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Broadway star Lea Salonga is one of the most famous singers in the Philippines. To showcase the incredible diversity of her home country's three regions and multiple languages, she teamed up with scholar and musician Ryan Cayabyab to perform some of the country's best- loved folk songs. Salonga and Cayabyab have recorded them in new arrangements, and for the most part this works well, with piano and guitar featuring prominently. The excellent liner notes tell us the language of each song, and the translated lyrics highlight the themes of these folk songs – love, infant lullabies (the really beautiful ‘Ili Ili Tulog Anay’), tales of dancing herons, tired dragonflies and happy-go-lucky fishermen.

The tracks include two songs special for Filipinos: ‘Bahay Kubo’, a popular folk song about self-sufficiency; and a terrific version of ‘Waray Waray’, about fearless Waray women that was immortalised internationally by Eartha Kitt. The record label GLP and Salonga are to be congratulated for supporting endangered languages in this recording, giving many minority speakers the opportunity to hear their music and the rest of us to enjoy the diversity of music in the Philippines.

- Songlines

NEW YORK — In frigid Big Apple weather, Broadway superstar Lea Salonga warmed the hearts of a small group that gathered at the Philippine Center’s Kalayaan Hall to listen to Filipino songs, starting with her childhood favorite, “Ili Ili Tulog Anay,” a lullaby that her mom used to sing for her. Lea Salonga’s soulful rendition just elevated this Ilonggo classic into a timeless piece.

Salonga’s new CD album, Bahaghari (Rainbow) features old favorites sung in six Philippine dialects–Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Bisaya, Ilonggo and Tagalog.

- Inquirer

Lea Salonga is a Broadway and London West End star. She played Kim in Miss Saigon and has lent her voice to Disney productions. On Bahaghari: Rainbow, she searches the songbook of her Filipino homeland for material. Accompanied by piano and sometimes a light dusting of traditional and contemporary arrangements, she sings with the crystalline clarity demanded on Broadway, delivering emotively on the best tracks. “Rainbow” refers to the diversity of the Philippines—she sings in no less than six Filipino languages.

- Shepherd Express

Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.

Now appearing in Once This Island singer Lea Solanga walked into a studio in Manila with a list of songs. The songs represented the Philippines’ three cultural regions, many languages and were selected from a lifetime’s worth of research by preeminent musician, scholar, and producer Ryan Caybyab. “Ili Ili” and several others were songs sung to Lea by her mother. With six different arrangers, 16 songs in different Filipino languages, including Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilonggo, Bicolano, Capampangan and Ilocano, varied performers, and arrangements that revolve around piano, guitar, gentle percussion, vibes, flute and in cooperation with the Global Language Project (GLP), Bahaghari “Rainbow” is a must have CD for those who love music and diversity. Salonga’s brother, Gerard also performs on the album.

Her powerful emotional ties and artful interpretation shine on Bahaghari “Rainbow”, which was recorded in four days.

GLP Music who produced the album was founded by Angela Jackson and Rex Niswander, the label aims to deepen connections to language learning and preservation via compelling music. Salonga sings in several endangered languages on Bahaghari and this is a way of preserving them.

Lea sings with the crystalline clarity, delivering an emotively that is abundantly clear. These melodies spring to life a culture we rarely see.

The CD contains a booklet featuring cultural notes, original lyrics and English translations.

- Times Square Chronicles

TONY AWARD-winning singer/actress Lea Salonga has released her 10th studio album, Bahaghari (“rainbow” in Filipino) featuring Filipino folk songs.

The 15-track album described as a “cultural celebration in the age of globalization,” includes well-loved folk songs such as “Atin Cu Pung Singsing,” “Paru-parong Bukid,” “Ili ili Tulog Anay,” and “Pamulinawen,” among others.

“The music in Bahaghari represents much of my own childhood,” Ms. Salonga said in a release.


