Kuh not slowing down
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2015 - 10:00am

She still looks so youthful, it’s hard to believe that Kuh Ledesma is marking her 35th year — and counting — in the music business.

In fact, she’s marking this milestone with a concert, The KUHL Event on Oct. 16, 8 p.m. at the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) Center Main Auditorium at Tiendesitas along C5 in Pasig, and it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on her journey.

There is no doubt that as far as achievements go, Kuh has indeed achieved a lot. She was, and is, a trendsetter who set standards and raised the bar for many of the artists who are out there making music today. Her concept concerts (she’s done more than a thousand shows, all over the world), her groundbreaking recordings, her memorable performances on the concert stage, in film and on television, her numerous awards and her consistent drive for excellence — are all hallmarks of someone who has definitely made her mark in the business.

She was the first “diva” in local music called the “Pop Diva.” And yet, after all this time, Kuh continues to push herself hard. She hasn’t stopped. Ever-present in her is that desire to continue making excellent music. Her latest idea is to come up with an album, a compilation of songs that have Ikaw in the title. That’s just one of the many projects she wants to do. “I am hard on myself. I think I have become even harder on myself as I got older,” laughs Kuh. “They are always saying that I am a perfectionist. It’s not that. I am not being unreasonable. I just want everybody to do their best. Lalo na ngayon, kasi I realized in everything I do, I must give glory to the Lord. It is not about proving anything; it’s about wanting to be better and better.”

Her faith journey is a big part of who Kuh is and who she has become in the 35-plus years she has been in the business. Kuh became a Bible-believing Christian some 15 years ago, and right now, at this point in her life and career, it’s what helps her to stay relevant to her audience. She is still in the game because she knows she has a purpose, which is to use her celebrity status to reach more people. “I can only say that it is really the hand of God that sustains me. It is really God’s blessing in my life, especially now, nakikita Niya na nagagamit Niya ako to give Him glory. Ang prayer ko is for Him to sustain me in my popularity, para when I speak about Christ, papakinggan pa rin nila ako.”

Kuh says that when she became a Christian, she thought that her career would slow down. But now, she’s even busier than before. She even got into painting and opened an art gallery. She also had an exhibit. “Akala ko when I became a Christian, slow down na ang buhay ko, hindi pala! I developed a ministry, people would call me for counseling, and I have three classes.”

Her forthcoming concert will be another occasion for her to look back, tell her story and share more of herself with her audience.

One of Kuh’s guests is Fernando Carillo, who’s best known as the leading man of Mexican telenovela Rosalinda

“I will be singing all of my hits and some of my favorite pop songs from other people, in their original arrangements. Our director Roxanne Lapus wants it that way. Homer Flores is the musical director,” says Kuh. 

Singing alongside her will be some of the artists she has mentored through the years, like Regine Velasquez, Gary Valenciano, also Jaya and good friends like Tirso Cruz III. She’ll also be bringing in some younger artists that include, aside from her own daughter Isabella, Migo of StarStruck (“He’s like my anak. He’s from Australia and he stays with us”) and the Perkins Twins Jesse and Christian. “Gusto ko sila isali kasi they are good guys. Our country needs good modeis for the young ones. 

Oh, and guess who else will be joining her? None other than Fernando Carillo, who played Fernando Jose in Rosalinda. “Yes, he sings, accompanied by a guitar. Ang gwapo pa rin niya hanggang ngayon!” exclaims Kuh. “I met him about two months ago. Nosebleed lang ako because he was teaching me Spanish and ako naman puro “Que?” 

It’s been 35-plus years, and we can expect Kuh to not slow down. “Masipag ako, hindi ako pwedeng walang trabaho, also because I want to use the concerts that I do to talk about life in general. I feel I can inspire people to change for a better life.”

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