MANILA — Here's a little known fact: "Kailangan Kita" was originally written by Ogie Alcasid with Lea Salonga in mind as its singer.
"Ows, talaga?" was Salonga's reaction when Alcasid first told her about it, as she recalled in a two-hour virtual concert on Friday.
Over the years since its original 2002 release, "Kailangan Kita" has been recorded by Gary Valenciano, Piolo Pascual, and Angeline Quinto, with Alcasid's wife Regine Velasquez including it in her concert repertoire.
But Salonga never got around to recording her own version — until recently, when Alcasid mentioned he had always intended for her to perform "Kailangan Kita."
Salonga debuted her rendition on Friday, as she streamed a second concert from home as part of the fundraising program "Bayanihan, Musikahan."
"I guess after how many years of this song just existing, I have a version of it!" she said, crediting music director Ria Osorio as the arranger and producer.
"Kailangan Kita" was one of the highlights of Salonga's concert, which included performances of Broadway hits, such as "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miserables," and OPM favorites, including her originals "Sana Maulit Muli" and "Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal."
Admittedly grappling still with the emotional and mental toll of the pandemic, Salonga opted for hopetul tunes to open and close her concert, with her renditions of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Happy Days Are Here Again."