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Nora Aunor: A Voice Close to Perfection

Was it this morning or yesterday when a hyperlinked headline in one of the local newspaper web sites caught my eye? It said something about singer Nora Aunor – a.k.a. Ate Guy – losing her voice. Or something…

I was curious, hell yeah: but not curious enough to actually click on the link. I mean, if you’re coming from where I’m coming, your level of interest will probably be the same.

Then, earlier tonight, there it was on TV Patrol World – a short news clip about the singer-cum-actress revealing while on a North American tour that she seemed to have lost her voice due to a cosmetic surgery she underwent recently in a clinic in Japan.

Come again???

Well, whatever it was, it had something to do with damage being done to her wind pipe – or something – as a consequence of the surgery. All together now… Kaya baga!!!

But that’s being mean…

What do I know? You and I, we just say, “What the heck!” And resignedly accept this natural and – as yet – irreversible phenomenon called aging… But then, these people in show business are not you and I; and I’m sure they all feel hopelessly overwhelmed by this inevitable sagging of the skin brought on by the passage of time. Oh by the way, it’s otherwise called a wrinkle.

My word, when will they catch on? They can have their skin cut, stretched and sewn till it looks shiny as plastic; yet, at the end of the day, all they end up looking is unnatural. Put it differently, artificial…

For starters, since they are household names, everyone knows how old they are, anyway! So, if you see a middle-aged celebrity with facial skin as taut as a teenager’s arse, don’t you just simply come to the most obvious conclusion? Plastic surgery!!!

Hell, look at Cher… Her once-upon-a-time partner Sonny – Sonny and Cher, dig? – passed away a long time ago. To be perfectly honest, she can still strut gracefully onstage. But look at her face and – though I doubt anyone has the nerve to tell her to her face – her supposed “youthful” looks just don’t connect with the age we all know her to be!

That and the fact that – if I want to be mean – I can always say that all her cosmetic enhancements appear to have succeeded in doing is to give her this seemingly perpetual grimace.

But back to Ate Guy… She first burst into the scene as a youthful Bicolana who used to sell water to passengers somewhere in Bicol. She hit it big time upon entering this singing contest – Tawag ng Tanghalan? – back in the late sixties or early seventies.

Even in her first few performances, the golden voice was undeniable! I mean, I used to love Karen Carpenter; but Ate Guy was even a notch above the former. She was just so effortless; so serene in her style. Her voice was soothing, almost as though it emanated from another dimension.

Then, of course, the agents took over her career, packaging her into this showbiz entity that the bakyâ crowd swooned and screamed over. They even paired her with this good-looking feller by the name of Tirso Cruz III – a.k.a. Pip – and then stirred up this popularity contest with another showbiz tandem, Ate Vi and Edgar Mortiz – a.k.a. Bobot.

It came to the point whereby katulongs actually took sides and fought each other – sometimes physically – to settle which tandem was the better one. Ho-hum…

So, now you understand why I only had cursory interest in the Ate Guy news item. When I was growing up, we got fed news about her – ditto Ate Vi – to the point of nose bleed!

To the bigots, of course – I admit to nothing! – anything about these personalities was simply below them. Still, if they were being honest – and all economic backgrounds aside – there was something everyone agreed about. Ate Guy could – and can, until this disturbing piece of news – sing like few people on this planet can.

Some showbiz scribe once called her “The Golden Voice.” That was so appropriate! That is why it is such a pity, if indeed the news is true – Kuya Germs sounded skeptical in the TV Patrol interview – that the one genuine remaining thing about her – her voice – will be lost because of this most regrettable of human characteristics: vanity.

Nobody cares how she looks like! She’s short, dark and squat – which you can also say to describe a barrel of beer. On the other hand, a barrel of beer cannot sing! And singing, we all have to admit, whatever our reasons for our bigotry – there, I admitted it – is something she can – or could – do to perfection!

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