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Paint the Town, Red

Meet the mother and educator who is representing the country in an international singing tilt in Los Angeles


By Joy Buena

SINGLE MAMA SUPERSTAR. Red Tan sings, teaches, and raises her child by herself

SINGLE MAMA SUPERSTAR. Red Tan sings, teaches, and raises her child by herself

Of all the days for a technical mishap to happen, it had to happen today. But there was no time to waste, so the minus one did not work—fine—she decided to sing it acapella.

She regained her stance and sang Route 66 by Natalie Cole. If the technical glitch fazed her, it did not show because she sang line by line smoothly and beautifully.

Back in the Spotlight       

Who would have thought that the woman on stage just came out from a five-year singing hiatus? That’s right. Red Tan had to juggle many titles when the opportunity opened up. She has an adorable kid to take care of and she was also teaching kids at her own school.

Although she never lost her passion for singing, it was the idea of performing in front of a crowd that made her think twice of auditioning for the World Championship of Performing Arts.

But there was one person who believed in her. Red attributes the push that led her to where she is now to her late husband, who passed away just last October because of dengue.

“He was the one who encouraged me to go back into singing. He was my number one fan,” Red says. “Actually, I was hesitant to join the auditions since I lost my confidence after taking a break from singing. But he pushed me to do it, drove me to the auditions and patiently waited there.”

If there was such a thing as a man’s instinct, this was it, because she was not only able to regain her confidence in singing when she auditioned, but she got in!

“After hours of waiting, I heard someone announced my name but I had no idea why. He gave me a paper that says I passed the auditions,” Red recalls. “I had to go back and ask him if I really passed. He said, ‘Yes! See you in July in LA!’”

Little Red

Rewind to when she was younger and it is clear as day that nature and nurture went in hand which made her love for music grow through the years. It did not hurt that she grew up in a musicall -inclined family, where her mom is a pianist and her father was a member of the national choir.

“I think I was born to sing. I learned a dozen of songs before I could even speak a few words,” she quips. “I guess exposure, immersing me to different genres is a big factor. They are also very supportive to enroll me in music schools.”

Red is extremely thankful to her parents, who worked hard to support her passion. Even though they were not well-off, they made sure that they send her to music schools so she can further hone her talent.

Eventually, she found the style her voice fits into. It was jazz and musicals so her music icons are Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Lea Salonga.

Teacher/Entrepreneur/Single Mom

When she is not singing, Red is juggling other titles under her belt. By day, she teaches music at her school, The Great Leap Academy. By night, she enjoys performing at events and gigs.

At home, she is a hands-on mom to Duke, who is about to turn seven this year. At such a young age, he is already showing signs of becoming a talented musician himself, having a growing interest in beat boxing and playing the piano.

It’s a wonder that, despite her busy schedule, she manages to homeschool her son and to spend quality time with him. They enjoy traveling and watching movies or musicals.

When asked what she felt when she was asked to represent the country at the 2018 World Championship of Performing Arts, Red answered, “honored and proud.” The competition will be at Long Beach California in July and she dedicates her performance to her entire family, especially to her late husband.

As for us, we will be sure to cheer on our kababayan as she performs, knowing full well that she will wow the crowd—and no technical glitch will distract her from what she was meant to do.

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