Last night, I sang for the Christmas party of Mr. C, a prominent businessman. Every year, Mr. C would invite his close friends and childhood buddies to his house in Forbes Park, Makati. His family would hire really good caterer and talented musicians. Think of the movie Sabrina, minus the dancing part.
Last night was my second year to be in the said party. I sang old Teresa Teng songs for one hour. Why Teresa Teng songs? Because almost everybody in the said party knew her songs by heart. Still I was quite surprised with their warm reception. Despite being seniors, Chinese, and conservative, the guests listened appreciatively. Some sang along in their seats. Most of them even clapped generously after almost all my songs. I guess when a party is done at the comfort of someone’s home, guests tend to relax more.
Mr. P, the person who introduced me and recommended me to Mr. C was so endearing. According to him, the string quartet was “noisy”, and the guests couldn’t wait to listen to my Chinese songs. Personally, I think that the string quartet was really good, and their volume was softer than mine. Their choice of songs was age-appropriate too: mellow and subdued, perfect for a classy Christmas in a huge estate. Mr. P’s opinion was clouded by his desire for live Chinese music — the music of his youth, sung by the talented performer he grew up with: Teresa Teng!
Come to think of it, every Chinese old person I know is fond of Teresa Teng. I mean, who has not heard of 月亮代表我的心 (moon represents my heart)?
To give a brief background of Teresa Teng (from Wikipedia), She was born in the year 1953, just a year older than my mom. Her Chinese name is 鄧麗君, read as Dèng Lìjūn, and she is originally from Taiwan. She is one of the few artists widely accepted by the people all over Asia: Mainland China, Taiwan, Manila, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and even Indonesia. Some say that “wherever there are Chinese people, Teresa Teng songs can be sung (and heard).” If you search through YouTube, you will not only hear her sing in Mandarin. She also recorded songs in other languages such as Taiwanese, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and English.
Teresa Teng died at the age of 42, due to a severe respiratory attack. She was asthmatic.
For more information about her life, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_Teng