AN ENCOUNTER WITH GERPHIL FLORES AND HER TEACHER

  • “… Music also inspires faith, love, hope, happiness, and even spirituality. I hope to instill these to all people who listen to my music. I would also like to spread the appreciation of classical/crossover music to the youth.”

    by Rommel Gojo*
     

  • Summertime in the Philippines is extremely hot and humid. However, I believe that the news about Gerphil-Geraldine Flores’ winning 3rd place in Asia’s Got Talent on May 14, 2015 has been a refreshing break from the heat not only for UP Diliman but also for the whole nation.

  • Fame, as she is fondly called by her teachers, classmates, family and friends, is a candidate for the Bachelor of Music (BM) major in Voice (soprano) degree at the UP College of Music. She completed her third voice recital at the Minihall of the same college on May 29, two weeks after winning in the international talent competition. An outstanding student and consistent scholar under the tutelage of Assoc. Prof. Katherine “Kitchy” Molina (former Chair of the Voice, Music Theatre and Dance Department), she is expected to graduate from the BM Voice program in the first semester of academic year 2015-2016.

  • In this interview I had the privilege to separately ask Fame and Prof. Molina a few questions about the former’s background and experiences as a young artist.

    Rommel Gojo: What are your hobbies? What else do you love to do when you are not singing?

    Gerphil Flores: Aside from singing, I also love painting.

    RG: Where did you grow up? What kind of environment nurtured you?

    GF: I was born in Germany but we returned here in the Philippines at age four. I grew up in a happy environment. My family is a family of music lovers. My grandpa is a skillful guitarist and very much adept in kundiman and tagalog songs during his prime. My Mom loves opera and classical music. These are what possibly influenced my way of singing.

    RG: Who/what inspired you to pursue your dream of singing?

    GF: My biggest supporter and inspiration is my Mom. My natural talent in singing at a very early age was nurtured and developed because of her. In all my growing years, I will not be where I am now without the love and full support of my Mom.

    RG: How did your journey in Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) affect your life and you as a person?

    GF: The experience in AGT is mind boggling. I never expected the appreciation I received from the judges especially Mr. David Foster. It's as if I am in wonderland. The future looks so much brighter. There are also plenty of singing engagements and guestings.

    RG: What is your favorite music/song? Why?

    GF: One of my favorite songs is "Starry, starry night" by Don Mclean. As an artist, there will be bad times, but there will also be good times. You can't please everybody, but there will always be people who will believe in you and will be the source of your inspiration.

    RG: If you were to record your own songs, what main messages/themes should these have?

    GF: Inspirational songs that will give us hope and inspiration. I also like love songs. This is a universal theme that will forever touch peoples' lives.

    RG: What projects are you currently working on? Which project is going to be released first in the coming months?

    GF: Right now, mostly singing engagements. Guestings in television programs and radios. Magazine articles and hopefully, be able to record my first album within the year.

    RG: Where would you like to be 10 years from now?

    GF: Ten years from now, I hope to see myself enjoying the advocacy I have as a singer, to sing for a cause, travelling across the globe representing the Philippines and helping those who may need my help as a successful artist.

    RG: What is the ultimate purpose of being a singer/musician for you?

    GF: I believe, the ultimate goal of a musician is to be able to inspire people and touch their lives. To be able to put a smile on their faces is one of the greatest accomplishments you can do as a musician. Music also inspires faith, love, hope, happiness, and even spirituality. I hope to instill these to all people who listen to my music. I would also like to spread the appreciation of classical/crossover music to the youth.

  • In the succeeding interview, we will learn more about Fame from her voice teacher since freshman at the UP College of Music.

  • RG: How long have you known Fame and in what capacity?

  • Kitchy Molina: I have known her since 2010 when she entered the College of Music as a freshman. She enrolled under me upon the advice of Evelyn Mandac from whom she had been taking lessons from intermittently during the latter's trips to Manila…

  • RG: What were the subjects she took under you? How was she as a student?

  • KM: As a voice major, she was my student from the first level MuP (Music Performance) 100 all the way to her current level which would be MuP 190 this coming school year 2015-2016 and the corresponding recital courses thereof from MuP 195-198. She was also my student in MuPC (Music Performance Class) 181, Advanced Vocal Pedagogy. As a student, she is conscientious and hardworking, and easily gets along with her classmates.

    RG: What do you consider as Fame's outstanding talents or strengths?

    KM: She is musically intelligent and intuitively fuses the musical properties of a piece into her interpretation of a song. She has successfully embodied the McClosky Voice Technique which I have taught her for five years now. Mastery of this technique has enabled her to sing seemingly effortlessly. Her voice is very resonant despite of her petite Filipina frame. She is equally eloquent in expressing herself verbally.

    RG: What are your prayers/wishes for Fame?

    KM: I wish her all the success and worldwide fame because it will inspire all the singers of the Philippines to strive for excellence and not settle for mediocrity. As is, she has already opened the doors to additional opportunities for our young classical singers to perform and be recognized. But with all her upcoming successes, I pray that she will stay as humble and unaffected by her popularity and fame as she is now, and remain strong in her faith as this will be essential to guide her as she meets the challenges that a successful life has to offer.

    RG: Other things you would like to say about her?

    KM: The Iskolar Ng Bayan can take inspiration form Gerphil-Geraldine Flores, a working student who chose to develop the talent God gave her and use it to stand for what she believes in. She takes the privilege she had been given to study in UP very seriously and is an honor student inspite of the fact that she maintains an active performance career. Perhaps it is providential that her nickname is "Fame", but whatever benefits that have come her way as a result have not been without sheer diligence and dedication.



    * Rommel Gojo is currently the Chief Information Officer and University Research Associate at the UP College of Music.
     

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