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Out of the box


IBANG JAKE: Imagine the now-Jake Zyrus, who’s also the former Charice Pempengco, playing out the complex emotions of a person in love as he renders his own take on Visayan folk song, “Usahay.”

The kundiman classic may sound out of the box for someone like Jake Z., who’s better known for his more modern, upbeat music.

JAKE Zyrus (IG)

But, Filipino-American musical director Troy Laureta had other things in mind. He picked “Usahay” to be his and Jake’s entry in the album “Kaibigan: A Troy Laureta OPM Collective Vol. 1” co-produced by ABS-CBN Music International.

The album features OPM love ballads interpreted by other Filipino artists.

The music video of “Usahay,” which premiered on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, was shot in Tagaytay, directed by Sherard Yu.

It features in a guest role Jake’s partner, Shyre Aquino, who says Jake’s voice in this version of “Usahay” is just so full of passion.

“Usahay” is one of the most popular Visayan love songs. The song has been embraced nationwide and worldwide even by non-Visayans, thanks to ace singers like Pilita Corrales and Dulce, native Cebuanas both, who perform the song all the time.

JAKE AND CHARICE: Meanwhile, the award-winning documentary “Jake and Charice’’ which revealed  the  singer’s gender transition and musical journey, was replayed on Japan’s NHK General TV last Feb. 14.

NHK executive producer Shin Yasuda said that Jake’s story empowers especially those who are struggling to live their own truth.