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Kuh Article 1




"Kuh Inaugurates a Republic"
By Edmund L. Sicam

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KUH Ledesma has many reasons to be happy these days. Her latest album,
"Akuhstic" is now out in the market after a long gestation period.

Six years ago, American producer George Black worked on several songs as
part of a Christmas album that Kuh wanted to release. However, the pop diva
got sidetracked by her dream of cracking the international market. The
result was an album called "Precious," which got good notices but failed to
make a dent in the Billboard ratings chart. The Christmas album never got
made and Black returned to the US.

Joint Venture
Months ago, Vic del Rosario told Kuh at a social function that all the top
female singers had new albums out in the market -Regine Velasquez, Zsa Zsa
Padilla, Pops Fernandez. Only Kuh was missing from the prestigious list.

That resulted in a joint venture between Kuh's Bravo Records and Viva
Records. Since she already had several songs in the can, Kuh decided to
make them part of the new album but asked for rearrangements of some songs
with the help of Bodgie Dassig and Odette Quesada.

This is Kuh's 17th album. The singer recalls that when she did her first
album of George Canseco's compositions, she didn't even get study tapes.
She learned everything in the studio before she recorded the songs. Things
were different for "Akuhstic."

"I have become harder on myself," says Kuh. "I'm never satisfied with my
work and I think that's good. I'm always looking to improve what I've done.
However, sometimes you have to know when to stop or the album will never
get finished."

Carrier Single
The album is bannered by the carrier single "If I Could Reach You." Other
selections in the album are "One on One," ""Sana," "Paano," "Got to be
There" and "Don't Give Up on Us Baby."

Another source of happiness for Kuh is her newly-opened entertainment
center called Republic of Malate, located at 1769 A. Mabini, Manila. It
combines a Chinese restaurant, a cafe-bar and a dance club. The place is
not as big as Music Museum but it's an enterprise that excites Kuh.

Several months, Apa Ongpin wanted her to do the interiors for a building on
A. Mabini which he intended to turn into an office. Kuh fell in love with
the place and kidded Apa that she wanted the place for herself. As it
turned out, Apa's bosses had other plans so Kuh got her wish.

Ideal Location
Kuh considers Malate an ideal location. "I like the crowd here. People hang
loose. They don't care if your hair is red or blue. The Makati crowd is
slowly coming to Malate because it's a fun place. Also, the place has
culture, it looks lived in. It doesn't have an antiseptic look. Hindi
de-cajon ang dating."

Kuh raves about her Chinese restaurant and her chef, Henry Chung, the man
behind Good Earth. She says she tasted his cooking in Magallanes several
years ago and vowed that, if she opened a restaurant, she would get Henry
to cook for her. We tried out some of Chef Henry's delicacies during her
presscon and everything was good. The cafe-bar will offer house music and
small entertainment shows like poetry reading, instrumental numbers and
stand-up comedy. There will also be a dance club for those who want to
groove to the latest music.

New Phase
The main source of Kuh's happiness these days is that her marriage to Louie
Gonzales has entered a new phase.

"For the first time in my 16-year marriage, it is only now that I truly
feel that we have become cohesive. Nafi-feel ko yung love niya sa akin and
he feels my love for him. We understand each other better now," Kuh beams.

Several months ago, their relationship became grist for the rumor mills.
They came out in blind items as a couple on the verge of breaking up if not
already separated. Those were really trying times for Kuh. She's thankful,
however, that she went though the crisis.

She explains: "I guess what we went through months ago was important. God
allowed me to go through fire so I could become stronger. The crisis made
us understand what was wrong in our marriage and helped us rectify the

Kuh credits her newly-found happiness to her new-found spirituality. "Since
I went 100 percent Christian, meaning everything is devoted to following
God's will for me and my life, I've become more fulfilled. I think
everytime we stray from God, things go wrong in our life. Sabi nga ng
Bible, when you follow God's will, we can have eternal life here on earth.

I'm not saying this is eternal. I think I'm happy because I don't feel
weighed down by life's burdens. Yung mga problema sa buhay are so light for
me because problems are part of living."

With her new outlook on life, Kuh looks ahead to the start of the new
millennium, She wants to do an album of kundimans, a major concert to
commemorate her 20 years in show business, and a big millennium project that
she's not free to discuss right now.

Article posted: 1 March '00                    

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KUH LEDESMA On Her Newest Project: Republic Of Malate

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