“Ngumiti, Tumawa, Magsaya, Kumanta” (by Cynthia Garcia at mga Kabataan)
Those were the days when real talents in the music scene existed and bloomed into fullness. Not products of so-called “media hypes” strategies, but they came because they were really good and great. If only time could bring it back- when the T.V. noontime show Student Canteen ran the TV ratings in its mightiest, and music was free, easy-to-touch and totally liberating.
That was the best batch of female singers ever to conquer the Philippine Entertainment scene. There many of them at time- that started in the late 1970’s, going onward into mid-1980’s until early 1990’s. But after that, they were gone.
Philippine Music Industry became “selfish”. They didn’t want songs played everywhere, they suddenly required “properties of intellectualism”, banning music in public establishments, asking for very high royalty fees, and even stopping the singing artists to promote their songs for free. The result: The Philippine Music Industry suffered. And the great female singers of the ’80’s ventured into somewhere else and sought for greener pastures somewhere.
One of those great female singers during the early 1980’s is Ms. Cynthia Garcia. She’s still remembered today as that young and smart lady who could carry on with high pitches and could make “birit” (or sing in its highest tune) with her songs into high degrees and notes. She’s nineteen years old only when she was chosen to sing the song Ngumiti, Tumawa, Sumaya, Kumanta, one of the most-loved songs and a finalist at the very first Metro Manila Popular Music Festival in 1978. Her singing career totally jump started after that. She became so visible on T.V., concert acts and the likes. She also became a regular guest then in the daily noontime show Student Canteen at channel 7.
Cynthia’s contemporaries were also all so good (but for this blogger, she’s the best among them)- like Mimi Baylon, Cristy Mendoza, Janet Basco, Maluh Barry, Vernie Gonzales, Ali Sotto, Nanette Inventor among others. Among this crop, only three of them remained standing- Cynthia, Nanette Inventor and Ms. Maluh Barry. Both of them are still doing gigs and concerts until now. With Cynthia, she formed her own band named The Retrock band, wherein she’s one of the vocalists.
But Cynthia’s singing career here in the Philippines became somewhat ‘unstable’ because she flies in and out of the country.
“Every six months, I get offers to sing in Tokyo, Japan”, Cynthia told a blogger in an afternoon merienda session of Pizza Pies and Lasagna at the Kitchen Corner restaurant located along Rose Avenue in Las Pinas City. “Offers in other countries like Japan were better at mas maganda (more beautiful) kasi. Kaya pabalik-balik na lang ako. Though if I will be given a chance, I will really prefer to sing here in our country. If only offers are good.”
In 2001 to 2004, she managed to stay for three years here in our own country when she became a regular singer at the Calesa Bar of Hyatt Hotel. And right now, she and her band The Retrock regularly does gigs and concert acts at Madison Square casino, Resorts World and Casino Filipino. She just came back to the Philippines two years ago.
What about a total comeback in Philippine showbiz? A blogger asked Cynthia.
“I would really love to”, she answered at once. “I would love to do both singing and acting. Before, I also guested in TV drama shows. I acted a few times with Vilma Santos in her drama show then Ang Daigdig Ni Rosa Vilma. And I want to do acting again this time.”
Cynthia is looking so ageless. Her small, round face still looks like a “’30’s”-something woman. Well in fact, she’s now frank to admit that she’s already a Golden Lady.
One of Cynthia’s mentors is the radio icon and singer Ms. Tessie Lagman.
“She wrote the lyrics of the songs that I recorded before, like Luha, which was composed by Vehnee Saturno”, Cynthia said again. “My biggest hit songs were Pangako and Sigaw Ng Puso. You can hear them at Youtube.”
Definitely, Cynthia’s greatness as a singer will shine forevermore. A real talent never fades, it just becomes more colorful as years go by.
Welcome back, Cynthia!
(words by robert manuguid silverio)