FREEZE| Butterfly Center for Artist on Helping THE PINOY MUSICIAN

FILIPINO singers and musicians almost always get a lot of respect abroad for their excellent skills and professionalism. The late jazz pianist Bobby “the wild man” Enriquez from Negros earned accolades from the global jazz community for his unpredictable playing style. Arnel Pineda replaced Steve Perry as lead vocalist of the rock group Journey. Lea Salonga and Charice are famous all over the modern world.

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BON and Jenn are now in China

There are many talented music artists in the Philippines but only a few make a decent living out of it. In Davao City alone, there are performers who could equal – if not surpass – Bobby, Arnel, Lea, and Charice. But please don’t ask how much they earn at local bars and restaurants unless you want a crying session. The last time I checked, talent fees have not changed since more than ten years ago.

They do get decent pay when performing in private events but it does not happen every day. The more adventurous ones apply in luxury cruise ships and venues abroad for better pay. Some opt to stay here because they have other sources of income or would not dare pay the social cost of being away from their loved ones; others are simply in it for the love of music.

Partners Malu Geonzon Mariano and Jonathan Remulta are great performers who have worked here and abroad for quite some time now. The duo recently took an office space at the 2nd floor of the Veranda along Ilustre Street, in front of Felcris Superstore, to train and deploy musicians to China. Unlike other agencies, Malu and Jonathan do not take a cut from the earnings of the musicians. In fact, they even help the musicians overcome the initial financial challenges of the trip abroad because they understand what their fellow musicians go through.

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THE LATEST batch of local musicians sent by Butterfly Center to Lao Tzu’s land

On the other hand, there are certain criteria to meet that may not please all musicians. The age range for female singers and musicians is between 21 and 30 years old. The Chinese employers also prefer slim ladies. Tall ones also get a better chance to get hired over the vertically challenged. For males, the age must be between 21 and 40 years old.

Malu and Jonathan can be reached at the Butterfly Center for Artists at Ilustre or through 0917 628 4688. They may have become busy bees because of their business but still perform for their love of music every Friday night at their favorite night spot, Casa de Amigos at Cayetano Bangoy (formerly Ponciano Reyes) Street.

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