this other one is a professor and this other one is a scientist.”

“So, each child is special and I cannot really say that this is my favorite child or no, that one, no. My favorite is something.”

In parting, he mentioned, “Every composer is special. Each songwriter has a story to tell, each songwriter is a painter. So, I respect each and every one.”

“So, I cannot really say that this composer is better than this or that other composer. No. We’re all uniquely good, blessed by God with that gift of music.”

While FASO will render principally orchestral variations of Mr. Songwriter’s tunes, Celebration! will characteristic some of his songs with vocals by Felson Palad, Deb Victa, and the FASO Kids: Ardyanna Ducusin, Stazy Reoma, and Eisha Ringor.

Bob Shroder, FASO’s Cavite-born musical director and conductor, knew Jose Mari means again in his Manila days as a musician.

BOB. Maestro Robert ‘Bob’ Shroder, FASO’s Cavite-born musical director and conductor, will lead the Filipino American orchestra in a celebratory romp by means of totally different musical durations. RICK GAVINO

He recalled in a quote through non-public message, “I met Joe Mari when I was the flutist in the Manila Chamber Orchestra. We met during rehearsal time and shared stories. Then he called me if I can join him on album recordings.”

“We recorded ‘Constant Change’ and ‘Christmas in our Hearts’ albums, a few more singles and commercials, including a jingle for Sony. I did the arrangement for the Sony jingle.”

“We became close and we saw each other. We lost contact when I moved to the US. Then we reached out again because we played the BBC (Banahaw Broadcasting Company, now defunct) jingle (‘Big Beautiful Country’) in a FASO concert before and asked permission if we could play his music again.”

“He is a very good person and wrote a lot of very good music. When I talked to him, this was supposed to be for a concert scheduled two years ago. But because of COVID, we will pay tribute to his songs and give him an award onstage only now. He deserves it.”

“Joe Mari said, ‘I thank you and FASO. Usually, the artists given tributes are already gone.’ So he is very grateful that we are giving him a tribute.”

“His music is very exciting to play. Although it is pop, the way he approaches his songs is like classical in tune. The feedback is very amazing. We hear different genres of music. His music is so global.”

“So it is very exciting. We are very excited about this concert. We hope to see Filipinos and non-Filipinos joining us.”

The relaxation of the night’s program might be devoted by maestro Bob to a celebratory romp by means of totally different musical durations, from marching bands to modern tunes.

Special company are The Philippine Meistersingers, previously the AUP Ambassadors, who’re among the many world’s most famed choirs. The Manila-based choir’s awards embody prizes within the World Choir Games and Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

MEISTERSINGERS. The Philippine Meistersingers are among the many world’s most famed choirs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Led by its director, Ramon “Bojo” Molina Lijauco Jr., The Philippine Meistersingers will fill the Walt Disney Concert Hall with their superb voices as they sing classical, modern, and sacred music.

Also performing are the FASO Youth String Ensemble, FASO Youth Orchestra, and soloist Irene Castillo.

Louie Ramos, FASO’s vice chairman who can also be the orchestral arranger and training director, enthused through non-public message: “We are very excited to present the winner of the FASO violin competition, Irene Castillo. As the winner and the solo violinist, she will be performing Nicanor Abelardo’s ‘Cavatina.’ Irene competed against many student violinists from all over the world and was selected by a who’s who of Filipino violinists and educators.”

“This performance is especially meaningful for her because ‘Cavatina’ was her grandfather’s favorite violin piece. She will be performing at the concert using her grandfather’s violin.”

Edith Winterhalter, president of the trailblazing Filipino symphony orchestra, summed it up, “This is the first time that FASO is performing live onstage again after this long pandemic – that’s why we titled it Celebration! We’re celebrating that we can all get together and share our music once again, and hoping that the healing power of music would Help those who suffered during the pandemic.”

More details about the present and tickets right here. – Rappler.com

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