Eva’s bid-A A +A
By Mel Libre
Saturday, August 17, 2013
EVA DE LOS SANTOS is on national television, and deservingly so.
The Boholano/Cebuana music artist should have long ago been in the company of Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Joey Albert had she not opted to be in Cebu to take care of her children and support her husband David in their business ventures.
As one who has followed the development of popular music in Cebu, I first took note of Eva when she was one of the vocalists of Zee Band, the main music attraction in Magellan Hotel. It was during the period when interest in folk music waned, and show bands lured audiences to music bars. Zee Band was akin to Circus Band, as it produced some of the finest solo artists of the Queen City.
Next was “Eva Gulle (as she was known then) and the Crosswind.” It was, I think, the only show band that carried the name of its lead singer and rightly so.
But what differentiated Eva from the rest was that she composed songs, and her original material, “My Everything” can be considered as the first independently produced song that became a bonafide hit in Cebu as it was aired regularly on dyBU-FM and sister stations, before Y101 brought about New Cebu Music.
Her next venture was to independently produce an album. She completed one (I played some of its cuts in one of my radio programs), but it was never released. Years later, she released “Eva Santos,” a technically superior and well-crafted CD that included one of the best versions of “Usahay” with a rap in English.
Local radio stations, however, didn’t push any of the songs in the album, though David and Eva took these to the internet through MP3.com, the precursor to iTunes. In a sense, Eva is among the pioneers in indie music and promoting songs in the internet.
Eva’s competitive spirit took her to the World Song Music Festival in Europe where she got runner-up honors with the song “Just Like You and Me,” an original tune that showcased her vocal calisthenics.
She caught the attention of Manila producers, but the commitment to care for her family was more important. (It paid off with children who have succeeded in their fields of interest.)
But what I admire most of Eva is her humility. When she was at the top of her game, I asked her if she could lend her voice to the all-star recording of the theme song of the 1995 Cebu Palarong Pambansa, and without hesitation she joined Sakdap, Elmer Cabahug, Junjun Caro and me in “We are Here.”
She even agreed to record a duet with me in “When Lovers Become Friends,” an original composition that was arranged by Elvis Somosot. The last project I asked her was for the Philippine National Red Cross where we recorded “We are Volunteers” that featured among others, her daughter Monique and Cattski.
Eva is one of the treasures of Cebu music, and we must give her all the support she needs to win the national television competition, The Voice.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 17, 2013.