By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing
I have known Vicente “Titing” Trinquite for more than two decades, having started and embraced Mindanao’s cultural work at the same time-he, as musician-soloist, composer and band leader of the group he organized, Sinag.
Other than a musician, he is an actor, director and lately, branching into independent film-making as director.
It’s been a long way for this humble farmer’s son settling in the city, strumming a guitar and singing songs with the neighborhood barkada of Obrero and later-who would even think-performing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Manila and eventually at universities and communities in Europe and Asia as feature artist with Mindanao’s acclaimed Kaliwat Theater Collective brought by international development agencies.
“I’ve never expected to reach that far,” he looks back.
He simply wanted to sing socially relevant songs for the masses. But he was more than that, colleagues and observers know, and he evolved into an intense actor and joined “Cry of Asia,” an all-Asian stage production touring the region, with him as the only Filipino actor representing.
Earlier though, his experience as musical director of “Lawig Balanghai” the landmark Butuan musical (started late 80’s) proved to cement his aspiration to become a people’s artist.
“I come to realize I will sing and write songs for a purpose, not just to entertain but to inspire and awaken people to do something constructive in their communities,” he said.
How many band leaders can say that? Titing’s music draw inspiration from the environment to social issues and concerns.
In collaboration with his partner, Nice, the band’s soloist, they come up with compelling songs. His latest output so far earned him and his band the grand prize of last year’s Davao’s Kadayawan Music Festival (Tunog Mindanao), beating the island’s professional and aspiring bands.
Joey Ayala, one of the jurors was said to have commented Sinag’s music stood above the rest because of its uniqueness and originality.
To sum up, Titing’s grounded and reflects this island’s voice. And a Butuanon at that.