“The worst news one can get is when you hear you have cancer.”
This is one of two jarring things that Zion Aquino said in an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment. What was initially a get-a-quote-out-of-him-quickly thing about his recently released single became an hour-long talk about Zion’s battle with this dreaded disease, and how music became his ray of light.
The 40-year-old singer shared he began his music career in the 90s when Teri Sambajon of U-Turn told him he’s got a “different tone.” It was with U-Turn that he had his first stage experience, jamming with Richard Poon. From there, the singer took to the singing contest route to cut his teeth. Zion got into “Star In A Million” twice, then on he went to “Pinoy Dream Academy,” “The Voice,” and others. The going was good.
Then in 2012, Ziona was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
As the world crashed around him, his predicament forced him to focus on the important things, including his love for music. “I didn’t want to waste time,” said he, whose resources were getting drained fast. “Besides, I knew the more I stayed in bed, the more I’d get sick.”
From there, Zion felt God started “paving the way” for him.
Yeng Constantino helped him with a fundraiser. Then he met Trina Belamide at the Elements songwriting camp which led to him recording and releasing his song “Ever My Only Love” in 2015. His album “Grateful Soul,” released the following year, got Awit Awards nominations in the Best New Male, Best Ballad, and Best R&B Recording categories. Zion was then signed to Star Music and taken in by Cornerstone Entertainment.
This year, Zion released a new song. Another album is on the way in 2020 and it sees him collaborating with the likes of KZ Tandingan and Bayang Barrios.
And while he continues the fight against cancer, there’s no hint of despair in his voice when he says, “I’m positive about it.”
“There is a bigger purpose now. Nakita ko that I was given a story of hope. And I want to share that. I can serve as an inspiration to others. This is my mission. And I don’t want to stop this thing that I started.”