Alisah Bonaobra

Any pop fan would likely agree that Alisah Bonaobra’s singing belongs to the upper echelon of divadom. She always had a range which makes balladry a signature for the powerhouse vocalist.

So it wasn’t a surprise at all when famedf Filipino composer Cecille Azarcon-Inocentes gave five stars to Alisah’s rendition of the OPM classic “Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin” which she composed in the 1980s.

“Honestly, I got goosebumps. Ang ganda ganda ng areglo at ang ganda ganda ng pagka-kanta ni Alisah. Noong narinig ko I was speechless. Masayang-masaya talaga ako. I want to thank Alisah’s manager Rosabella Jao-Arribas kasi sabi ko nga nanahimik na ako sa San Francisco and semi-retired na ako sa pag-compose ng music. And I’m happy that this kind of song is being revived para ma-appreciate ng listeners today,” said Cecile, who gave her reaction via Zoom, at the launch of Alisah’s latest single recently.

Cecile added: “With the new release of ‘Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin’ by Alisah, I was filled with excitement and anticipation, especially since the song’s music arranger is one of the best arrangers I have ever worked with, Homer Flores, who also arranged the original version of Martin Nievera. I just knew in my heart, the combination of these two very gifted and talented artists is going to be absolutely magical! And as expected, Alisah did a beautiful rendition with the help, guidance and recording supervision of vocal coach, Arnie Mendaros.”

Alisah said that it was an honor to revive the song after OPM icons Martin and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. “Hindi naman ako takot ma-compare kay Martin and Regine kasi iba-iba naman ang style ng pagkanta namin.”

At first, Alisah admitted that she doubted herself if she could really give justice to the song. “Sa tutoo lang dumating kami sa point na may self-doubt. Kakayanin ba namin ito? Now I am thankful that I have finally recorded the song.”

Daughter of opera singer, voice teacher and concert pianist, Minda Azarcon, Cecile started playing the piano at the age of three and began composing at the age of six. 

At age 19, Cecile’s journey in her songwriting career began with her first major hit song, “Lift Your Hands”, originally recorded by Basil Valdez, and which is now considered a timeless, classic hit.  Some of her other hit songs include Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga (Basil Valdez), Ikaw Ang lahat Sa Akin (Martin Niviera), So, It’s You (Raymond Lauchengco), Special Memory (Iwi Laurel), Even If (Jam Morales), I Think I’m In Love and One More Try (Kuh Ledesma), Reaching Out (Gary Valenciano) and How Did You Know (Chiqui Pineda and Gary Valenciano), among others.

Cecile currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she serves as Music Director at Faith Bible Church of Vallejo.  Cecile also holds private music lessons and produces CD projects and concerts with a goal to guide, help and promote deserving singers and songwriters.

Cecile Azarcon-Inocentes

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For Alisah, X-Factor UK and The Voice of the Philippines contender, in relation to her journey as a singer, she has indeed come a long way from her humble first step towards her dream; starting out at an early age as a “kontesera” joining various singing contests in Metro Manila as well as distant provinces and bagging awards from these endeavors.

These singing contests developed her talent and confidence, and the cash she got for winning was a way for Alisah to help her hardworking sidewalk vendor-parents. 

Alisah’s patience and persistence paved the way for her to blossom into a full-fledged songstress. Her videos showcasing her world-class talent caught the attention of Rosabella, who is also based in the US, and got in touch with Alisah to offer to manage her.

The music student from the University of Santo Tomas shared, “It all started with a chat with Tita Rosabella on my Facebook Fanpage. She offered to help me with my career, and she’s been a really good manager, giving her all-out support since day 1. Being part of RJA Productions, LLC is one of the best things that happened in my singing career.” Under RJA Productions, LLC, Alisah has released numerous songs such as “Ginto Ang Sandali,” “Gintong Tinig,” “Kahit Na Malayo Pa Ang Pasko,” “Faithful,” “Pangako,” “Kahit ‘Di Totoo,” “Can I,” “Do You Have A Miracle For Me,” and “Muli’t Muli.”

Her song “Faithful,” also composed by Cecile, recently won Best Inspirational Song in the 43rd Catholic Mass Media Awards.

This November, she will be staging a concert; Alisah remarked that in preparation for her concert, she is keeping herself healthy and fit as she also continues to widen her repertoire.

Rosabella shared, “Alisah is such a joy to manage. She is a very hardworking, very focused and dedicated artist. Her work ethics exceed my expectations as her manager. She is very current and very tech-savvy. In fact, she does her own promotional materials. I am very pleased with how she manages her time. She is very involved in all RJA goals and objectives. Her talent as a singer is amazing. I couldn’t be more proud to be her manager.”

With her management label RJA Productions, LLC and the fans giving constant support, Alisah’s career is moving forward at a steady pace. Asked about her future plans regarding her singing career, she stated, “Honestly, there’s much more to look out for as we are still exploring different facets of my voice.”

Alisah continues the journey she has chosen armed with a strong sense of optimism, gratitude and dynamism. For more information on RJA Productions, LLC visit 


Source: Manila Bulletin (