Warays should be proud of singer Mika Lorie?
Mika Lorie who?
Mika Lorie, whose real name is Lorelie Gunda Koizumi, is a true blue Waray from Borongan City, Eastern Samar. Although she hasn’t gone home for ages, Mika remembers her roots vividly.
“Hindi na po ako nakakauwi at saka lumaki po ako sa Maynila (I haven’t gone home for a long time and I grew up mostly in Manila),” quipped Lorie who is now a famous singer in Japan.
Mika’s dad Porferio Elarde Gunda is a native of Borongan and proud of his Visayan background.
According to Mika, her father’s name is indeed spelled Gonda “pero lehitimong taga-Samar ang father ko at ‘yong Gonda na apelyido, pinalitan ng tatay ko ng Gunda.”
The Gundas had proven they could go beyond their surname when Lorie dreamed of leaving Samar for Manila where she studied.
After a while—just as she wanted to be a singer, Lorie applied as an entertainer in Japan 20 years ago and got accepted.
From there on, Mika stuck to singing in clubs and bars in Japan where she was appreciated, unlike here in the Philippines, where she felt unwanted. Later, she changed her screen name to Mika Lorie and the audience, mostly Japanese, liked it more as a signature to her critically acclaimed singing voice.
The Waray girl has already recorded Japanese songs which are hits in Japan even during the pandemic through online radio.
“Bago po nagka-pandemic, mas matindi pa sana ang promotion ng songs pero bawal pa po ang maraming crowd (Before the pandemic struck, we should have promoted more the songs but crowds are still restrictive in Japan),” informed Mika.
She added that the Japanese government is strict with health protocols to prepare for the Winter Olympics this month.
Mika has also recorded an English song, “Just for You” which was penned by Michael de Lara, the same composer of Jos Garcia’s hit single, “Ikaw ang Iibigin” but because of the pandemic, its launch was thwarted. Another casualty of the Covid-19 was a worldwide release of her recording of English songs produced a black music man, William Lemuel. For promo, Mika had already recorded some cuts and a music video in the US which is being readied once the pandemic restrictions have loosened up.
Lorie is based in Osaka with her Jap hubby and two kids.