MUSIC lover Fiona Patricia S. Escandor listens to a famous songstress as she bursts into songs about life and love.
She began the interview with a melodic “hello,” and I cannot imagine anyone else who can pull that off except her. A lover of song, a lover of life – this you would quickly realize once you meet her. She has a personality so bubbly and so contagious, that you cannot help but likewise move along to her tune.
Known for her lovely natural curls and even more for her rich, soulful voice, Anna Fegi is one of Cebu’s most talented and popular vocal goddesses. In her stint with Philippine showbiz back in the day, she had been a member of Smokey Mountain, produced two solo albums, and was a regular at noontime show ASAP. She has also starred in
musicals like Dream Girls, Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Anna shied away from the local limelight in 2006 when she pursued a new path on the international stage. She joined Hong Kong Disneyland’s production of The Lion King as ‘Nala’; after which she became a featured singer on board a Royal Caribbean cruise liner.
Six years have passed since she bid farewell, but now she’s back – worldlier and undoubtedly a better performer, yet somehow still the same cheery and down-to-earth Anna we knew back then.
“My last contract was very interesting,” she shared. “A lot of things happened that made me think it was a sign for me to go home.”
It all started with a fire. The ship’s engine had a malfunction, exploded, and resulted in a fire on board. It was close to being a “Titanic moment,” she described.
“We were trained to be calm in order to calm the guests, but at that moment, it was really hard not to be.”
Rescuers arrived on time and thankfully nobody was injured. Nevertheless, that event stamped a traumatizing mark on her. She said: “After the fire, I felt that it was really my second life.”
Anna loved her job on board the cruise ships, but the several incidents that transpired thereafter had prompted her that perhaps it was time for a change.
“It was amazing,” she said, looking back. “I was paid to do what I love to do, which is singing and performing. I got to meet a lot of people from different countries, being exposed to their cultures really broadened my mind. And of course, I got to travel and explore the world for free.”
Anna had visited over fifty countries in the course of her four contracts with the company. “I worked with three other singers and eight to ten dancers…Then we would do four shows every cruise and it’s like a musical, really.”
“I want to push other Filipino singers to join because it’s a great opportunity,” she added. A fellow Pinoy who had been with Anna on the cruise was Reuben Laurente, a member of singing group The Company.
Today, Anna is back in town and is full of excitement as she transitions to a new verse in her life: marriage.
Her fiancé Adam Brown was the drummer and musical director of their theater group on the ship. “We’re getting married this year,” Anna cheerily disclosed.
Anna is also planning to take part in the Philippine music industry once again. She said: “One thing I never had the chance to do when I was active back then was to sing my own songs. I love writing my own songs but I never had the chance to share it. At that time, I wasn’t confident to do it either, but now it’s different.”
“I also want to be part of the creative side of producing shows,” she continued, “from conceptualizing what to wear, how to present a number. I think it helped that I worked with Royal Caribbean, because we were trained like that. Mugawas jud ang artistry
(one’s artistry would really come out).”
Anna’s love for music began when she was seven years-old. Having come from a musically-
inclined family; her father was her first teacher. He would teach young Anna to belt out Barbara Streisand and Whitney Houston songs.
It was when she reached college that Anna’s love for musicals was ignited as she was given the opportunity to play ‘Maria’ in a school production of “The Sound of Music”.
Shortly after that, Anna left for Manila and the rest, as they say, is history.
As any artist ought to be, Anna is very dynamic when it comes to perfecting her craft.
She is constantly reinventing herself and is always thirsting for a new adventure.
“I don’t get contented so easily, especially with my craft,” she shared. “If I feel that I’m already comfortable, then I seek for more. I always want to grow as an artist.”