MUSIC has always been a part of my life. If I can, I really find time to listen to soothing melodies everyday, either after waking up or while traveling home from work, to help me feel relax. And though I wasn’t literally gifted with a golden voice, still, I consider music as a part of me.

A few of my favorite tunes are pop, reggae and bossa nova. But among the three, I consider bossa nova as my top choice. Listening to it would really help me feel comfortable and relax. And among the country’s top singers, Sitti definitely shines with her choice of music that surely sooths one’s mind – simply bossa nova.

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Last Saturday, I had a rare chance of watching Sitti perform live at the Grand Caprice Restaurant in Limketkai Center in a pre-Valentine concert dubbed “Sitti: In Love with Bossa.”

Listening to her belting her bossa nova masterpieces in the concert made me feel envious of this Zamboanga lass’ talent, who literally wowed the audience with her performance.

Before the first set of the concert, Sitti told the audience to just feel relax, sing with her if they know the song or sleep if they want. But the two-hour concert never made me feel lethargic, contrary to what she said during a press conference held hours before the concert that bossa nova is one kind of music that would send the listeners into a sleepy mood owing to its soft melody.

Sitti Katrina Baiddin Navarro, known as the country’s queen of bossa nova, certainly brought magic to the night as she belted out songs such as “Kung Di Rin Lang Ikaw,” “Para Sa Akin,” “Tattooed on My Mind,” “Is This Love” from her album “Contagious” and even “Bato sa Buhangin,” a song earlier requested by an audience. She later admitted it was her first time to sing the song.

Sitti, who is of Samal and Tausug descent from Zamboanga, started singing at age 16. In 2006, she released her first studio album “Café Bossa” which was a certified double platinum having sold more than 60,000 copies. The album was re-released in 2007 with a bonus VCD.

In 2007, Sitti released another album titled “My Bossa Nova,” which was a certified platinum with more than 30,000 copies sold. It was re-released in 2008 with a bonus VCD entitled “My Bossa Nova Live!”

Last year, she released another studio album titled “Contagious”.

In 2006, Sitti released a live album titled “Sitti Live!” which was a certified gold having sold more than 15,000 copies while in 2007, she released a remix album titled “Sitti in the Mix - The Dense Modesto Remixes” released by Warner Music Group and Club Myx.

In 2008, she made her first Christmas album titled “Ngayong Pasko” which was a certified gold with more than 15,000 copies sold.

Sitti said she is now working on another album to be released soon.

“Sitti: In Love with Bossa” concert was produced by Foursome Event Productions which aimed to benefit the ongoing Operation Peace Course (OP Kors!) of the peace and development non-government organization Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. (BMFI).

OP Kors! is a specialized training-workshop specifically designed for the officials and personnel of the uniformed services such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in handling and managing conflict.

Conceptualized by BMFI executive director and Anak Mindanao (Amin) Representative Ariel C. Hernandez and Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) commander Lieutenant General Raymundo Ferrer, OP Kors! specifically trains participants to become peace-warriors or peace-builders.

Sitti said it was her first time to do a concert that would benefit the peace efforts of certain organizations like BMFI.

“I pray that promoting peace would not end tonight and that Mindanao would be a safe place,” Sitti said.

The concert was supported by Dunkin Donuts, Udangs, Paras Sea Cat, Amin Party-list, Country Village Hotel and Grand Caprice Restaurant.