Movie fans who know veteran Filipino actor and musical scorer Jaime Fabregas are most likely aware he has talented progenies—movie and theater actress Lara Fabregas, comic book creator Paolo Fabregas, and actor and composer Minco Fabregas.
But not many people are aware that television’s Gen. Delfin Borja has another son—the youngest of seven children—who’s a talented musician. The proud father recently posted a YouTube link on his Facebook page that led to said son singing and playing the guitar. One can almost feel the father’s pride in the three-word caption: “Emilio, my son!!”
In the video, Fabregas’ handsome 23-year-old is performing a song with lyrics that go:
dahil alam kong
bakit ba paulit-ulit lang?
wala namang kahulugan.
may silbi pa ba?
naghahanap ng kahulugan,
kahit na kunwari lang.
The said performance is intended for the upcoming GANAP 2021, a program by Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing, which will be livestreamed on the UP Likhaan Facebook page on June 19. Unfortunately, the YouTube video has been taken down so as not to preempt the show.
But before Emilio could change the YouTube settings to private, many had already seen it, and the comments section on his father’s Facebook post is now overflowing with words of admiration for the budding talent, and his father of course. As one commenter says, “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
The title of Emilio’s Tagalog song is “Naghahanap ng Kahulugan/Nasa’yo ang Kahulugan” and he wrote it himself, “It’s about my life being in stasis; not having any motivation or willingness to even get out of bed, and not seeing any point in doing things that I used to love, like writing and composing music.”
He explains further in his written response to our questions. “Hinahanap ko yung dahilan kung bakit ko ‘to ginagawa, at yung dahilan kung bakit kailangan ko palagi ng dahilan para gumawa ng anuman,” he says thoughtfully. “Sa dulo ng kanta mayroong realization na yung kahulugan ng mga pinaggagawa ko at ng buhay ko mismo makikita ko sa pag-experience ng buhay at hindi mula sa pagtatanong at pagtataka lamang.”
The second song in the performance talks about a long-distance relationship, which Emilio titled “Until I’m With You.” The young musician shares that he wrote it before the pandemic, for the EP of Bonsai! Bonsai!, a band that he formed with his childhood friends. “Pero dinagdagan ko ng verse para mas akma siya sa state ng mundo ngayon. It’s a simple love song about longing,” he offers.
Emilio says that his father Jaime, a veteran composer and musical scorer, was instrumental in the discovery of his interest in and love for music. The Ang Probinsiyano actor must have seen something in Emilio that he bought him musical instruments. “Without him maybe I wouldn’t be playing right now,” says the son. “All the guitars that I’m using, the amplifiers, this computer that I produce my recordings on, all of it were gifts from him.” His father also exposed him to “a lot of cool music,” as did his brother, Mateo and mother, Mayee.
One of Emilio’s fondest father-son recollections was when he was still in grade school and his father staged a solo performance with his classical guitar. The lyrics were in Spanish. “Siyempre gusto niya i-flex na Espanyol siya, ‘di ba?” he tells ANCX. “Pero sa susunod na school day, yung teachers ko sinabi sa’kin, ‘Ang galing niyang kumanta pero wala kaming maintindihan!’”
Emilio admits he had made a few bad decisions in his young life, and he still has yet to discover his niche. He’s switched from one course to another, and dabbled in different freelance work. But he appreciates the fact that his father accepts him for who he is, and knows that his father will support him no matter what. “I make fun of him a lot, but I do it because I honestly look up to and admire him,” he offers.
Emilio says he might have gotten his emotional side from his father. “I have a hard outer shell which I acquired from my mom, but I’m soft inside. My dad is just soft in general. I’m also very performative when I’m with my friends, which I think I got from him.”
The young musician says his dad is one of the most caring people he knows, one who only shows genuine concern and empathy to others. “He listens to you wholeheartedly, and makes an effort to understand where you’re coming from. He has a lot stories to tell, and likes to joke around and have fun. But he also knows when to be hard on you when he needs to be,” he says.
“He’s opened a lot of doors for me and respects me as a person. I’m lucky to be his son. And he always seems to want to hug and kiss me. I mean, gets ko naman,” he says. “I’m like, super cute.”
Photos courtesy of Emilio Fabregas