JUST A THOUGHT: ‘Music can change the world because it can change people.’ – Bono
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PILITA STILL IN HIGH GEAR: Typical of ladies of her generation, Pilita Corrales won’t reveal her age. Suffice to say, she’s not contemplating retirement any time soon.
“Give me another 10 years more as a performer,’’ she told media during a luncheon to promote her forthcoming major event, “An Evening with Pilita,” set Nov. 17 at The Theater at Solaire.
I asked her how she has managed to maintain her singing voice in good shape after all these years.
Pilita answered that since she gave up smoking years ago, her voice has reverted to her old, original key. “I loved to smoke, but when I gave it up, I realized I could sing better.”
On unlucky days, she merely copes with vertigo attacks, but that’s fine, she said.
Pilita’s concert is the third in a series of tributes to OPM icons Solaire Hotel and Casinos is mounting. She comes after Basil Valdez and Celeste Legaspi, whose shows were very well received.
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STAR IN AUSTRALIA: Carlo Orosa, director, said he has unearthed some very valuable, if also rare, footages of a young Pilita starring in her own TV show in Australia in the late ’50s. Through the help of an Australian archive, Orosa was able to source a video showing how Pilita, then cast as a magician’s assistant, figured in a shipwreck off Darwin in Australia.
The party was stranded for nine days until they were rescued by the Australian coast guard.
Pilita, then still a teenager, was recruited to join a travelling magic show that covered Asia and Australia. When the Australians found out that she could sing, they offered her a TV show that aired thrice a week, “Melbourne Tonight.” She was a star in Australia, Orosa stated, noting that when Pilita caught the flu, she made news on Aussie media.
Pilita had to cut short her stint in Australia as her mother couldn’t stand the cold of winter. It was in Sydney where a newspaper proclaimed her as Asia’s Queen of Song.
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TV STAR IN MANILA: Returning to Manila, she resumed her career and rose to become the reigning queen of music. It was then that she launched her weekly, late night musical show, “Your Evening With Pilita” on ABS-CBN.
The Solaire concert is something like a reprise of her old program, first aired on ABS-CBN channel 3 in the ’60s. She’ll be singing her life’s theme songs, her hits, but of course, some Spanish numbers that she’s known for.
There are plans to do a live recording of her Solaire concert.
Guesting are members of her family, children Jackie Lou and Ramon Christopher, grandchild Janine Gutierrez. She has also enlisted the participation of Wing Duo, a performing duet composed of Nikki Ross and Angie de la Cruz, who provided the comic relief of her TV show then.
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IF I NEVER SING ANOTHER SONG: If her life were a song, Pilita Corrales said it would have the peaks and valleys of a power ballad.
In the end, one of her favorite songs would have to be Matt Monro’s “If I Never Sing Another Song.” It could also be “Smile.”
Then again, there’s also “Let Me Try Again.” Not one song can sum up Ms. Corrales’ colourful life, she said.
The durable songstress added her life is one great blessing from God that she has to thank Him first and foremost.
“A Million Thanks To You” has been Pilita’s signature song starting from the time it became very popular in the 1960s.
Married thrice (and not seven times, contrary to rumours, she protested), she’s living life to the fullest and doesn’t show regrets over decisions she has made in the past and what came her way after making them. She firmly stated her third husband, Carlos, is the last man in her life.
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A MILLION THANKS: At peace with her world, meaning her family, a still flourishing career in both singing and acting, and a circle of loyal friends, Pilita said she can’t ask for more.
“A Million Thanks To You” is an affirmation of her gratefulness to persons and entities that have contributed immensely to her life and career. In a career spanning five decades, Pilita has recorded about 1,000 songs in more than 100 albums.
Sometime back, she was presented an honorary Ph.D by the University of the Visayas, which thrilled her no end. Now, we can start calling her Dr. Pilita Corrales.
Pilita’s most recent album, “Duets,” features her renditions of OPM hits in tandem with their original singers.
The album line-up includes Martin Nievera (“Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin”), Basil Valdez (“Kapantay Ay Langit”), Sharon Cuneta (“Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko”), Regine Velasquez (“You Are My Song”), etc.