Hailed as the first act from the Visayas group of islands to ever win the Pilipinas Got Talent competition, Maasinhon Trio finally has their own debut album.
Focusing mostly on what made them stand-out in the first place, the album contains OPM revivals and is produced by Star Records.
Since winning Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3 in 2011, the three guys that make up Maasinhon Trio—Andrew Sanchez, Licinio Lolo and Bonifacio Salubre—surprisingly continued on with their day jobs.
Lolo is still with the provincial government, Salubre practices fire safety as a fire officer and Sanchez is a Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative warehouse chief.
This year, the guys entered the recording studio for the first time and recorded their self-titled album in a mere four days. They have been able to promote the album on Kapamilya shows like ASAP and Umagang Kay Ganda.
The trio feels blessed to be given this opportunity. They have been singing and making music together for 20 years, first doing so in their local parish church setting, but coming from different choirs. They would also sing in weddings, birthdays and other occasions before. "Yung kaibigan namin na pare, si Dodong Cordovez nagbuo sa amin."
They consider this album recording to be very memorable. Actually the fact they won is still a surprise to the three guys, who are also the oldest grand winners for Pilipinas Got Talent.
Their kababayans are also very proud of them. "Napakaproud po, kasi wala pa sa Maasin na isang ganito. Sabi ni mayor, parang history na eto ng Maasin. Ni minsan hindi pa eto nangyari. Sabi niya mahirapan sila masundan pa ng kagaya namin," Salubre points out.
The trio share their thoughts on what it meant to record for the first time.
"Hindi pala talaga madali, kasi first time namin," Lolo candidly admits.
"Umabot ng ilang oras para sa isang recording, para maperfect namin," says Sanchez.
"Sabi nung producer namin, kalimitan, yung nagrerecord ng album, umaabot ng isang buwan, kami apat na araw, pero kailangan lang talaga," Salubre adds, because the guys are based in Southern Leyte and only flew in for a couple of days to record.
"Nung sinabi na eto yung mga songs, alam namin yung mga songs pero yung arrangement niya, may sarili kasing arrangement, tapos inexpect namin yung email na parang marehearse namin doon sa amin bago kami bumalik dito sa Manila..." but they didn't get to, and had to push through nonetheless, "nung nalaman namin may recording, galing kami sa isang basketball game, puro sigawan pero tuloy pa rin recording namin," shares Salubre.
Lolo adds that the mere recording is a challenge, "tatlo kami, may blending, kaya nahirapan kami."
The guys themselves are very happy with the way their carrier single "Patuloy Ang Pangarap" has come out.
They consider this song the most special because, "patuloy ang pangarap namin. Ngayon may natupad na, tapos wish namin, sana aabot ng iba pang album," Lolo says.
Salubre jokes, "parang kami yung inspirasyon ng mga yung may edad na. Sabi nga ng iba, wala sa edad ang abilidad. I-prove namin, it's never too late to be a musician."
Looking back on even the actual win back in 2011, the guys consider themselves, in Salubre's words, "feeling namin na blessed kami, eto yung gift na binigay sa amin ni Lord kasi almost 20 years na kami nagserve sa kanya."
So why did it take two years later to come out with their first album?
"God's time is the best time, eto na ang blessing na binigay ni Lord para sa amin."
Sanchez is 42, Lolo is 45, and Salubre is 40, so this does seem to be the best time.
They enjoy the whole process that is included in promoting the album, like seeing their favorite singers around the ABS-CBN compound. The trio stays grounded by staying close to "yung families namin, sila inspiration namin."
Lolo cites Gary Valenciano as his musical inspiration, Salubre names Martin Nievera and Sanchez shares that Nonoy Zuñiga inspires him. But for a group, they consider The Company and APO Hiking Society to be their influences.
"Yung isa, si Danny Javier, taga amin yun, another village lang."
"May chance, pwede, balak namin sa second namin, gawin namin Bisaya yung songs, para yung nasa labas marinig rin nila," the trio answers when asked if they will ever sing in the Visayan language.
Maasinhon Trio dreams big too, "pangarap din, kahit sino naman siguro, pangarap namin magkaroon ng sariling concert, yun doon namin gusto makasama yung APO Hiking Society. Minsan may sinabi sila na kami ang susunod na APO," Salubre jokes half-seriously.
While their debut album does not contain any APO songs, the trio named one favorite APO song they would like to sing: "When I Met You."
The trio is excited as well with the idea of a mall show, hopeful that this will push through soon.
They're asked why they continue on with their day jobs, and Sanchez explains, "sabi kasi ng office namin, gawin mo lang yan kanta-kanta na sideline."
What will make them leve their day jobs and pursue their singing career full time? "Depende naman yan, ang bottomline is magkakaroon tayo ng magadang kinabukasan, pag naano tayo sa career na eto, siguro why not?" says Salubre.
"Magkakaroon ka bang ng ganitong opportunity, depende na yun, if given the chance."
Interestingly, had the Maasinhon Trio not joined PGT and joined The Voice Philippines instead, the members answer that they would pick Coach Lea Salonga, "siguro yung edad, naabutan namin siya, nagkakaintidihan kami sa mga kanta, talagang inidolize namin siya.
"Yung tingin ng mga tao, mas angat na, tingin nila artista na kami. Sabi ko naman, hindi naman, pero pag pumasok ka ng mall, ayun oh!" Sanchez relates on what fame has meant to them.
"Yung damit namin nag-iba, pag may napapicture, dapat maganda, tapos dapat pareho kami para makilala na kami yung Trio."
"Yung confidence, respeto ng tao," observes Lolo about the most significant changes that happened to them since winning.
Salubre—being the tallest one—jokes again, "ako kasi yung parang landmark ng grupo, kung sila lang parang hindi makikilala."
In efforts to further push the album, the Maasinhon Trio has two music videos on MYX, Sana'y Ikaw Na Nga and Patuloy Ang Pangarap. In the second video, the guys themselves join the video and they are very proud, but decided that they will give it to the Lord, "sa kanya ang pasasalamat."
Look for them on Twitter @maansinhon_trio and follow @starrecordsph for details on their album. Their self-titled album features the songs "Kahit Isang Saglit," "Sana'y Ikaw Na Nga," "Hanggang," a Rey Valera medley, and carrier single "Patuloy Ang Pangarap."