Ladies and Gentlemen, Ma. Asela Labaro.
No matter how much singing you’ve done, when you hear Asela sing you realize how much crap your voice is all along. Asela is the youngest of four Labaro siblings: Pangga, Jing-Jing and Ninoy. They are considered as Iloilo’s local version of the Von Trappe Family. With musical parents, the siblings all finished college under their musical scholarship at Colegio de San Agustin Conservatory of Music — it’s the kind that’s for the books. They are all former members of the most sought-after choral group in Iloilo City, The Troubadors. Asela ventured on to the bigger (and tougher) world of music in Manila when she became part of the UST Singers. Since the late 90s, Asela has traveled the world as one of the UST Singers’ lead vocalists. The choral group is a renowned world champion for several years in some of the most prestigious competitions in Europe. Asela has brought the Ilonggo pride in a global scale with her active involvement with the UST Singers. Asela has also a number of recordings with solos like Ikaw and All I Ask of You.
At present, Asela is based in Indonesia. Her busy schedule at work and singing keep her on the go, but her kindness in accommodating my little Q&A is truly a delight for myiloilo.net. Here it is:
1. What’s your earliest memory of singing in public?
I was in grade 2 when I joined PRISAA. That time when I joined, it felt like a joke (laughs). Wala ako nagdaug (I didn’t win).
2. Who do you consider your first voice teacher and how much did that teacher inspire/encourage you?
My ever supportive sister, Jing. She honed my talent in singing. I never knew I was singing in a wrong placement and technique until she forced me to open my mouth wide. Since then I discovered the best that I can be! I always watch her perform musicals, sarzuelas and competitions. She’s one helluva performer… and a dangerous critic.
3. What is your most memorable performance?
For me, every performance is very memorable.
4. Which performance scared you the most?
When I joined the NAMCYA. I was sick then, coughing at the backstage before my performance. But Thank God I made it!
5. What are your best performances?
Madame Butterfly and Juanita Cruz. I played both lead roles. Best solo performances also with UST Singers, USA Troubadours, Sta Theresita Parish Choir and Sto. Nino Choir and most of all, with my most loved KORO.