A tenor is home to sing

IT'S almost a yearly thing for Abdul Candao. The Vienna-based tenor comes home to his native soil and makes sure he shares his music to his fellow Pinoys. It’s one of his “panata,” a promise he made to himself—to serenade the locals whenever he can.

Power, substance & dressing up for the role. The tenor belting tunes he has sang countless times—the opera, the classics & the Tagalog & Visayan tunes, changing his “costumes” accordingly.

The tenor changed into a Barong Tagalog for the second part of the show when he sang Filipino tunes.

Lucky are those who know of this man and the craft he worked hard to hone for they get first dibs on this tenor’s coming show in town. Luckier are those get the chance to hear him sing on stage for they don’t have to chase Abdul in his performances in Vienna or Italy, Brazil or Belgium, Germany, Canada or the USA, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland. Abdul comes to us in Davao.

The artist signing his music CD for the music lovers.

I am one of those who never miss an opportunity to catch his performance when he finds his way home to Mindanao. Yes, Abdul Candao is from Cotabato and studied in Davao. Just as promised, he held a show in his hometown, and here in Davao.

Selfie of the night with the Tenor, backstage before the show.

As expected, Abdul gave a very engaging show with a well-thought repertoire. He started with the opera classics like Leoncavallo’s “Mattinata”, de Cutis’ “Non to scordar di me”, Lerhar’s “Wogalied” from Der Zarewitsch and “DeinistmeinganzesHerz” from “Das Land des Laechelins,” Ruebstein’s “If you are but a dream,” and Chopin’s “I’m always chasing rainbows” and “No other love”.

The second part of the show included more recognized tunes that revealed what a good entertainer Abdul is on stage. The songs he chose elicited smiles from the audience because of the repertoire’s familiarity, most especially when he belted the Tagalog songs.

Assisting artist, Maryann Maronilla Baclao, with Noel Dacquioag.

His repertoire for the second half of his performance included Berstein’s “Maria” from “West Side Story,” Wildhorn’s “This is the moment” from “Jekyll and Hyde” and Rogers-Hammerstein’s “You’ll never walk alone” from Carousel. The tagalog songs which made everyone swoon were all from Cuenco’s roster- “Kahit Magtiis,” “Bato sa buhangin,” the humor-injected “Balikbayan,” which drew laughter from the audience, and the his last song he dedicated to the most important person in his life, his mother, “Gaano kita ka mahal.”

Doing his family proud. Abdul Candao with his mother, Jainab, flanked by his brothers Tata & Zak.

Of course, the audience asked for more and Abdul graciously gave in to the request, saying, “You guess what the title is,” in Tagalog.

As soon as the first few bars of the music were played, sighs filled the room. Abdul sang the Visayan tunes, “Matud Nila” and “Usahay” to everyone’s delight. The artists, tenor Abdul Candao and pianist Maryanne Baclao, deserved no less than a standing ovation.

Bravo Abdul! Thank you for sharing your voice, your music, and see you again soon!


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Seen at the show:

Melanie Dacanay & Zak Candao

Sister Maria Fe Gerodias RVM, one of Abdul’s instructors in ICC.

Music lovers Melissa Suarez & Chit Suarez

Eileen Lizada & Charito Lizada

Mathijs & Amylou Aarts

Robbie & Carlo Aguilar

Music appreciation, Benjie & Fides Lizada start their kids young.