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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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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