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Almira: Hello po! We would like to greet all the listeners of CyberPinoyRadio.net
DJ Brad: Kindly introduce yourselves for our listeners
Almira: Hi, I'm the eldest of the group, my name is Almira
DJ Brad: That was Almira Gollayan-Cercado, who's next?
Irene: Hi! I'm Irene and the second eldest.
DJ Brad: Hello Ms. Irene, and who's the next one?
Mylene: Good evening! I'm Mylene and I'm t he third one of the group
DJ Brad: There, and who is the youngest of the four?
Celina: Hello to everyone, I'm Celina and I'm the bunso (youngest)
Here we have Almira, Irene, Mylene and Celina. That's from eldest to youngest of the sisters,
welcome to CyberPinoy Radio and my program is called Night Light with DJ Brad.
Thank you so much for being here on the show, I know you're not in the Philippines right now..
Where are you gals?
Irene: Yes, we're a bit far from the Philippines right now
DJ Brad: *laughs* Really far, but because of technology, we get closer and also because of CyberPinoy Radio.
So where are you gals right now? Do tell our listeners.
Irene: Right now, we're here in LA, California
DJ Brad: Los Angeles, not Pampanga (joking) but that's California.
(translator note: there's a place called Angeles, Pampanga in the Philippines)
Okay, Welcome again to our program Night Light.
This is a little hard for me since you are the most number I have interviewed at the same time.
The last girl band I interviewed was the West End Mamas, based here in London.
They have received an award recently - Best New Group here in the Annual Aliw Awards. We have interviewed
them and I am very proud and honored to have you here now. There's been a lot of listeners waiting for you.
Almira: Thank you and it's an honor rin po (also)
Irene: Thank you po!
DJ Brad: Thank you so much - so before we get started, I'll just give you a small introduction for our listeners.
Actually, the Gollayan sisters recently won in the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) this year (2013).
This group is excellent and they are really the ones who brought honor for the Philippines.
Winning there is really something. Recently, they also won in the noontime show Showtime:
Bida Kapamilya, was that right?
Irene: Yes, but that was last year po.
DJ Brad: Oh, last year. So they were the grand champions. Okay, our guest today are really fantastic.
Irene: thank you Lord
DJ Brad: For our listeners, that's just a little background on what we know now. Here are the questions:
As a group, were you originally called Gollayan sisters? Could you tell us how your group came to be?
Irene: to those who don’t know yet, we were formerly known as the Cercado sisters.
We just changed our name last year to Gollayan sisters when we joined the Showtime program.
We started our group as Cercado sisters back in 2002 and we got discovered in 2005 in Fam Jam,
a family singing contest at QTV 11 and we became 2nd runner up there.
The producer there was the one who brought us here in the US to represent the Philippines for the WCOPA
- we were at the Junior Division then, at around 2006.
Almira: Cercado is our Father's last name, while Gollayan is our mother's maiden surname.
DJ Brad: I just want to ask, since you already told me you were previously the Cercados,
why did you change your name?
Irene: Actually po, a lot of people have been asking that, but we don't really have a major reason
as to why we changed our names.
Maybe (to explain this is) when we joined Showtime last year, the show needed talented singers and dancers,
and we were able to form a group with members from our mother side, the Gollayan family.
With us were our grandmother and two uncles. That's when we started (going as the Gollayan sisters).
Almira: We won that and then we got selected to be backup singers at Sarah G Live (a Saturday TV show)
for Ms. Sarah Geronimo, and they called us the Gollayan Sisters, and we got known for that.
DJ Brad: Oh, so that's what happened. So to the fans of Cercado sisters, maybe you have fans
Almira: they might get confused
DJ Brad: Maybe you have fans looking for Cercado sisters, waiting for you to make a comeback,
not knowing you're now known as the Gollayan sisters.
Almira: Opo, it's funny someone told us -you gals look like the Cercado sisters
Almira: and we just said - thank you po
DJ Brad: it's good they didn't ask if you were 8 (not 4 sisters). No one asks that?
Anyway, you joined a competition before FamJam, or was it after?
You entered the WCOPA? Was that right? When was that?
Irene: We won in 2006 as Junior Grand Champion, vocal group of the world.
DJ Brad: Oh, so since you were young, you're really used to getting awards -
you've already been receiving a lot awards
Sisters: We're just very blessed.
DJ Brad: Your group is really different. Actually, I'm also part of a choir, you can call it a pretend-choir,
but I find it very hard to sing with the soprano, with the alto and tenor, since I'm the bass
Sister: the harmonies are different
DJ Brad: When we sing, it's hard for me to keep up at first. Of course I'm not as talented as your group.
What are your techniques in singing, or is it inborn?
I mean, is it a gift or talent you have or is it more of a skill developed through time?
Almira: Maybe we could say that this is God's gift to us. We didn't readily start as a group.
I joined as a solo act in singing, while my other sisters joined as dancing acts in town fiestas (local festival).
When I compete, these three (sisters) were always the ones who support me.
(When we got older) those things I learned in voice lessons - I received a scholarship in voice lessons
by Singing Voice Training,
I shared what I learned with my sisters until I found out they knew how to sing too.
