“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” -Lou Holtz
Perth’s Filipino Australian community is truly becoming strong and diverse.
I personally find my social calendar becoming fuller with the occasional overlappings on some popular dates.
“For most of these occasions; be it a religious, a fundraising or a concert show, there is one name that almost and always comes up, a lovely lady who goes by the fitting name of – Faith RICO!”
Singing as an art form is powerful, not just for its beauty or the talent needed for its creation, but because it can cause emotion, make political statements, or challenge preconceived ideas, and ultimately to inspire.
Of course not all works of art are intended to be so thought-provoking, but singing is definitely one that touches the human soul and heart.
It can heal a bruised and broken spirit to rise above life’s trials, that’s an inspirational story that needs to be told, a story of Faith; Singer, Wife, and Mother.
Let me share a glimpse of this enchanting chanteuse through her own words during our one on one interview session.
Q.) Faith , who are your major influences, music and in life?
A.) ” My mother is my number one inspiration. She is the best example when it comes to God’s miracles. She was a blue baby due to her heart problem but she managed to bear children and migrated here to Australia. She also passed a lot of trials growing up and by raising two kids on her own, but God healed her and helped her all through out her life.
Next to mom, it has to be my cousin- Percy La Madrid. He inspires me not only as a musician and singer, but more so because he uses his talents in serving God. At the present time, for the same reasons, I also look up to Glenn Hipolito, our choir master, and Josh Abenoja, my partner in music. In pop artists, I have admired Regine Velazquez, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, while for Classical inspiration, Sarah Brightman tops my list.”
Q.) Can you give a little background on your past singing experiences?
A.) “From my mother’s side of the family. They are very artistic and talented; mostly singers, musicians or professional dancers. When I was about 5 years old, I watched 2 of my older cousins performed in their school play and as I watched them, I found myself memorizing their song and movements. From then on, I realised that this is what I love to do – music and singing. At 11 years old, my eldest cousin recruited me to be part of his church choir group and it was then that I discovered that I can actually sing.
I started singing professionally in Manila doing weddings, special events and music lounge when I was about 14 years old. A year later, I migrated to Perth, Western Australia. Mr. Rey Padernilla gave me a chance to join his production along with famous singers from Philippines such as Pilita Corrales, Yoyoy Villame, Nonoy Zuniga and others. It was also thru one of his shows that I was discovered by Nonoy Zuniga’s Manager and she invited me to go back to Philippines and do my singing career there and modelling which I did briefly.
It was a very good experience as I was able to do bigger events, shows and even TV guesting, but I have realized that my real home is Perth, and got married, start family with my beautiful husband and continue my life here in Australia. Sometimes life goes a different path from one’s plan, and I had to actually stop singing for about 2 years because of many trials I had in my personal life, one of which is the sudden passing of my mom due to a tragic car accident, that happened in 2011, but thank God I was given another chance and reason to share my God given talent again to others by performing at one of ANCOP’s Couples for Christ Global Projects the “Singing for the Poor Concert”. From there on, through God’s grace, music has kept me playing up to the present, to perform in various events, shows and even in local radio station as a solo artist or with my partner in music the “Yoyoy Villame of Perth” -Josh Abenoja and my brother, JohnVic La Madrid who is also a singer/rapper here in Perth.
So in total, I have been doing this for more or less 16 years now, on and off.”
Q.) Can you describe the satisfaction singing gives to you if any?
A.) “Actually, satisfaction is not the right word for me but ‘Healing’, because personally that is what I am experiencing each time I sing most especially at church or whenever I’m singing praise songs. For me there is nothing in this world, neither fame nor fortune can ever replace that. And I always give back all the glory to God for giving me this precious voice.”
Q.) What are your top 3 songs? And why?
A.) “First, ‘Give Thanks’ because I am thankful and grateful for all the endless miracles and blessings that God has been giving me and my family and also because it is one of the first songs I learned from my mother.
Second, “The Prayer” as my life has always been a prayer. And it reminds us people that we will always need God no matter who or where you are and what kind of life you may have.
Third but not the least, “The Power of your love” by Hillsong. It is such a powerful song of acceptance of God’s Grace and Love. Every time I sing that song I feel the very presence of God and His unconditional love. It gives me hope.”
Q.) Do you believe as a Singer/Performer that you can be a messenger? And how?
A.) ” Definitely, I believe that there is a great purpose why we are placed in this world and why we were created the way we are. For me, I was given this gift of voice so that it can serve as an instrument to touch the very soul of the people who needs love and healing. And I also believe that I have gone through the path I have been so that I can sing the way I sing now, with humility and with a grateful heart.
My husband, Reywin Rico is actually writing this book about my life that tells some of my struggles which will be entitled “Healing the Broken Wings”. In God’s will, it will be released by next year and hopefully it can also bring healing to others.”
Q.) Do they have any music to plug or any gigs lined up?
A.) “Yes, apart from Cabaret-Las Vegas in the West show on Nov 8, I will be performing and hosting on Nov 24 at the Super Laughter Tour Show at Vasto Club Balcatta where my brother JohnVic La Madrid will be one of the performers along with Jem and Ric Pagana who are young talented artists, then on December 8 I will be performing in a Tribute to Mother Mary Concert along with my choir group the San Lorenzo Ruiz Choir at the Notre Dame Parish in Cloverdale. And I believe that early next year, with God’s blessing, I will have a major concert here in Perth West Australia.”
Lastly, 7.) How would you like people to remember you , if you are a song?
A.) “I want people to remember me as an inspirational song that reminds people that there is a loving God, Secondly, that our lives has a purpose. And that the life we have now is not the end of everything but just a start of our eternal salvation with HIM.”
Indeed, all we need is Faith, and the healing power of music!