-That Coritha was the first musical artist in the history of popular Pinoy music to experiment with Philippine native instruments in her music? Rondalla instruments such as the Banduria, Octavina and Laud were used in the songs "Awit Kay Leandro," "Bilanggo" and her biggest hit song "Oras Na." Although the singer-songwriter felt her experimentations were not as successful as she had wanted them to be due perhaps to the novel idea of trying to merge native instruments with standard western instruments, something unheard of during the resurgence of original Pilipino music, Coritha's pioneering efforts have enriched Pinoy music and kept Pinoy culture alive in the hearts and minds of many Filipinos.
- That Coritha was the first musical performer and recording artist to work with blind musicians utilizing their talents as banduria players for her live performances and recordings during the early part of her career? Ruben Mueco, Ramon Valentero and Catalino Lazo were three of the blind musicians who contributed their unique talents to Coritha's musical endeavors.
- That Coritha's popular hit song entitled "Lolo Jose" is based on the life of a real Lolo Jose? Yes, it's a true story!
- That the song "Lolo Jose" was first submitted as an entry in a Metro Pop Songwriting Contest but never made it? However, in 1982, it won two Cecil awards for "Best Folk-Pop Song" and "Best Folk-Pop Vocal Performance."
- That the young voices heard in the chorus of "Lolo Jose" were members of the Sto. Domingo Boys' Choir?
More coming up...
Coritha with her banduria
Coritha with Les Tiples De Sto. Domingo
-that Coritha wrote and sung her mega hit song entitled "Sierra Madre" as her tribute to the Sierra Madre Mountains, the largest and longest mountain range in the Philippines? Aware of its geographical, historical and environmental significance, Coritha wanted the mountains immortalized in song in order to remind Filipinos of its great history and natural wonders. Today, Coritha's "Sierra Madre" is called the "migrant's song" and every Filipino's link to his or her native land.
-that Coritha's roots are in the Sierra Madre mountains? Her lola (grandmother) and lola sa tuhod (great grandmother) are natives of Isabela, a province in northern luzon traversed by the majestic Sierra Madre mountains.
-that Coritha's earlier guitars and bandurias were made by the guitar craftsmen of Lumanog - a music store located in Sta. Mesa? Always ready to help promote Filipino ingenuity and Filipino-made products, the singer-songwriter made sure the local guitars and native instruments would find their rightful place in the music industry. Of course, that was a long time ago and the original craftsmen are no longer around.
Coritha strumming her Lumanog guitar (This is not an endorsement - just stating a fact!)
Coritha with the Sierra Madre Mountains behind her