‘Music is my life’

ONCE A lawyer, always a lawyerand once a singer, always a singer.

By Aprylle Liabres (Contributor)

Published: Mon 14 Jul 2008, 9:15 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:10 PM

But they can never be both, right?

Well, Dot Gancayco, who used to be managed by Boy Abunda, still gets to do both. Billed as ‘The Singing Lawyer’ when she was still actively performing (she is a graduate of the UP College of Law) Dot now works in the House of Representatives as the Chief of Staff of Congressman Albert Garcia of Bataan. But that doesn’t mean she has forgotten about music or entertainment entirely. Music and singing are still close to her heart.

She writes a regular entertainment column for The Philippine STAR and is also the entertainment director for a lounge of one of Manila’s five-star hotels. As the entertainment director, she auditions talents who perform in the lounge.

Being a former singer - she was part of the Opera Band with Sushi Reyes and Zebedee Zuniga, younger brother of singer Nonoy Zuniga - Dot knows a thing or two about what makes a good performer.

For instance, when she first saw Bossa Nova diva Sitti Navarro during an audition, she told herself that the girl would go far. Sitti bagged a recording contract and released a successful album, Café Bossa.

Dot explains what clues her in on whether a singer has what it takes to make a mark in the business.

“First of all, and especially for singers, musicality is important.

After that comes the packaging.

They have to look classy. And lastly, the diction. Because no matter how well they sing, if the diction is bad, it detracts from the performance.”

We ask Dot if she never thought of resuming her own singing career. With a laugh, Dot reveals that she sings occasionally at corporate events, or affairs that involve lawyers, such as gatherings of the Women Lawyers’ Circle (WILOCI), or the Philippine Bar Association. She also sings often at affairs of the Rotary Club of Manila, because her husband is a Rotary Governor. “In those cases, I just can’t say no. It’s hard to give up singing because it is my passion,” she says.

Dot was with the Opera Band when she quit singing the first time. “We were supposed to go abroad (for a show), but when all the papers were ready, I found out I was pregnant, so I had to back out,” she reveals. Then when she had a second chance to make a career - Boy Abunda was her manager then - she again found out she was pregnant, this time with her daughter.

But Dot says she has no regrets.

She did have a good career for a number of years before she had to give it up. “It was really about making a choice between my family and my career,” she says.

“But that’s okay. As a singer, I’ve done everything that I wanted to do. I’ve been on television. I’ve travelled abroad. I’ve done concerts.

I sang at the Music Hall. I don’t consider it a loss because like I said, I did what I wanted to do.” If ever, it just might be her son Jon, 21, and a Communications Technology graduate of Ateneo, who does it in her place.

Jon is a Piolo Pascual look-alike who sings, plays the drums, and the guitar. So does that mean she really won’t consider staging her own comeback? Dot laughs. “Music will always be a part of me. No matter where I go or what I do, I will always be finding opportunities to sing and perform, or, like what I do now, write about music and singing in my column (for the Philippine STAR). Music is my life, but it’s time to move on.”


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