Lani wows Las Casas audience
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – “It’s something I want (to do). People will hear a variety of sounds, different colors and different textures,” said Lani Misalucha of her versatile voice, which can do pop, movie themes and then shift smoothly to classical. “So, there are different things I can offer the audience and everyone can relate to.”

As expected, Lani did just that in her recent intimate performance titled Harana (with Mel Villena as musical director and the AMP band) at the heritage resort by the sea Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. She brought her powerful vocals to tell every story that comes with every song. In spite of many years of singing in shows here and abroad, and recording in studios, Lani’s voice remains clear, without any signs of wear and tear, so to speak.

“Salamat sa Diyos (at) kabuhayan ko ito (Thanks to God because this is my bread and butter),” said Lani, who will have a New York show set later this month and a Manila concert in December with guest artist Arnel Pineda. “Hindi na ako maghahantay na di ko na kaya(ng kumanta). Honestly, I wanted to retire even before. It was one of the reasons why we left for the US, mag-ibang buhay na, and to live a simple life.”

But, as Lani put it “Music keeps on chasing me. I would go to this direction but it would follow me. As what others would say, an artist will always be an artist. Siguro ganun ang nangyayari sa akin. My husband told me, ‘It is the talent that God has given you. Maybe it’s not yet time for you to retire.’”

This is the reason why the Asia’s Nightingale is still visible in the performing scene, wowing the young and the young at heart with her renditions of cover and original songs. The Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar-produced dinner show in cooperation with Fullhouse Asia Production Studios saw Lani belting out Sam Smith’s Stay With Me and Idina Menzel’s Let It Go from the Disney animation Frozen, and the jazzy Katy de la Cruz songs.

She also paid tribute to Filipino composers Ryan Cayabyab, George Canseco and Willy Cruz by performing their signature songs and did a soulful interpretation of Freddie Aguilar’s Anak. Also an enjoyable part was Lani’s medley of movie theme songs like Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Where Do I Begin (Love Story), The Way We Were (also the title of the Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand film) and My Heart Will Go On (Titanic). Iconic scenes from the movies were projected on a large screen making the segment more nostalgic. Lani also did ditties like One Night Only from Dreamgirls. The second part had Lani singing Don’t Rain On My Parade (from Funny Girl) and classical pieces like Ave Maria. The audience was delighted to hear Lani singing her signature Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin and Manila for an encore performance.

The latest showcase of Lani was also mounted for a good cause, telling everyone the importance of preserving Philippine heritage and culture through the work done by architect Jose “Gerry” Acuzar, owner of the resort in Bagac, Bataan.

“In the US, there is Restoration America,” said Lani. “There are hundred-year-old houses, especially in the Midwest. Mga lumang bahay na napapabayaan na. I’m glad we have a similar effort here, restoring the houses of Jose Rizal. Good thing is, there’s a concerned group, wanting to restore these houses.” The singer added that she was amazed at how the restoration is done, “They will tear it (the house) down and number the parts. And they piece them together.”

Asked why classical music has a special spot in Lani’s heart, she answered, “It is where I’m most comfortable with singing. I think it’s the proper way of singing. Your voice is not strained, nanduon yung tamang placement ng boses mo. I can’t say it’s really my favorite but I love it because it was my orientation at a young age… We would hear it at home and sing it. My dad would play it on the piano. That’s why my heart has become close to classical songs and kundiman. And I’m thinking of doing a kundiman show in the future.”

If that kundiman show will happen anytime soon, Las Casas Filipinas de Alcuzar, particularly its Hotel de Oriente, replica of the first hotel in Manila, is the perfect venue.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with