Forty songs by Sharon Cuneta

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Forty songs by Sharon Cuneta
While I enjoy watching Sharon in the movies, I have just sat through another screening of Jack & Jill, there is actually only one Sharon I periodically binge on.

Megastar Sharon Cuneta is celebrating 40 eventful and very successful years in the local showbiz industry. She is a star of films and television, an actress and recording artist, a popular host and product endorser. And a lot of other things besides, like businesswoman, great cook, occasional songwriter, etc. etc. Truth to tell, it is so easy to binge on Sharon because she can be found anywhere including in a series of billboards inside the Makati underpass.

While I enjoy watching Sharon in the movies, I have just sat through another screening of Jack & Jill, there is actually only one Sharon I periodically binge on. That is Sharon, the singer. She is no potential The Voice contestant but she is an extraordinarily gifted one, a gorgeous alto who can involve listeners with her emotions. To this day, there are still times when I am stopped on my tracks by beautiful singing. A recent experience was the Christmas song Pasko Na Sinta Ko. I asked myself “Who is that?” and went off to find out. It was Sharon Cuneta.

Now as she looks back on the past four decades, I venture to come up with a list of 40 of her hit songs. I know, not everybody will agree with my choices and some titles are not necessarily the best or the biggest sellers. But see them as the milestone recordings, like her first hit, Mr. DJ, of course, or the rare duet with Martin Nievera, Once In A Lifetime or Sharon in classical mode, singing Phantom of the Opera with Jun Polistico. And these are also the Sharon songs that I love best.

Tawag Ng Pag-ibig, Sharon’s first-ever recording when she was only 12-years old; Mr. DJ, the very first hit, the phenomenal selling composition by Rey Valera, who will be part of her career for many years; Langis At Tubig, her first grown-up song, a movie theme composed by George Canseco, the second songwriter who will figure prominently in Sharon’s singing career; Hagkan, Dear Heart, the theme from Sharon’s first film composed by Canseco, High School, Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, P.S. I Love You, Come What May, a duet with Gabby Concepcion, Mahawi Man Ang Ulap, Sharon’s first recording of a song by Willy Cruz, the composer who will also play a big role in her later hits.

I-swing Mo Ako, a rare dance original; This Time I’ll Be Sweeter, a duet with visiting American singer Angela Bofill; To Love Again, composed by Odette Quesada for the movie of the same title; Init Sa Magdamag, a duet with Nonoy Zuñiga, for a movie that starred Lorna Tolentino; Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin, the Sharon-Gabby reunion movie; Pangarap Na Bituin, Bituing Walang Ningning, Sana’y Wala Ng Wakas, themes from the classic Sharon trilogy; Sana’y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan; All I Ask Of You from the musical Phantom of the Opera, a duet with the legendary Jun Polistico.

Kahit Konting Pagtingin, the title song from Sharon’s first team-up with the Movie King Fernando Poe Jr.; Now That You’re Gone, Sharon’s first composition; How Am I Gonna Tell You, another one of Sharon’s originals co-written with her friend Ana Soza; Maging Sino Ka Man, a Valera song for her first team-up with Robin Padilla; Kung Kailangan Mo Ako, Pangako, also by Valera; AM Ka, FM Ako, a duet with Valera; Himala Ng Pag-ibig with Gary Valenciano and Eddie Mesa; Sa Tuwing Naaalala Ka, a duet with Gary; Ikaw, the first recorded version of the popular wedding song by Louie Ocampo and Canseco.

The Promise, which I think is Sharon’s favorite wedding song, Di Na Natuto; You’re My Everything, a duet with the soul legend Billy Preston, also known as the Fifth Beatle; Both Sides Now, Starlight, a duet with her daughter KC Concepcion; Where’s The Good In Goodbye, featuring pianist Jim Brickman; In Your Eyes, a duet with Cantopop star Andy Lau with Brickman on the piano; Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin; Once In A Lifetime, a duet with Martin Nievera; Kumusta Ka, which she recorded over 20 years ago but a new version became a hit on social media after it was used in a MacDonald’s commercial starring Sharon and Gabby.

Maybe many of these will make it to her repertoire in Sharon, My 40 Years, her celebration concert which will be held at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, Sept. 28. Heard that it will be a grand event with no less than her three favorite musical directors Mel Villena, Louie Ocampo and Ryan Cayabyab. Some guests, too. All very nice. But still I wonder, do you think she will sing Kumusta Ka?


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