Love yourself

Tippy dos Santos performed at Fisher Mall last March 5 to promote her self-titled debut album under Universal Records. It made me so proud to see her up there, singing songs written especially for her by today's top composers.
Before you ask, this isn’t about Justin Bieber’s massive hit of the same title. It’s about someone who I think really deserves more recognition for her many talents, especially her singing. I’m referring to actress, MYX VJ and now recording artist Tippy dos Santos. Tippy recently released her self-titled debut album, and to be honest, it’s about time she did.

Tippy started out as a theater actress, performing in productions by the Ateneo Children’s Theater, Repertory Philippines and Trumpets Playshop. She even competed in the World Championship of Performing Arts in 2008 and made it to the grand finals, bagging three gold, one silver and one bronze medal in various categories. She has also enjoyed a steady stream of movie and television work, most of which were with the Kapamilya network and its film arm, Star Cinema.

Unfortunately, although Tippy truly has what it takes to be ranked among the industry’s best and brightest, she hasn’t really made it yet. That said, with the release of Tippy dos Santos, the 21-year-old makes her best case yet for true stardom. The album could do for Tippy what The Revenant did for Leonardo DiCaprio. If it finds the audience it deserves, Tippy might finally clinch the spot that has eluded her for so long. The album is packed with catchy, R&B-inflected pop jams, each of which deserve a spot on anyone’s playlist.

When I found out that Tippy would be performing select songs from her album at Fisher Mall on Saturday, March 5, I hightailed it there with my mother. Even though there was hardly any traffic, part of me didn’t think we would get there on time, but we did—a few minutes before Tippy was due onstage, to be exact. Since we had some time to spare, my mother and I visited Tippy in the holding area, where we chatted with her and her mother, Tita Happy.

It was then that I finally had the chance to tell Tippy about my mental health problem and what I’ve been going through for the past ten or so months. She and Tita Happy expressed their concern, which I really appreciated. I would have loved to spend the whole evening catching up with Tippy, but she had to hit the stage after a while. So my mother and I left the holding area to find seats in the Fisher Mall atrium. We ended up sitting next to Tippy’s fans, the Tipsters. Shoutout to them for being such fun seat mates!

Prior to the show, I had only listened to one song from the album (the carrier single “Parang Wala Lang”), so watching Tippy sing the rest live was a real treat for me. I spent the entire evening filming Tippy with my mother’s smartphone, so check out my videos below.

After the show, I bought a copy of the album and lined up to have Tippy sign it for me. When it was my turn, Tippy took her time signing, so I had to stand there waiting while she was scribbling away. That prompted Tita Happy to tell me afterwards with a laugh, “Ang haba yata ng sinulat niya para sa ‘yo, ah!”

When my turn to get Tippy's autograph came, I could tell she was surprised to see me standing in line. Even so, she bent her head over my copy of her album to write a dedication while I wondered what was taking her so long when she knows how to spell my name. Haha!
It wasn’t until after my mother and I bid Tita Happy, Jackie and Tippy’s father John goodbye (Tippy was still really busy posing for photos and signing autographs when we left) that I was able to open my copy of Tippy dos Santos to check out what Tippy had written.

If for some reason you can’t make out Tippy's handwriting, here’s what she wrote: “Julian, my love, thank you for being such a good friend. Remember, life is better when you love yourself!”

I was pleasantly surprised that Tippy wrote something like that, although I shouldn’t have been, considering that we’ve known each other for a long time. In that time, I’ve never known Tippy to be anything less than caring—aside from startlingly talented, that is—and I’m grateful for everything she’s done for me. Now that she’s embarked on this new chapter in her career as a full-fledged recording artist, it’s my turn to do something for her.

Tippy dos Santos the album is available everywhere good music is sold, like Astroplus, iTunes and Odyssey. If you love your ears, do them a favor and treat them to Tippy’s music. You’ll be glad you did.

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The old Julian can't come to the phone right now.

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