My name is Jonah Manzano, 35 years old singer-songwriter based in Western Sydney. I was born in Pampanga, Philippines, yes can you believe it, people ask me how I celebrate this day as you already know what this date represents in America. Anyway, my parents are Arturo and Lelita Manzano. I was raised in a simple life where there was no internet, no telephone, no social media at the time. Just me and my mom at the house when my father was abroad in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia working hard just to feed us. I have 2 siblings, Grace and Joshua. I am the oldest of the family.
Opo tama ay dahil taga Pampanga ako at alam ko pa hanggang ngayon ang aking dialekto. Sabi nga na marunong daw magluto mga kapampangan. pwede 🙂 And yes for Pampanga’s best!
Anyway I have migrated here in Sydney together with my sibling and my parents in September 2002, I was just 17 years old back then turning 18 I was like oh I just missed the Sydney Olympic 2000!
My life was surrounded with music from when I was a young boy. I can remember that I started singing when I was about 7-8years old and the first song I remember singing in our church was called “Si Hesus” and chorus was like this: Si Hesus, Si Hesus, Ang iisipin ko, Sakali mang may takot
Siya ang pananaligan ko
I have joined a contest in our local church or whatever you call it at the time when I have forgotten few words singing this song “Si Hesus” at least that’s what people told me before.
I have started playing the piano using a tiny pencil case built in with small keys. I was given a gift by my parents’ which was a Casio keyboard so I learned piano when I was about 8-9years I should say. Very hard to learn by yourself but I did it through passion in music. I practice 4-5 times a day or even more. I have skipped playing outside as like those normal kids just to learn musical instruments
I also learnt the guitar when I was in High School, so I was about 13-14 years old back then. I went to Holy Angel University in Angeles City, from there one of my friends introduced me to this band called “The Moffatts” Canadian popular pop band. I actually did like them and started learning more on the guitar using their songs, then from there I learned the basics in bass guitar and drums. I tried to play the flute but it was not successful at all. I joined the Grand Recital in Angeles where I was asked to play the organ for the song called “YMCA”. Prior to this I had a teacher in piano. I wasn’t very good at reading notes, as I am more into listening to a song then improvising it from there. So, my piano teacher gave me a cassette tape to learn that song YMCA so I did and the event was a successful event indeed.
Fast forward we are living in Western Sydney where I used to work in the Tourism Industry for almost 13 years straight and due to Covid-19 I have lost my employment. It was heartbreaking but at the same time
it gave me an opportunity to focus on my songs that’ve been sitting for ages and not being produced and published for the world to hear. Then the magic begins in music. I was very energetic, inspired. mostly because when I was having difficulty with my life after losing my job, I did not stop becoming independent.
I’ve also performed at Filipino Kultura few times and the one that I remembered most was when Marlisa Punzalan was there.
I recorded my three original songs in my home studio namely : “The One Who Owns Your Heart“, “Cry Out in My Heart I Stall“, and the Pilipino song “Aking Mahal ”
Apart from releasing my original tracks on Spotify, Apple Music etc I have also produced and published some cover songs just to have a bit of variety. I was doing YouTube Live and also was on Instagram Live every now and then where I get the audience mainly from Australia, Philippines, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and USA.
My genre is mainly Pop music and Gospel as I like to sing in our church which I used to lead in our band, but again Covid-19 hit and I focus on being independent artist
This song “Aking Mahal” is a song that represents the journey of my wife and myself when we had our long-distance relationship while she was working in Dubai as an OFW
We only met once in Singapore and finally got married in the year 2011. We got to know each other online through her auntie who’s living in Sydney and now we are married for over 10years. Thanks to the internet.