A VERY young Ferdinand Aguilar, then 23, was all alone in Olongapo, eking out a living as a folksinger. Staring at a pile – nay – a mountain of clothes, he started hankering for home. He missed his retired police chief of a father, his mother Salud, and younger siblings.
He imagined what it was like to be safely cocooned in his mother’s womb, being born into this world, his growing up years, and his rebellious adolescent years. With tears streaming down his cheeks, the inconsolable Freddie took pen and paper, and started writing, “Nang isilang ka sa mundong ito/ laking tuwa ng magulang mo… at ang kamay nila ang iyong ilaw.”
“I couldn’t stop crying,” Freddie Aguilar recalls, of this episode in his life when he was so homesick he was able to pen the world-renowed Anak, which TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire reports to have been “recorded in 27 languages with 100 cover versions, released in 53 countries, with 30 million copies sold.”
Feddie’s youngest daughter Isabela or Sasha — now also 23 – just like when Freddie wrote Anak, was in grade 3 when Freddie was invited by her school St. Joseph’s College to sing in a graduation.
Freddie got a standing ovation for his rendition of Ang Bayan Ko. Sasha couldn’t fathom why people fawned over her father, approaching and following him as if he was some famous person, “Pa-iyak-iyak pa!”
It was only then that it dawned on her what a popular figure her father was; what “a big deal it was” to be Freddie Aguilar’s daughter.
Freddie lightens up, and his voice takes on a gentler tone when he speaks to Sasha, as if he’s still talking to a little girl – his little girl.
Corny but funny
“When I was 5 or 6, he would bring me to Broadway Centrum every Sunday to buy me a toy. After dinner, we’d go to Balete Drive to look for ghosts, but the moment we get there, he’d scare us and we would say, “Uwi na tayo!”
Of her father, Sasha says, “He’s really funny in a corny way – sobrang sweet – pero patago; di halata.”
Sasha, who just like eldest sister Shiaianne didn’t pursue music, is now a fashion designer – designing clothes that would probably look good on Gwen Stefani or Beyonce.
“He’s very supportive. He sits us all down and asks us kung ano ang gusto namin sa buhay,” Sasha says.
Maegan was first
There’s no questions about it. As far as Freddie is concerned, if his kids would like to pursue music, they have to be very good.
He declares, “Kailangan, mamumukod-tangi,” no lackluster, half-hearted, half-baked attempts at performing.
The first to pursue a career in music was his second child and daughter Maegan, who initially wanted to play drums, but eventually got into singing, and composing as well. She also plays the guitar.
Freddie could see that his bunso, Jeriko, who just turned 20, as the most passionate and determined of all. “Persistent at seryosong-seryoso,” Freddie says of Jeriko.
“I’m such a guitar geek,” the very young and cheerful Jeriko says. “I play the guitar everyday for hours and hours,” oblivious of time.
Actually, both Jeriko and Jonan, 24, took violin lessons when they were young, and Freddie prematurely remarked, “At last, may anak na akong classical.”
Jonan the rapper
However, the interest of the boys waned, and Jonan became increasingly involved and got deep into basketball. Later on, he became fond of tattoos.
One day, Freddie realized that his middle child Jonan (who looks like a younger Freddie), had chosen to do rap, hip hop.
If there is one thing Freddie is proud of, it is that instead of singing songs about hate and lust, Jonan opts to sing of themes such as love of family and country – somewhat a modern-day Freddie – or a possible heir to the throne of Francis Magalona.
After having five children, Freddie has another child who was born recently: Ka Freddie’s Malate.
He previously had Ka Freddie’s in Tagaytay, then Antipolo, until the birth of this latest branch.
Freddie performs on Fridays, daughter Maegan on Saturdays, and son Jeriko and Jonan on Tuesdays. Jonan performs only on 3rd Tuesdays of the month though.
On July 3, Friday, Ka Freddie’s Malate will have its grand opening.
For P499, guests will be served a full-course dinner of soup, choice of chicken or fish, desert and iced tea and will get to watch a concert featuring Freddie performing alongside his children Maegan, Jonan and Jeriko.
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
A VERY young Ferdinand Aguilar, then 23, was all alone in Olongapo, eking out a living as a folksinger. Staring at a pile – nay – a mountain of...