In 2005, I was doing an album for Emmanuel Music. It was an all-female inspirational album aptly titled “Inspirasyon”. I was the songwriter of all the seven songs to be recorded by seven female Gospel artists. Most of the singers are my friends; two I have met and got acquainted with for some time; except for one that I have met only once personally in my life (it was just a very short meeting.) And that is Joni Villanueva – the daughter of Bishop (Bro.) Eddie Villanueva. I bridged my intention of requesting her to record one song in the music album through Arnel De Pano, who was my musical arranger as he knows her more personally than me. I was so glad when I finally learned that she agreed to do it. So I sent her a copy of the song for her to practice.
At the day of the recording, she came on time and we talked for a while first and rehearsed a bit before she went in the recording booth. I told her that it was a wish come true (a long overdue wish I could say) for her to sing a song I wrote. I went on by saying that I could still remember the first time I saw her in 1996 when JIL was celebrating their anniversary at the Araneta Coliseum. She sang and when everything was finished in that event, I approached her and said that someday I would like to write a song for her to sing.
The recording took only some time and when it was done, she invited us to eat in a restaurant near the recording studio. To my surprise it was her treat. And when I was about to give to her the honorarium for singing the song, she refused to accept it and that she was just happy doing the song. I couldn’t say anything more except thanked her so much. She was really a blessing and truly inspiring!
When the album was released, her song became one of the favorite cuts. There were requests on the radio for her song at 702 DZAS. I even received an email from a listener asking for a copy of the words of the song because he liked the song and they want to sing it in their church.
I haven’t stopped writing songs yet and I hope one of the songs that I will compose in the future will be another Joni Villanueva song. (Maybe in my next music production or in her next album.)
A Joni Villanueva Song – “Kay Buti Mo Sa Amin” (You’re So Good To Us)
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