Yesterday, I decided to contact a Philippine songwriter of whom I'd been a longtime fan. Trina Belamide. For those of you who unfamiliar with Trina, she's responsible for some of Philippine music's most enduring love songs, including the now-classic Now That I Have You by The Company and one of my favorite local songs of all time, No Other Man by Geneva Cruz, a finalist at the 1998 Metropop Song Festival. She's also responsible for Tell the World of His Love, the theme for the Pope's visit back in the mid-1990s, and is now experiencing a huge hit through Regine Velasquez's revival of Shine, which, in my opinion, was still better in Ima Castro's hands.
The woman is prolific! I'd call her the Diane Warren of the Philippines, but people put too much stock in ridiculous little monickers like that, so let's just leave it at that: she's one of the country's best, if not underrated, songwriters.
I ran into her site while surfing around John and Benz Rana's WeddingsatWork site (the best Philippine wedding site on the Internet, bar none!), and decided to swing by her site to see what she'd been working on. Lo and behold! Her site is young and pretty, kinda like she is! You should look around. There are mp3s for you to listen to (you be the judge and tell me if Ima Castro kicks Regine Velasquez's butt, and don't forget to play Geneva's No Other Man), and you can contact her.
And she replied! It was short, but sweet, and wonderfully down to earth. It was the highlight of my email check today. I replied to her, and here's hoping she'll reply again.
She's president of KATHA, the local songwriters' union. I'd like to join KATHA, and see how I can get some of my stuff into the ears of people at the record labels. That, however, is the farthest thing from my mind right now, because Trina Belamide emailed me back! She, the person behind Vanna Vanna's Do You! Man, if we're talking pop, Trina Belamide is queen! Hoy, Metropop people, give the woman her props!
Shee-hee. Me a fan. Imagine what it'd be like if I hooked up again with Cynthia Alexander? Some of y'all remember what that was like.