GREATEST VOICE OF THE CENTURY, SYLVIA LA TORRE TOPS LIST
Quezon City, July 30, 2001 (STAR by Baby A. Gil) The snail mail brought in this letter from Mr. Eduardo H. de la Cruz containing a list of his own choices as the greatest Filipino voices of the century. The criteria he used is of course, his personal taste and recollections of songs he listened to in his lifetime. Because of this, the names he mentions may not agree with my choices or with your own lists.
But that is what lists like these are all about. It is a way to air your opinion or estimation of anything . Think of anything, name it and somebody somewhere has come up with a "Best of" list. Singers, songs, films, books, dogs, places, airlines, even food, like the best pizza, the best burger, the best siopao, etc., etc., So here it is, our first Greatest Filipino Voices of the Century List. Here goes:
Speaking of the best voices of the century, why not a Filipino version of the same? Certainly our very own native talents were, and are, by no means, inferior to their foreign counterparts, talentwise. With the passing of the last century, isn’t it an opportune time to honor them too, as we honor foreign talents? For a start, if you’ll let me, I hereby submit the said list of who, I honestly believe have contributed the most to Philippine music.
My top choice as the best among her peers is no other than the original jukebox queen, original diva and the greatest Filipina soprano we ever had, Miss Sylvia la Torre. Sylvia was unanimously acclaimed as the Reyna ng Kundiman during the ’50s and ’60s for her soulful interpretation of such immortal classics as, Bituing Marikit, Nasaan Ka Irog, Lawiswis Kawayan, Madaling -Araw, etc.
And what’s more, she also reigned as the undisputed queen of novelty songs which were made into movies and became hits at the box office. Remember Waray-waray, Ikaw Kasi, Galawgaw, Alembong, Batanguena, etc. Now in her late ’60s Sylvia like the ageless Perry Como, still retains the beauty of her soprano voice which captivated millions of fans.
Now, here’s the complete list of the century’s best apart from Sylvia: Ruben Tagalog, Mabuhay Singers, Conching Rosal, Bobby Gonzales, Cely Bautista, Everlita Rivera, Cenon Lagman, Ric Manrique, Jr., Lovers’ Trio, Tres Rosas, Diomedes Maturan, Inang Laya, Celeste Legaspi, Apo Hiking Society, Coritha, Irma Potenciano, Boy Mondragon, Asin, Didith Reyes.
Pilita Corrales, Basil Valdez, Reycard Duet, Big 3 Sullivan, Fred Panopio, Nora Hermosa, Cecil Lloyd, Rita Rivera, Betty Rivera, Carmen Camacho, Raye Lucero, Rachelle Gerodias, Leo Valdez, Gary Bautista, Lilet, Lea Salonga, Eva Eugenio, Claire, Imelda Papin, Yolanda Guevarra.
Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Joey Albert, Regine Velasquez, Nora Aunor, Joe Alvarez, Bert Dominic, Florence Aguilar, Freddie Aguilar, Rico Puno,Jovita Fuentes, Atang de la Rama, Kathy de la Cruz, Rosita de la Vega, Larry Miranda, Merci Molina, Eddie Peregrina, Yoyoy Villame, Max Surban, Pauline Sevilla.
Romeo Miranda, Eva Vivar, Chit Peñalosa, Rufina Esperancilla, Yolanda, Susan Cuevas, Susan Fuentes, Bing Rodrigo, Vernie Gonzales, Raymond Lauchengco, Cris Villonco, Yolly Samson, Cinderella, Hotdog, Mary Ann Guinto, Marissa, Anthony Castelo, Maricris Bermont, Ric Segreto, Efren Montes.
Armando Ramos, Dulce, Norma Lapuz, Walter Navarro, Sampaguita, Mike Hanopol, Don David, Lilia Reyes, Norma Balagtas, Danilo Santos, Berlin Meneses, Pepe Pimentel, Romeo San Jose, Geraldine, VST&Co., Buddy Castillo, Tiongco Brothers, Wency Cornejo, Gary Valenciano, Janet Basco.
Richard Reynoso, Carmen Soriano, Marco Sison, Victor Wood, Rey Valera, Hajji Alejandro, Nonoy Zuñiga,Jun Polistico, Lirio Vital, Florante, Jose Mari Chan, Louie Levant, Randy Madrid, Herber Bartolome.
Thank you for writing Mr. Dela Cruz and for sending in your list. The process must have been difficult which was why you had to come up with 114 names instead of the usual 100. And I am sure you will soon be getting the flak from your friends because some of their favorites did not make your list.
As for Ms. Sylvia la Torre, she is truly one of our greatest singers and I agree with you that she deserves to be on the list. I believe though that her novelty recordings like Galawgaw and Alembong were recorded first as themes from movies where leading ladies lip-synced to Sylvia’s voice and became hits after the films were released. That these songs remain undisputed classics many years later is a testimony to the greatness of Sylvia and the composer who created them.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2001 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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