Watch out for Zsaris Mendioro

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DANNY VIBAS

DANNY VIBAS

We’re a country awash with politicians and politician wannabes but—more pleasantly—also with talented citizens. And on this note, I dare say that the superbly talented Zsaris Mendioro ought to do her best to follow Myke Salomon’s footsteps: be a theater musical director, an award-winning one.

Salomon is the musical director of Rak of Aegis, the musical created by Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) from the songs of the all-female rock band Aegis which will have its fifth run (since 2014) next month at the PETA Theater Center. In his younger years, he was a member of the all-boys singing group Akafella’s, so named because, yes, they were singing a capella. Everytime it was appropriate in their performances, Salomon provided the beatbox direct from his mouth and throat. The beatbox’s purpose is, yes, provide a beat to the melody by producing various sounds that immitate some percussion instruments.

Zsaris Mendioro creates the same during performances with her a capella group, Pinopella, whose members are all from Baguio City except for Mendioro herself who comes from Laguna. She’s said to be one of just two or three women in the Philippine music industry who does beatbox. We watched her do it for most of two hours with Pinopela and Baihana, an all-female trio, in a recent concert simply billed as Akapela.

Mendioro is also believed to be among the rare females who can do “livelooping” while singing and playing the guitar (or other instruments) in front of an audience. “Livelooping” uses a high-tech multi-track portable foot-operated machine that allows one or several users to record their voices or instruments individually and then play all of them simultaneously in a live performance thus making them sound like a bigger band. It needs a musical mind and music-sensitive ears to do this with ear-pleasing result. At the Akapela concert in RCBC Plaza, Mendioro taught the three Baihana girls how to do it in front of the audience—and they succeeded.


Mendioro, 27, has posted on You Tube several recordings of herself doing livelooping, including the time she won the grand prize in the 2015 Mossimo Music Summit last August. She composes, too, and writes well as she was a professional writer for some five years before she decided to become a professional singer-musician.

She will most likely love writing songs and scores for a musical, the way Myke Salomon does. Salomon, however, had theater involvements even before he joined PETA. He appeared in Repertory Philippines plays before he signed up with Akafellas. We googled Mendioro and we didn’t find anything in the Internet about her getting involved in theater. Well, she can hop over to PETA, to the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Pilipino and offer to work with them.

She will have to get done with some commitments, of course. Akapela will be mounted in Baguio this month or in June. In July, Pinopella will fly to Singapore to join an international a capella competition.

* * *

Singers do other things for additional income, of course. Nonoy Zuniga promotes BrainHQ-Philippines, an online program for helping regenerate brain cells and improving the functioning of the brain, leading to sharper senses, sharper memory, quicker reflexes, more stable physical movements, a better life.

Nonoy is actually an endorser, though his current manager, Nelia Lim, says the company calls him “BrainHQ Ambassador.” The company does not advertise, according to Lim. Instead, it holds events to introduce new scientific findings about brain cell regeneration and brain cell training online supervised by neurologists.

Nonoy makes a credible “ambassador” for something that has to do with medical doctors–he is one, though his specialization is not neurology. Though he practised Medicine only for a few years, he never lost interest in whatever it is that heals human beings or keeps them healthy. So, he willingly talks to people how BrainHQ works. He is taking the online program himself.

The company has a celebrity client who is close to both Nonoy and Lim and who allows himself to be cited as a happy user of BrainHQ programs: columnist Ramon “Mon” Tulfo.

“Mon himself assured me that the program works. He has re-assigned his personal and well-trustf driver to a member of his family some after religiously doing his mental exercises in his BrainHQ program,” Nonoy began narrating over lunch at Live Life vegan restaurant in Makati.

Nonoy shared that for some months Mon decided to have a driver because he had been misplacing his keys and personal paraphernalia. He also had been missing out on certain streets along routes that he used to be familiar with. And then Mon learned about BrainHQ through Lim.

Those interested may log on to www.brainhq.ph or check the company’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Nonoy may now be back in Las Vegas, Nevada where he and his family migrated two years. But he comes back to Manila as often as he gets singing engagements (which he does every three months or so) and BrainHQ asks him to.

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