Our aunt, Sally Nasario, discovered our talents and suggested we become a group, so we did.
DJ Brad: there was really someone who noticed your talent. Not only that, you really wouldn't be as good as you are right
now if that talent wasn't there in the beginning. You were born with it.
Sisters: Thank you po, we inherited it from our forefathers
DJ Brad: I think everyone will agree, especially those who have watched your shows.
Your performances are very powerful. If you're at the show, you really would be WOWed by it.
I've seen some of your performances through YouTube, and also some of your live performances.
Actually, Ms. Almira, I saw you before at a praise song festival
Almira: Oh, I think that's ASOP (?)
DJ Brad: I watched you through internet live streaming. I don't know if you were with your sisters or it's just you.
I heard you sing 'With You' do you still remember that?
Sisters: Opo, we were just her supporters back then
Almira: I was very blessed they trusted me to interpret (cover) that song for them.
We also joined as Cercados and we sang 'You are my Light'
DJ Brad: That was in ASOP TV? Oh, okay. I'd have to search for that. I don't think I have a copy.
Congratulations Ms Almira. I know that song won the grand prize
DJ Brad: it was the song of the year
Almira: Thank you po
DJ Brad: You were the Interpreter of the Year (She sang the best interpretation/Cover).
Amazing! Congratulations. Now, about your TV appearances, especially when you won
when you were young, did you sing Paraiso? Was that right?
Sister: Yes po.
DJ Brad: at WCOPA, right?
Irene: Opo, that was one (song) that we won a gold medal from in WCOPA, 2006
DJ Brad: so after that achievement, when you were a bit featured in TV, since you were getting known by people more.
What changes did it bring to your lives? I think before, you didn't perform (as much) in public.
Everyone usually starts of simple, so after winning that (WCOPA) what changed?
lmira: There were big changes (because) of that. It was the first time we flew into the US.
It was the first time we traveled and it was in the US and we even won. We were with other delegates,
known singers in the Philippines - Jonalyn Viray and Brennan (?)
We were just starting out then and we really didn't expect, at our age then, that we would win
that we would win as one of the top awards at WCOPA.
The changes that happened were: we had gigs in Malacanan (Presidential Palace in the Philippines);
our group got known and we got invited to Monaco, France to perform at a benefit concert
for Iraq war victims.
We gained a lot of experiences, we got interviewed in CH7
DJ Brad: You gained a lot of contacts, a lot of bookings, a lot of people got to know you.
Your being singers, did you inherit that or, well,
I mean is there anyone in your family who is a singer or in the field of music?
Mylene: Our mom's dad, our grandfathers (inaudible) that's where we inherited (our talents)
Irene: a lot of people are saying that maybe we inherited (our singing) from our parents,
but really it's from our forefathers (on the mother side). They were musicians in the province of Isabela.
Celina: they were called Banda Gollayan in our province
DJ Brad: Banda Gollayan, oh.
Sisters: But now, unfortunately we didn't meet them.
DJ Brad: You didn't meet your grandfather..
DJ Brad: so they didn't see your successes now.
Oh, that's a bit sad to hear since you would've wanted to share your successes in life to
someone whom you inherited your talent from, but you can't.
Well, the important thing is what is here now, all those around you.
Almira: we believe their spirit is with us because… well, I wouldn't say it's weird, but sometimes when we sing,
people would say it's as if they're hearing more than our voices - we're just four but they hear more than that.
Sisters: so we feel, somehow, they're (the forefathers) are with us
DJ Brad: Is he the one behind you? No, I'm just kidding.
DJ Brad: I just remembered it's morning there and bright.
with Talentadong Pinoy, I watched your performances there too.
During those times that you were competing, there was one time that you stopped. What happened then?
Almira: Oh, that was unexpected. It became one of the challenges
Irene: big challenge -
Almira: we didn’t expect to be stopped. That was just a conflict between our former manager,
but it got clarified later on. If you watched it, we were able to get back.
DJ Brad: you got back, and who was it who won Talentadong Pinoy?
Irene: It was a dance act po, a ballroom dancing act
DJ Brad: yeah, since that was a mixed talent competition. Any kind of act is allowed to join.
Okay, now I have personal questions.
Maybe each one of you could have a turn in answering. Let's start with Celina? The one in my right.
Celina, who's your influence in music or the singer you really like?
hese are personal questions right now, but maybe later you can answer as a group. Okay, so Ms. Celina?
Celina: Actually, I really like Beyoncé. Ultimate Idol.
*sisters talking at the same time*
Mylene: We're the same!
Irene: That would be my answer too!
Almira: All of us really like Beyoncé po *laughter*
Celina: I like Taylor Swift too
Sisters: and Selena Gomez.
DJ Brad: How about older artists? Maybe like Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion..
Celina: Me, I like Mariah Carey. Want a sample? Wait, Umm Ate (big sister) Almira..?
DJ Brad: Later we'll hear your sample (song) This is good since you're all in the same Skype account.
Last time the West End Mamas were in different accounts, three, so they weren't able to sing together.
