MANILA -- Art imitates life.
In the case of songwriter and singer Kian Dionisio, the epiphany arrived years later. And as another saying goes, “better late than never.”
Dionisio, whose song entry to the 2020 PhilPop songwriting contest, “Huling Sayaw” was named one of the 15 finalists, once struggled with his confidence.
“I would write songs but I was nervous if people would like them,” related Dionisio.
The fear of rejection also prevented him from pursuing music.
However, that all changed when he joined the PhilPop Bootcamp in 2019, where, along with every participant, he was asked if he had any unfinished songs. “Meron ako naka-baul na kanta and linabas ko nung PhilPop Bootcamp.”
It was at the 2019 PhilPop Bootcamp where his song “Mactan” was chosen as one of the songs produced for the 500th anniversary of Victory of Mactan.
“Nung magustuhan ng PhilPop 'yung kanta ko, ang laking tulong at na-lift 'yung confidence ko,” Dionisio added. “Now, when I write songs, I write for myself without worrying whether people will like them.”
“Huling Sayaw,” described by Dionisio as a modern kundiman, is about what ifs.
“It asks, ‘If I did this, siguro nakuha ko 'to. Siguro kung hindi ako nagalangan, napasaakin itong bagay o pagmamahal na ito.”
The germ of the idea came to Dionisio when he was doing a music video (he is a Communications Arts graduate) and he was looking out of the window.
“Doon pumasok 'yung idea a song about a 60-year old man nakatango sa bintana at may dumaan na babae na gusto niya ligawan a long time ago. Natakot siya na baka ma-reject siya kaya wala siyang ginawa. Naunahan siya ng kaibigan niya,” he said.
"In a way, I am like that. I was afraid no one would listen to my songs and as a result, I only pursued it when I was past 30 years of age.”
And yet, despite his late entry into his dream of making music, Dionisio has written songs for Bugoy Drillon, Macoy Fundales, and Loisa Andalio with his own extended play single under his previous label, GMA Records, nominated for a slew of awards.
“Whatever happens during or after PhilPop, I will be happy,” Dionisio said. “Being selected among the finalists, meeting and learning from people like Mr. Ryan Cayabyab and Noel Cabangon to name a few, as well as my fellow songwriters is already a big push in my dream career of music. And I cannot be happier.”