Nana Ambin, The Music Icon

Minervina Singson with the Candon Centennial Choir and Congressman Eric Singson, her son.

Minervina Singson with the Candon Centennial Choir and Congressman Eric Singson, her son.

Her name is fondly called Nana Ambin… and her passion is music.

The melody of music is written in her arms and can be felt by the heart.  It was a dream when she was still a little child.  Now that she’s on her age, she was still dreaming for more.

When I had to chance to interview her with the ‘Intay Lagipen’ Concert, all I want to know is about the music and preparation that they’re going through.  It turns out to be an amazing story of a woman who love so much of the music.

The music that inspires the child is now the woman as icon of music in Candon today.

“I love it… very much!” She says. And I feel it why.

   It was an influence of her father Jose P. Dario Pacquing, who was so inclined in music during those years.  Those years when the music was so natural from musical instruments such as violin, ukulele, guitar, piano.  The soothing music blended in an orchestra or symphony that was played during early fiestas and other relevant occasions.

Her father so loved music that every musical instrument are displayed in their house.  And during those years, her father would teach her how to play guitar, violin and piano.

Tang Jose was her first teacher in music, and he does not just teach the child how to play the music, he molds it into her heart.

“I have never regretted it.” She says that her eyes was so expressive in those memories that she still has in her mind.


The Little Child

That child was in seventh grader, she has learned how to sing and play all those musical instruments that was displayed in their house.

It was an occasion—a town fiesta, when everybody, almost all people in the community came and witnessed the grand orchestra to play the extravagant songs.

It was an orchestra trained by Consuelo Gray Guirnalda and her beloved father.  And it was an unexpected chance and opportunity that she will never forget while she was still alive.

The little girl was told to be the overture or conductor of the majestic orchestra. She never refused, and she comes forward with all of her self-confidence.

It is a song to be played in this fiesta celebration.  She held her arms and the music was playing.  The instruments were humming.  And every heart was inspired by that overture by that little girl.

In that day, the girl sees what she will become when she grows up.  The picture of her future has shown to her.

It never failed.  She’s the music child… Minervina P. Singson. Now, the nanogenarian music icon of the Ilocandia.

Though she forgot the title of the song and also the date when this was happened and where it was held, the picture of that moment was saved in her memories.


The Nurturing Of The Musician

Music was the soul of life.  The dream was meant to be for her.  Destiny made it smooth for her to follow.

She was enrolled at UP Conservatory Of Music. Her teachers include Prof. Julio Anglita for piano and Pacita Nolasco Turalba for voice lesson.

The teachers made a woman and became the disciple of music.  A woman that brought inspiration to the communitye.

During her elementary studies, the teachers that had helped her includes Conchita Balbin and Lucia Pagaduan.  She will never forget these names, as they are the guidance for her destiny in music.

She studied as a scholar in her college days and had her major course in Piano.  Her minor is voice.  She was trained for high notes… coloratura. For men, it is the tenor.

She never forgot her hometown when she graduated. She wants to mold the talent of Candonians and other neighboring towns in their singing skills.  And so, she put up her school for music.

Many students that she made and show their path in the music world.  And many are those who played their piano that every teacher can be proud of her student.

Nana Ambin, with all her talent and skills inspires every child and behold the passion of music.

The Losing Note

But just like music, the fading note came to here.  A time when she feels like age is reckoning her skills and voice.

She was never getting younger, and her voice was becoming harsh that it was so different when she was still young and can hit the high notes.  Her finger was fluctuating due to some illness like arthritis.

She’s afraid, its time for her to end her journey in music.

And so, she does…

For almost eight years, she did nothing but to travel, United States and other countries.  Relaxation and vacation.  And she was getting away from her mission in life.

And then one day, the then parish priest of St. John de Sahagun parish church, Fr. Egay Brillantes, has told her to form a choir.  And thus, the Centennial Choir was formed.

It was composed of 23 young and adult singer from Candon.  Most of them are singer during the holy mass.

It was never hard to find its name.  It is 1998, and Candon is celebrating its 100 year anniversary of ‘Ikkis Ti Candon’ or Cry Of Candon.  The celebration depicts the bravery and heroism of revolutionary men lead by Don Isabelo Abaya to capture the seat of municipality from the arms of Spaniard. The Abaya’s, Gironella’s and Guirnalda’s gain the victory for a short lived independence of the people.

And it was called the Candon Centennial Choir.


The Late-Bloomer Composer

She has never tried to compose a melody.  And she never will.

“I had never taken up lessons in composing music, and so, I have never expected myself making songs these days.” She said.

When Father Brillantes told her that she will become one of the most promising composer of Candon, she herself didn’t believe it.

That was a decade back.

When the time she was asked to compose a song for Salmos, she was amazed of herself.

“The melody freely flowing in my mind. The flow of the note was so smooth that I was never hard up putting the right melody.”

The song was later on entitled ‘Symphony To Our Lady’. Her first composition.

She was so happy that she recorded the song in a blank tape and sent it to Fr. Egay. Father Egay have it copied and sent to some of his friends.

That was the beginning of Nana Ambin as composer.

Now, she already composed hundreds of song.  Most of which are holy songs for holy mass.  And of course, songs of patriotism such as ‘Candon’, ‘Intay Lagipen’ and many others.

She has recorded an album.  Performed in 7 concerts. Mostly, the proceeds of these concerts were given to the church.

Of her age, she still hit that piano every now and then.  Because, every song she makes, every rhythm she plays, every hymn she sings, it is her autobiography—the story of a woman who defines music in Candon who she love so much.

It is for her patriotism in Intay Lagipen and Candon.

It is for the Glory of God.###


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