Ana Feleo is perhaps your favorite supporting TV actress for any fantaserye you can imagine: the loyal and trusted Ades of Lireo in Encantandia, the mysterious Bayang in Amaya, a cameo role in Ang Panday. Remarkable are her acting skills as these are ingrained in her in DNA.
She is, after all, the eldest daughter of the late multi-awarded actor Johnny Delgado (Feleo) and the award-winning movie director Laurice Guillen.
But beyond the glitziness of the movie spotlights, Ana Guillen Feleo is an Aliw Awards awardee who shines brighter on another stage. She gleamed as a classical soprano during the Concerto sa Museo last March 5 at the Museo De La Salle. She was joined by fellow Aliw Award awardees Tenor Randy Gilongo, Violinist Merjohn Lagaya, and the String Session Ensemble.
Ana, who graduated from the College of Music of the University of the Philippines, studied under the tutelage of the grand dame of Philippine stage, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio. After UP, she trained under W. Stephen Smith at the illustrious performance art institution, The Juilliard School in New York. From thereon, she has performed prominently in oratorios, concerts, operas, and musicals for companies such as Lyric Opera of the Philippines, Trumpets, Musikat, Tanghalang Pilipino, Philippine Opera Company, Music Theater Foundation of the Philippines, Opera Guild Foundation, Klassiko Filipino, CCP, NCCA, and UNESCO.
It was October 2017 when I got in touch with Ana to ask if she was willing to help Museo De La Salle again. For many years, Ana had been very generous in supporting our advocacy to promote classical Filipino music. With the aim of building an audience for the arts, Ana never said “no” to any of our invitations. She would pool talents, usually very close friends, to stage an international standard classical concert for Dasmariñas.
“I don’t want to sacrifice the performance. We will pull this through despite our challenging resources. You know that this program of yours is super close to my heart. You know how important preserving our cultural heritage is to me.” Her passion is unwavering and contagious. The mission must be accomplished.
Ana thinks that the younger generation must also recognize their role in the future. “If you want an outstanding legacy, your life should be all about how you can contribute,” this, she shares with them in between performances. As a performer, a storyteller, and a teacher, she reaches out to the audience, feels their pulse. Perhaps this is why she is much loved and remembered by our young audiences despite the classical genre she is more known for. She makes classical Philippine music grounded.
The Concerto sa Museo was opened with an unusual poetry reading by Lakandupil Garcia, a poet and a local stage actor. Audience were thrilled when Ana, Randy, and Merjohn sang 16 songs for one and a half-hour. Ana got everyone enchanted with the classical rendition of Maalala Mo Kaya, Bituing Marikit, and Sa Kabukiran. She sang Nandito Ako and encouraged audiences to join her in singing the chorus. The youth’s energy was high. Equally talented voice coach and Tenor Randy made the young girls in the audience swoon with his Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak, and when he and Ana sang Kalesa¸ big smiles and thrilled eyes were observed from the crowd. And violinist Merjohn’s soulful rendition of the immortal song Ikaw gave him a standing ovation.
Truly, the widest dissemination of this artistic and cultural craftsmanship are advocacies that Ana and her friends share. Rightfully, our fantaserye supporting actress lives in another reality. A reality that radiates her own light and notes as she captures the same glitz of the spotlights, however on a different stage, on a different platform.