Music man

By: Limuel Celebria

IN THE years I’ve known farmer-entrepreneur Rommel Ynion, I’ve never heard him sing nor hum a single note. And there were days when we were together from morning till night. He doesn’t even listen to radio. I thought there’s just not a single musical bone in his immense body.

Until lately. Now, the guy is singing his heart out. And it is an eclectic mix of songs – selections from Barry Manilow, Martin Nievera, John Legend’s “All of Me” and, lately, Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”.

Well, he’s not as perfect as Sheeran’s song goes. There’s more of Legend’s “perfect imperfections”. As I commented in one of his posts, nobody will probably pay you to sing… but you have what it takes (the voice and the guts to do it, too)! Plus, your children love your singing, that makes you a total success. And a star among your appreciative kin.

Why the sudden mutation into a music man?

Apparently, Rommel indeed had a fondness for singing. Music was in his veins. From his mother’s side, the Salva side of the family. In fact, one of his uncles – Fidel – was a Tawag ng Tanghalan champion while another, Serafin, was said to be the “Pavarotti of Iloilo.”

Rommel used to sing karaoke, until one night when his son Kyle, then 6 years old, asked him to stop singing. In Kyle’s young mind, karaoke singing was bad as it is usually accompanied by uncontrolled drinking and rowdiness. The good father that he is, Rommel obeyed his son, limiting his music to the confines of the bathroom.

It remained that way until recently, when Rommel took his kids to a European vacation. During a break in their tour, Kirsten suddenly asked his daddy to sing. He complied. She recorded it and posted it on Facebook where it gained some traction.

Seeing how his father loved to sing, Kyle (now a responsible young man at 16) rued how he banished music from his father’s life, lifted the wayward sentence and gifted his father with a karaoke player. It hasn’t found any rest.

As in anything he does, Rommel took to karaoke singing with unrestrained passion. He sings soon after he wakes up. He sings before going to sleep. One would surmise the only thing he caresses these days is his microphone. Yes, the one that attached to the karaoke machine.

Rommel is natural tenor. But, as they say, a diamond in the rough. He could carry a note (indi libagon). And while I am not a professional critic, I can say that the rough edges to his voices can be polished with practice. The vocal cord is also a muscle, as in shooting basketballs or driving golf balls, repetition is a must so muscle memory can take over. He needs to learn breathing techniques, too. But I guess his voice coach can teach him that.

For now, tigik and all, Rommel Ynion sings for himself, his kids, and his family and friends. In this galaxy, he is the undisputed star.

But soon… move over, Michael Buble?