But now, oh wow, our listeners are very lucky.
They will hear only here at Nightlight, the harmony we can't copy (Did I just do rhymes?)
Okay, our next one, I'll guess your name, Mylene?
DJ Brad: I'm good! Okay, Ms. Mylene?
Mylene: Me? I like Beyoncé too.
DJ Brad: I thought she was Mylene
Sisters: Gaya-gaya! (You're a copycat!) Who else?
Mylene: Whitney Houston po.
DJ Brad: Whitney Houston, in your group, are you the one belting out notes most of the time?
Mylene: That's Ate Almira
Almira: That's me :)
Mylene: I'm just a catcher. (she meant to say, she also belts out high notes, but not as often). I'm the soul singer.
DJ Brad: How about Almira?
DJ Brad: There, Almira just sneezed. How about Ms. Almira?
Almira: Maybe Mariah, Celine Dion, now I like Arianna Grande, 'cos she's hip.
DJ Brad: How about OPM (Original Pilipino Music) artists? Who do you gals idolize?
Almira: Me, (I like) Ms. Sarah Geronimo. She's really the one I look up to - and Charice.
DJ Brad: Sarah..? Oh, Sarah! Now, let's go to Ms. Irene.
Irene: They snatched it (her answer). I really like Beyoncé.
Mylene: Cher Lloyd
Irene: I really like Adele. As an alto, I appreciate Adele.
Even if you don't belt out high notes, you will feel her (emotions) when she sings.
Also the quality of her voice
DJ Brad: It's like she interprets through her songs, different emotions of people. That's amazing.
One time I watched (a video) where one of you were playing a guitar. Was that you, Ms. Irene?
Mylene: That was me *laughs* It was my mom who taught me how to play the guitar.
Almira: Actually, you haven't asked but, it's really Mylene who arranges the songs we sing
Irene: Yes, with our vocal harmony
Mylene: I just do it by ear
DJ Brad: so she's the musically inclined (arranger) of your group.
Who acts as the head of the group? Maybe the eldest?
Sisters: (Opo) yes, that's right
Almira: the most beautiful po (Laughs)
Sisters: *Talking at the same time* No, that's not it. (It's because) you're the eldest.
Almira: I'm the eldest by age but people confuse me to be the youngest because I'm the shortest.
Irene: there weren't any vitamins then around our (Irene and Almira) time.
*laughter* we just ate 'am' (When boiling rice, Am is taken from the almost cooked rice, it's somewhat soupy in consistency)
DJ Brad: Just 'am'? You don't eat rice?
DJ Brad: who is more on the decorations
Sisters: decorations? Costumes?
DJ Brad: I mean, with the designs, costumes, props, or do you have someone who does that for you?
Irene: Our mother. Mama does our costumes, our designer. We just help out if we have some ideas.
DJ Brad: Oh, so there's people who help you out too Aside from your mom, what again happened to your dad?
Almira: They're in the Philippines. Si Ate po, we have another big sister (eldest/older than Almira) since we are five girls and one boy (youngest) in the family.
*talking at the same time*
DJ Brad: Does your dad join in your productions/shows?
Irene: Hindi po. He doesn’t, he's just there to support us.
DJ Brad: He gives you moral support. He's a very lucky father.
I hear your story before, but can you tell us about your story, the history of the Cercado Sisters?
Irene: Before we started as a group, our dad sells junk and our mom does different odd jobs
- Tupperware dealer, Makeup sales person - She has done everything so her children could study.
We went to Tuguegarao (a place in Cagayan Valley in the Philippines) there was someone who adopted us,
so we could study high school.
That year was when we joined FamJam (tv talent show).
Before going to Manila, we sang in a *** fight stadium so we could have travel fare money.
That's when we started. That's our story.
DJ Brad: you pursued your passion so you could help out your family. That's a great objective.
Most of the time, people just want to get famous. They are what we call 'One time millionaires'
They get rich and then they disappear.
They get rich and spend everything one time, they don't help anybody else but themselves,
until they get addicted to drugs etc.
There's a lot who become famous and then disappear. However, you girls have a different motive.
That's what's different with you guys. Like with OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), like me,
why I'm here at the UK is because I want to support my family, particularly my parents, my siblings.
This sacrifice I'm doing is for them. Just like you, through music, that's what you gals use to support them.
Sisters: Yes, that's true.
Almira: We saw the hardships our parents went through just so we could study. Our dad sells junk.
Every time we see him, we feel we're the one suffering. We had a discussed this within our family,
that if we get the opportunity to work, like the blessing we have now, we were able to finish studying
because of our talent in singing.
We're able to survive. Our singing is really our bread and butter.
We are really blessed by the Lord to have talents like ours and parents who are very supportive in what we do
DJ Brad: before we continue our interview, we'll just be taking a quick break and we would start receiving callers later.
Thank you Gollayan sisters for this night that I was waiting for and also our listeners.
For your fans who are also waiting for you. Thank you so much.
e'll be back after some reminders here at Night Light with DJ Brad only here at cyberpinoy radio
- the show with the heart of a Pinoy, Pure Pinoy.