By Butch Galicia
“IISA lang ang ating lahi. Iisa lang ang ating lipi (We are but one race. We are but one nation).” The voice, the poise, the lyrics, the melody, Philippine Independence Day. The girl, the laurel, the pride, the joy.
And an unexpected upward boost to another rung in the ladder of big dreams every young talented performer seeks: a shot at the stage of the Yonge- Dundas Square (YDS), Toronto’s central open-air entertainment hub dubbed as The Heart of the City, where global music greats have set foot and performed on.
Even before Vianne Gaerlan could descend offstage after a moving rendition of Isang Lahi (ironically the only Filipino and nationalistic melody that echoed through and beyond Nathan Philips Square at the Filipino Centre Toronto’s Singing Idol contest on June 12), the 12-year-old had awed the musical senses of singer-songwriter Mon Torralba, original member of Hotdog, which plugged in the Manila Sound that electrified Philippine airwaves in the ‘70s. (more…)