Cebu City, Philippines—Girlie Lapinid-Laspiñas loves singing.
She started singing and joining competitions at a young age after getting inspiration from watching one of her aunts rehearse for a competition.
Girlie was seven years old when she joined her first singing competition in a radio program in 1973.
She eventually went on to become a successful singer, winning Eat Bulaga’s! SuperWheel Search for Singing Star in 1983. Her winning piece was Barbara Streisand’s “Memory.”
But Girlie stopped joining singing competitions in 2009 as she had to take care of her husband, Cesar, who lost his right foot due to diabetes.
In 2016, Cesar’s left foot was amputated, too.
This prompted Girlie to go back to singing as she aimed to help the for the prosthesis and medication of her 54-year-old husband.
“I wanted to help my husband and of course singing is my passion,” Girlie told CDN Digital through a phone interview.
So at 53, Girlie joined It’s Showtime’s “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Season 3 singing competition. She made her return to singing ten years after she stopped joining competitions.
On September 11, 2018, Girlie was one of the aspiring singers from Cebu who auditioned for the singing competition at SM City Consolacion.
Her audition piece was “Home” by Diana Ross.
A week after, she received a call that she was qualified to compete in Manila.
It was an experience she would never forget as it was through her stint in Manila that she finally got what she wished for.
This as after one of the competitions in December 2018, It’s Showtime’s host Vice Ganda promised to pay for her husband’s prosthetis.
According to Cheryl, Girlie and Cesar’s eldest daughter, the feeling was like cloud nine when Vice Ganda informed them of the good news.
“Nakahilak ko sa kalipay. Who would expect? P90,000 ang artificial foot ang presyo ana,” she said.
(I cried because I was so happy. Who would expect? An artificial foot costs P90,000.)
Currently, Girlie is one of the qualified semifinalists of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Season 3, competing in the Ultimate Resbak Round.
A native of Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, Girlie is the oldest in this week’s Ultimate Resbak Round. She believes she has an advantage being the oldest.
“Maybe my advantage here is my experience and been into singing competition for a long time,” she told CDN Digital.
But the Cebuana singer is not being complacent because she knows that other semifinalists have their own genre and style.
As this week-long battle and road to grand finals continues, Girlie is taking care of her voice to deliver a good performance. She sleeps early and avoids eating sweet and sour food or drinks.
Cebuanos are hopeful for a back-to-back victory this year after Cebuana singer Janine Berdin was named as the grand winner in 2018.
For Girlie, it is not too late to achieve her dreams to perform again in the national level and at the same time help her husband.
“It is a matter of how you work hard for your dreams,” she said.
Girlie works as a bookkeeper while her husband Cesar is an accountant. Both tied the knot in 1989.
The couple has four children, Cheryl, Claire, Cesar, and Charles. They have three grandchildren: Kourtney, Jesie, and Kendall.
In 1985, Girlie also joined Cebu Popular Music Festival and interpreted Ramon Abellana’s “Katahum sa Yamog.”
Before her stint in the Tawag ng Tanghalan, her last competition in Cebu was in 2009, when she won as Best Interpreter for “Tim-us Kong Gugma” by Jun Aliño Cabillar for the 29th Cebu Popular Music Festival. /bmjo