- Business World

Listening Post 161. Could the singing voice of Disney royals Mulan and Jasmine be that of a real princess? Vocal power aside, Lea Salonga is both regal and down to earth, the star who illuminates Broadway, the West End and the global concert circuit but never forgets home. Wherever she flies, her countrymen can follow her through her column in The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Her philanthropic work with World Vision Philippines focuses on expanding educational opportunity—and her latest album takes her into the classroom. Bahaghari (Rainbow) is an enchanting collection of traditional Filipino songs, produced by GLP Music as part of a series designed to promote language study. Across 15 tracks, Salonga sings in her native Tagalog, plus Ilonggo (her mother’s first language), Kampampangan (her father’s), Ilocano, Visayan, Cebuano and Bicolano—a fraction of her country’s 180+ tongues. The songs tell of love, home and children, of rice planters and fishermen, of festivity and vanity, often invoking nature as a metaphor for humanity. Spare arrangements, built around piano or guitar, allow Salonga’s sterling voice and polyglot lyrics to take center stage. Songs vary in pace and mood, from Paru-Parong Bukid (Mountain Butterfly), the title creature a stand-in for a well-dressed but slightly indecorous woman; to Ili-Ili Tulog Anay (Sleep a While, Little One), a lullaby revealing an extended family—someone other than mom rocks the baby; to Pamulinawen, describing a flirtatious effort to appease a stubborn lover. Sitsiritsit, Alibangbang (Chirp, Chirp) opens with onomatopoeia and gambols through whimsical nursery rhyme verses; and Pobreng Alindahaw (Dragonfly), features a playboy worn out from his conquests. Bahaghari is lovely from beginning to end—but is this the voice of a princess? One possible clue is in the love song Sampaguita: It means “jasmine.”

- World Listening Post

Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga has released an album of Philippine regional folk songs. The CD album “Bahaghari” was launched on December 14 at the Philippine Center, with Lea noting how each language is distinct and separate “like a rainbow.”

Among the popular songs featured in the album are “Pobreng Alindahaw,” “Tinikling,” “Atin Cu Pung Singsing,” “Ili Ili Tulog Anay,” “Pamulinawen,” “Sarung Banggi,” and “Leron Leron Sinta.” She opened the launch with a dreamy rendition of “Ili Ili,” one of her favorites, a lullaby her mother used to sing to her.

“Bahaghari,” according to Lea, a worthwhile project in terms of preserving the languages for future generations.

- The FilAm

The Global Language Project through GLP Music launched on 14 December 2017 at the Philippine Center in New York its latest initiative to promote foreign language and culture appreciation. The album “Bahaghari” features new recordings and arrangements of Philippine Folksongs performed by Tony-winner Lea Salonga.

- Philippine Consulate General, New York

It was her day-off as the goddess Erzulie from Broadway show Once on this Island, thus Lea Salonga joyously launched her CD album Bahaghari (Rainbow) in a private-nonetheless-sparkling holiday party on Thursday, December 14, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate here. Wearing a white lace collared Kate Spade black dress, she preempted an excited audience that she will sing only two songs of the collection of 15 traditional folk songs of Bahaghari (Rainbow). The evening party was hosted by Vice Consul Khrys Corpuz and was attended by about a hundred guests that included Amb. Virgil Reyes, Amb. Mario de Leon Jr., Ms. Loida Nicolas Lewis, UN Permanent Rep. Amb. Teodoro Locsin Jr., and Fr. Patrick Longalong.

- OSM! Positive Journalism

Finally, it's out! All of us involved have been waiting a long time for this one to be released. In cooperation with the Global Language Project (GLP), I have released a brand new album "Bahaghari" (Rainbow), featuring 16 different Filipino languages, including Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilonggo, Bicolano, Capampangan and Ilocano, recorded over a span of four days.

One of the first things we needed to take care of was to find a producer for this unique undertaking. After initial consultation with Gerard, we decided to ask one of our musical superheros, Ryan Cayabyab, to produce the album due to his wide musical knowledge, vocabulary and resources.

- Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Voice coach, Broadway royalty and national idol Lea Salonga released a new album called “BAHAGHARI”, a collection of beautiful and memorable traditional Filipino folk songs representing three cultural regions and many languages.

Lea picked songs that appealed to her, both artistically and personally, with the help and guidance of music authority, maestro Ryan Cayabyab.

Lea’s mellifluous vocals, tonal clarity, and expressive interpretation make the album a must-listen especially for youngsters who are key to preserving and reviving interest in these songs and languages for future generations.

One standout track is her delicate version of ‘Ili Ili Tulog Anay’, an Ilonggo lullaby that her mother sang to her when she was young.

- Press Play

“I guess you can call this a labor of passion and love,” says Lea Salonga, referring to her latest music project, the album Bahaghari, produced by our National Artist for Music, Maestro Ryan “Mr. C” Cayabyab.

“We (Lea’s management) were approached by GLP Music (founders Angela Jackson and Rex Niswander) to make an album to add to an existing series of albums for children, the first one being Coloreando, which is the Spanish album that won a Latin Grammy award (for Best Latin Children’s Album in 2014), and the other being Aquarela, made by the Brazilian Master Paulinho Garcia,” the international music star relates. “Now we added this third in the series called Bahaghari.”

- Daily Tribune

When we learned about the release of a new album of world-class artist Lea Salonga and newly declared National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, we immediately felt that this one will be a music collector’s item and surely destined to be a classic many years from now.

Our good, old Filipino-Chinese friends from Curve Entertainment Inc.—Narciso Chan and Rudy Tee—took charge to make this album, beautifully titled Bahaghari (Rainbow), a reality. Chan and Tee know the music business by heart, having led labels like BMG Pilipinas and Sony Music Philippines to the top during the prime of the local music industry in the ’90s.

The project was initiated when Salonga was introduced to GLP Music founders Angela Jackson and Rex Niswander. The label produces music that would introduce children to world languages and international cultures.

- Business Mirror

I’m among fans of Ms. Lea Salonga who are most excited and proud about her coming out with a new album. Entitled “Bahaghari,” it is released by Curve Entertainment Inc. and GLP Music as announced yesterday, Dec. 5, at via a press launch held at Makati Shangri-La’s Bespoke Grill.

With 15 beautiful traditional folk songs, representing various regions and dialects – Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Bisaya and Ilonggo, the album is definitely a cultural celebration. This release is aimed to reach the consciousness of the young Filipino generation to revive our traditional music’s heritage and preserve the importance and beauty of this art.

- Celebrity World PH

DESPITE getting worldwide acclaim, Lea Salonga remains very humble. At the launch of the Bahaghari album she did with her friend, Ryan Cayabyab, who’s just been honored as a National Artist for his work in music, Lea is asked if she’s looking forward to be named one too in the future.

“Honestly, I don’t even think about as it’s not naman the motivation for me to do what I’m doing it. It’s never it and it should not be it.  Pero kung mangyayari, e di good. Pero kung hindi, it’s also good,” says the Tony winner in Broadway and Olivier Awardee in London, among the other international honors that she has received. She and her co-artists in the musical “Once in an Island” are now nominees in the coming Grammy Award and that’s another feather on her already well-decorated cap.

“But I’m certainly glad when artists who have contributed to Philippine culture are recognized. They surely deserved to be honored as they’ve done so much for our country, like Larry Alcala and Bobby Mañosa.”

Lea is proud to be part of Curve Entertainment and GLP Music’s album, “Bahaghari”, that aims to present the rich and colorful music of the Philippines to the world.

- Journal Online

She placed the Philippines on the world’s musical theater map as the original Kim in “Miss Saigon” in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway since 1989, effectively paving the way for the world take note of the Filipino talent.

After decades of earning international recognition for recording and performing universal themes in both the universal and Filipino languages, Salonga returns to her very roots with an album that pays homage to traditional folk songs of the Philippine youth.

- Manila Times




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