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Just the right notes

They may not be belters but Jessa Zaragoza and Richard Poon have their ways in capturing the hearts of Pinoy music lovers.



When it comes to music, many Filipinos usually favor those who hit the high notes frequently than those who opt to stay in mid-range or go low while singing.

But then come the likes of Moira dela Torre and KZ Tandingan who are both just “cool with it” when they sing yet still turn out hits. Times have changed?

When Bulletin Entertainment pointed this out to Jessa Zaragosa and Richard Poon, the seasoned singers say that if it has then so be it. Actually, she does not birit as often as other divas and he is a crooner, so there.

JESSA ZARAGOZA and Richard Poon

JESSA ZARAGOZA and Richard Poon

The actress-singer explained impressive singing is not just about hitting high notes.

“The important thing is your heart. How you express the song, how you convey the message,” she explained. “It is not just about the technicalities and you don’t need to be perfect with that. Singing is an expression.”

Richard doesn’t deny he gets “jealous” every time he sings with known belters Erik Santos and Jed Madela.

“Hearing them makes me depressed,” he joked. “But then again, I am glad my genre of music (big band, standards)is timeless.”

Back to back

Jessa and Richard head the concert “Just Right” on June 8 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater.

As expected, the two will sing a lot of classic songs in the show, and then a twist here and there, e.g. Richard taking on JK Labajo’s “Buwan.”

How is it working with each other?

Richard said he discovered that Jessa is a healthy eater.

“Nagkasundo kami dahil sa food,” he laughed.

He also praised her singing prowess, describing her as “unique.”

“She has distinct placement of voice. I guess, that’s why a lot of people artrying to imitate the way she sings,” he said.

Jessa, for her part, deems him “legit.”

“Mahusay talaga, period,” she noted.

Their biggest challenge in doing the concert is establishing chemistry that shows on stage and in the performance.

“Of course, if it’s your first time to collaborate on stage with this person like we do, you get nervous.
Thankfully, we have mastered the art of give and take so everything has been going on smoothly,” she said.

Joining them as special guest performers that night are Jayda Avanzado and Jeremy.

‘Tour baby’

Speaking of Jayda, she is also making a name for herself in the industry which doesn’t surprise the mom.

According to Jessa, her daughter showed interest in performing at a young age. She recalled that Jayda asked them to organize a concert for her 9th birthday instead of the usual party.

“When she told me that, I was really amazed with her guts. I mean, she’s young but she already knew what she likes to do in life,” Jessa said. “So I told her to ask her father’s approval and when she went to Dingdong (Avanzado), she gave him paper and said, ‘This is my repertoire.’”

JAYDA AVANZADO with  mom Jessa (Instagram)

mom Jessa (Instagram)

“I think it also helped she was exposed to the music scene early on. Whenshe was a kid, we brought her to every concert we did,” Jessa recalled, calling Jayda a “tour baby” because of that.

Like many celebrities, Jayda is no stranger to online bashing even if she’s just 15 years old. Over the past months, she has been subjected to cyber bullying, even receiving death threats.

“We took actions on the matter and I’m glad na wala na kaming nababasang comments about that,” Jessa said.
If anything, the actress-singer shared she always advises her daughter to stay strong amid the hate.

“I told her: “Kung sampung (tao) ang may gusto sayo, sampung (tao) rin ang may ayaw sayo,’” was how she put it.
When it comes to Jayda’s musicality, Jessa advises her to stay authentic and to always have respect for the craft. Jayda, according to Jessa, trains under a vocal coach from New York.

“If her heart is really into music, we will support her 100 percent. And I can see she loves performing. We’re here to help her, and I believe God will always guide our daughter,” she said.

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