By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – When my daughter Leani asked me how did I want to celebrate Mother’s Day a few days ago, I was quick to answer, I wanted to listen to the songs of Angel Ram at the BB King Blues Bar and Grill on Times Square. And because it was my day, there was no argument and further negotiations.
Angel Ram had two gigs on May 8 dubbed as ‘A Mother’s Night Out’ at 5PM and 7PM. We took the 5PM show. She is the first Filipina singer to have performed at the B.B. King, a landmark place for jazz and blues artists in the Big Apple. She impressed the manager of her raw talent at belting out Etta James and Angela Bofill songs.
I looked forward to hearing Ms. Ram again, after I listened to her sultry voice at the concert of Ms. Kay Habana ‘With All My Love’ at the Lady of Pompeii Church in the lower Manhattan.
Ms. Ram opened with Nora Jones’ Don’t Know Why which set the mood for relaxation and ease that night. More songs soothed us from the repertoire of the Carpenters and Barbara Streisand. Upon my request, she sang Evergreen, which made my celebration complete.
I got a sense of the sadness in that beautiful and formidable voice. And was I right, she is a mom who misses her three children every day. “I have to sing every day so I am able to fight my nostalgia,” she told me during the intermission.
Ms. Ram’s dream to shine out in the Big Apple as a singer is as much as having to reunite with her children who are in the Philippines with their father. A native of Zamboanga, she came to the US in 2012 when her marriage ended. And how could I not be moved that night? That beautiful voice which entertained the audience is the same voice singing out the melancholy of a distant mother.
Her gigs at B.B. King have opened up possibilities for more singing stints in the city. Like the Filipino community who continues to relish on Ms. Ram’s performances, so will the larger society – in a matter of time.