Gringo's daughter kept talent secret from dad

by Miguel Dumaual,

Posted at Nov 03 2014 06:20 PM | Updated as of Nov 04 2014 03:16 AM

MANILA - Coming from a family of musicians, Kai Honasan thought it best to keep secret her love for singing, for fear that it would not measure up to the talents of her siblings.

When Honasan joined "The Voice of the Philippines" this year -- her audition turned four chairs in Sunday's episode -- she had been used to playing five to six gigs a week, some of which featured her own compositions from her independently produced album.

But this was not always the case for Honasan, the youngest of five children of Senator Gringo Honasan.

A ukulele player and a trained classical pianist, Kai Honasan was not a stranger to performing for an audience as a musician playing either instrument -- but not as a singer.

Speaking on radio DZMM on Monday, the 25-year-old Honasan explained her initial hesitation to share her singing talent to her parents.

"Tinago ko po kasi lahat po sila musikero, so medyo intimidating po kung biglang gusto ko na rin kumanta, eh ang gagaling na po nila," she said. "Hinintay ko muna. Nagpagaling muna ko sa banyo tapos tsaka ako kumanta."

Next big step

While she eventually grew comfortable singing in public, Honasan managed to keep this a secret from her family -- until a video of her entertaining a small crowd was uploaded on YouTube.

She recalled that it was singer Barbie Almalbis, the wife of one of her brothers, who put the clip online.

Asked how her parents reacted to the video, Honasan said: "Sabi po nila, 'Bakit ngayon lang? Bakit ngayon mo lang pinakita?' Tapos in-explain ko, 'Eh nakakatakot kasi kayo, eh.' Sobrang proud po nila, kaya hanggang ngayon, overwhelmed pa rin ako na sobrang supportive po nila."

It was an emotional moment for Honasan's family when her Blind Audition on "The Voice of the Philippines" finally aired over the weekend. For the once-shy, budding singer, it was the next big step in her music career.

Her ukulele in hand, Honasan impressed all four coaches with her stripped-down version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream." She decided to join Bamboo Manalac's team, "kasi dati po, nag-ba-bar gig din lang po siya at baka ma-gets niya kung saan ako nanggagaling."

"Noong sumali po ako sa start, basta may umikot lang po, iyon lang 'yung goal ko. Okay na ako. The fact na may umikot, at apat pa, masaya na po ako doon," she said.

Recalling her family's reaction to the moment unfolding on television, Honasan said, "Lahat sila napaiyak, eh, kasi finally -- dati sa bahay lang ako, sa bar kumakanta -- ngayon sa TV na po."

"Sobrang proud po nila," she added.

Admittedly with limitations as a vocalist, Honasan said she is looking forward to learning from Manalac, who is considered a local rock icon after 20 years in the music industry.

"[I want to learn] how to be a better performer, para mas maintindihan ng mga tao 'yung ma tina-try ko sabihin, 'yung mga message sa kanta. So sana, si Coach Bamboo, matulungan po ako doon," she said.

As for her advice to aspiring singers, who, like her at one point, would not dare perform outside of the bathroom, Honasan said, "Find out what's unique in your voice and stick to it."