The unexpected singer in Sheila Barrios

There are some who are gifted with a voice that can eventually launch a platinum record, but they’re too shy to sing.
Such is the case for Sheila Barrios, singer of “Ginpalangga”, a popular Ilonggo song being played by radio stations in Iloilo and Bacolod.
Sheila came from a musically-inclined family. One time, Ronelo Ladiao, an artist, was looking for a female singer in a karaoke contest. His friend Rein Callao, recommended Sheila, who happens to be his cousin.
“When she sang, we realized she has a really beautiful voice,” said Ronelo.
“He told me my voice is unique. So he suggested I try singing the Ilonggo version of Rihanna’s ‘Unfaithful’. He let me practice for one month. Then, we recorded it and sent it to radio stations. The stations liked it,” Sheila said of the birth of her first song, “Ginpalangga.”
The success of “Ginpalangga” inspired Sheila to venture to her second song, “Handum Na Gid Lang” with the help of Ronelo.
The song tells of Sheila’s failed romance after she found out that her boyfriend had other girlfriends. “It’s a song about giving everything for love but in the end, the man still isn’t satisfied,” she said.
Sheila prefers to sing love songs and ballads, but she can adjust her voice to the kind of piece required of her.
Sheila is part of the group called Ilonggo Divas.

Surprisingly, despite her success, Sheila admits that she wouldn’t consider singing as her passion. “It’s okay if I sing. It’s okay if I don’t,” she said. “I just want to graduate and have a good job,” she added.
Sheila is taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Iloilo-Phinma under a scholarship provided by the Uygongco Foundation, Inc.
Sheila came from a poor family. Among the Barrios siblings, she’s the only one who finished high school. “I promised my mother that I will finish my studies,” she said.
“The budget given by the foundation is not enough to sustain my HRM course. So, I find ways to earn extra and that’s through singing,” she added.
So, passion or not, Sheila believes that singing, coupled with the support of the foundation, will help her fulfil her dreams. (Marie Katherine Villalon, The News Today, August 25, 2011)

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