Yes, she is related to Superstar Nora Aunor. Twenty-two-year-old Marion Aunor is used to being asked if she is related to the Philippine showbiz icon whenever she meets anyone for the first time.
This has always been the case in school among her teachers and classmates, new acquaintances, and more so now that she has officially entered show business via the music industry.
Marion, whose first foray into the limelight was when she won third place for her composition in 2013’s Himig Handog, takes pride in acknowledging she is the Superstar’s niece, as well as the daughter of Apat Na Sikat’s Lala Aunor, who was part of a popular singing group in the 1970s.
Moreover, she is the direct granddaughter of the famed “Mamay Belen,” the Superstar’s aunt, who took her in as a provinciana from Bicol and mentored her to sing.
“It’s an honor to be related to Tita Nora, but of course, I would also like to make my own name in the business in time,” Marion told The Manila Times during a brief interview on Wednesday.
So far, the young lady is on the right track because not only is she a prolific songwriter, but she is also gifted with the talent to sing her compositions. In fact, Marion interpreted her winning song for Himig Handog, which earned her a ticket to record her debut album with the competition’s organizer Star Records not long after.
She also caught the attention of seasoned songwriter Vehnee Saturno, who simultaneously acts as her manager, while collaborating for her follow up album, which is due for release within the year.
Grateful for this quick turn of events in her fairly young career, Marion promises that there is more to her than just being the Superstar’s niece. And she tells The Manila Times why in the following Q & A below.
The Manila Times (TMT): Growing up in a musically inclined family, did you always know you will also pursue music?
Marion Aunor (MA): Ang totoo, kahit naman ako, hindi ko ini-expect na sa music ako mapupunta. I do love to sing and I play some instruments like piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, or drums, but I never thought I’d take music seriously. When I was in high school, I joined our graduation songwriting contest. I won and so my batch and I ended up singing it during graduation day. Maybe that’s the first “legit” song that I ever did, but even then, I was still not sure if I would pursue music.
TMT: Is that why you decided to go to college first instead of entering the music industry?
MA: Yes. I took up Management at the Ateneo de Manila University because that’s what my parents suggested. Wala rin kasi akong idea at the time kung anong gusto kong gawin. Then by the time I reached the second year college, I felt that I wanted to shift to Music. I even wanted to go to Berklee. But my mom told me its better if I just finish my course, then I can pursue music after college kung ‘yon talaga ang gusto ko. She has been very supportive, and I am thankful for her.
TMT: What made you realize that you want to be a musician just like your mother or aunt?
MA: The decision really came from me. I thought about where I wanted to see myself, and what I was happiest doing. With that, I realized na music talaga ‘yong nagpapasaya sa’kin. I love to perform, I love writing songs, I love seeing people’s reactions when they hear my compositions. I just love music.
TMT: Can you share your Himig Handog experience?
MA: What’s amazing is, bago pa ako nag-graduate ng college, nagkaroon na ng Himig Handog Competition. My song placed third, and later on, I got signed under Star Records. So even if I never shifted to Music and I finished Management, music still found me. Nakakatuwa to realize that God really has plans for you. All you have to do is be patient and wait for everything to fall into place.