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Saturday, January 18, 2014


MAAN Chua is the envy of many aspiring singers in town. Not that she’s a big star out there in the mainstream, but she is carving her own set of following and strings of awards in her hometown.

Starting off as the youngest member of the all-women band Mebuyan, Maan has come a long way since playing the lead role of the Davao musical “Salima”, a musical about a child living in a conflict area. That was around ten years ago.

Now, Maan is not only holding regular gigs all over town, she is also self-producing her albums (she just launched her second, Sinag, last month after launching “Happy Thoughts” earlier last year, and is now producing her third).

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She has a string of compositions to record, too, as she regularly churns out songs, happy songs.

No amount of discouragement by those who know the business could take her away from her happy thoughts.

She admitted to having been told once that there is a better chance of making it big in the airwaves if she writes about heartbreaks. She doesn’t.

“For me, I prefer to write about positive things, walang hindi, walang wala, walang negative,” she said during the Arttalk, a monthly arts and culture forum held every first Tuesday at the Park Inn by Radisson.

And so she writes about home and children and hope, even making a song for her friend’s project “Andap ng Liwanag” for the typhoon Pablo-devastated Barangay Andap in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, which has a happy beat. It’s all about bringing hope, after all.

There was a period of time when she longed to try her luck in the Manila scene. She did for two weeks and returned home, content in the laidback music scene of Davao.

As it is, having to tend to two rambunctious boys (Kubing, 7, and Kunta, 5), composing songs is already a challenge. But she manages, because that’s what she loves doing best, to sing her heart out in the words she herself weaves.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 19, 2014.

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