A week before the Lenten season, OPM’s Pop Rock Princess Yeng Constantino has much on her plate.
When she flies back from Honolulu, Hawaii, fresh from the Star Magic 2012 US Tour, Yeng will be speaking before 20,000 members of the youth in Nueva Ecija from April 5 to 7.
The singer-songwriter, who has bagged the "Favorite Female Artist" trophy at the MYX Music Awards for two years in a row since 2011, says that a portion of her Holy Week will be spent giving the inspirational talk.
Yeng says with gusto, "I’ve been doing this for like... matagal na, e!
"Patuldok-tuldok lang, pag nai-invite ako sa mga congregations or gatherings to talk about my walk with God—paano ako naging Kristiyano and how I met God in my life, ano yung mga nagbago sa buhay ko..."
Yeng says that she will be talking about how God paved a way for her to become a musician.
"Ito... itong destiny na ito," Yeng smiles.
She describes her own musician’s tale, "Simula nung bata ako, sure sa heart ko talaga na gusto ko maging musician and that’s where God put me...
"Kung paano ako tinawag ni God strongly tapos pinapa-iyak niya ako every time tatawagin niya ako tapos magre-rebel ako, ’Ayoko... mas gusto ko ito,’ ganyan...’
"Pero ngayon, finally, nag-decide ako na I’m going to do what I [want] do.
"I sing, I write songs, I perform for Him. Only for Him."
While the 23-year-old artist has been a Christian all her life, it is at this point in her life that God’s spirit fills her the most.
"Matagal na akong Christian. Pero masasabi ko na ngayon ko naramdaman talaga na I’m really abiding in God.
"Ngayon lang... I changed my life and I’m really happy!
"Gusto ko i-share sa mga bata, sa mga tao, yung joy na nararamdaman ko. Sobrang umaapaw! Hindi ko kaya i-contain!"
INSPIRED BY HIM. Yeng’s talent for songwriting was proven when she came out the Grand Star Dreamer of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 1 back in 2006. Her composition, "Hawak Kamay," has not only been used an official soundtrack for a Star Cinema film, but has gone on to be included in the list of karaoke all-time favorite singles of Filipinos.
When Yeng writes, she makes sure she draws from sincere emotions, be it misery, gladness, or wonder over God’s power.
’"Lapit" is for God," Yeng tells about her hit song. "It’s like Him talking to the people."
The carrier single of her 11-track, third studio album, "Lapit" is more of an inspirational song than the rock ballad it appears to be. Yeng was inspired to write the song when her older sister, Donna, underwent a life-changing experience.
"Sa breast [niya]... may mga bukol. Tapos she met a missionary after that time na laman niya na bukol siya. That person treated her.
"And then, bumalik siya sa doctor, nagpa-check siya, wala na! Wala na... as in gone! Gone!"
Yeng mentions that her sister lived an imperfect life.
"Naglayas siya, ang dami-dami niyang naging ka-relasyon, umuwi siya sa amin, meron siyang sakit. Kaya yun, sobrang masakit for us.
"Nung sinabi niya sa akin yun, iyak ako nang iyak! I’ve been praying for her na ’Lord, please. I pray that Ate will get to know You [and] who You really are [and] that she [may] live her life for You.’
"Tapos yun, miraculously... Poof! Galing lang ni God. Sobrang galing Niya talaga!
Right after hearing the news that her sister’s cysts disappeared, Yeng was able to compose "Lapit" in an instant.
"Nung nangyari yun, nasulat ko yung song. Sobrang happy ako.
"Parang when you thought nobody listened to you, that’s where you were wrong.
"Kasi dun papatunayan ni God, ’You know what, I’m here. I’m here and I see your suffering.’ Dun din ako pinulot ni God, e!
Yeng says that that is how exactly she writes songs- "’Pag andun na, hindi ko pinipilit. Kasi, ’pag wala, wala!
"Pero, ’pag nandiyan, nandiyan talaga. Boom! Talagang dire-diretso lang, sulat lang ako.
"Parang nagpe-play na siya sa head mo [at] that moment... so you just write it. Hanapin mo na lang yung chords!"
UPCOMING FIFTH ALBUM. Yeng’s fifth album is on the way.
"Yung next na album na lalabas, sobrang mag-iiba rin yung sound," Yeng assures. "Sobrang Siya lang yung inspiration ko talaga."
At the moment, Yeng has 10 songs lined up.
"I think this time, mas magiging mellow. Magtatanggal ako ng drums, baka [magdagdag ng] violins, piano... Kasi nga ’pop rock princess’ daw ako so parang iniisip nila maingay palagi.
"This time... yung direction ng heart ko, solemn. Yun yung gagawin ko."
Yeng’s album will also feature songs composed by her close friends. She aims to have it ready by June of this year.