Singer KZ Tandingan once felt her music career was over and
almost returned to Mindanao until she interpreted her eventual hit “Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako” that paved that way for a long list of successes in both the local and international music scenes.
After winning the 11th edition of Himig Handog, Tandingan recalled how the song which she interpreted for the same competition way back 2014 prevented her from leaving her music career in Manila.
“May point kasi sa career ko dati na I thought it was over for me sa industry na ‘to. Na wala ng nangyayari, I was already planning to just uproot my life dito sa Manila and go back to Mindanao. And biglang dumating 'yung Himig Handog and I got to interpret ‘Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako’ and that catapulted me to where I am today,” she said.
Tandingan, who recently made headlines for being the first Filipino to sing a Tagalog Disney song “Gabay,” is full of gratitude to the songwriting competition for all the accolades she received since joining the annual contest.
“I will forever be thankful to Himig Handog dahil sa opportunity na yun and I am thankful na after Himig Handog, after nung ‘Mahal Ko O 'Mahal Ako’, I still got to interpret naman now ‘Marupok,’” Tandingan said.
Tandingan interpreted the song “Marupok” which is written by Danielle Ann Balagtas and won the top awards in the recently concluded Himig Handog, including Best Song.
Tandingan rose to fame after winning “The X Factor Philippines” in 2012. She first joined the Himig Handog contest in 2013, singing “Scared to Death.” In 2018, she competed as a weekly challenger on “Singer 2018” in China.
The 29-year-old singer said she felt “Marupok” was made for her, noting how her musical director rearranged it to fit her style.
“Para siyang sinadyang isinulat for me. The first time I heard this song, it just sounded like it was meant for me. Tapos nalaman ko pa na i-a-arrange ng aking musical director. The thought in my mind was this was going to be for a competition but we really wanted this song to stand out and be there and be relevant kahit na tapos na 'yung Himig Handog,” she said.