TOTEL V. DE JESUS WRITES :  Call it pure coincidence, up-and-coming singer Garie Concepcion, KC’s younger half-sister, launches her self-titled debut album titled “Relaks Lang Tayo,” under Star Records. This takes place without Garie knowing that her Ate KC would do the most talked about tell-all interview with TV host Boy Abunda Sunday on ABS-CBN’s “The Buzz.”“I feel for my sister. I’m hurt too because of what she’s going through. But I know she’s a strong woman,” she said Tuesday in an interview with select members of the entertainment press. “We had an exchange of SMS but we haven’t talked about it in details. I think we won’t go into that anymore.”

KC is still in Japan for a series of show with other ABS-CBN talents.

The 22-year-old Garie is the eldest and only child of veteran actor Gabby Concepcion with Grace Ibuna. The 26-year-old KC, as everybody knows, is the eldest and only child of Gabby with the Sharon Cuneta.

Asked about her relationship with her very famous sister, Garie said, “KC has always been a generous ‘Ate’ to me. Recently, she gave me shades and other gifts. Ever since, I’ve loved the fact that I have an older sister.”

Over the years, she’s always been aware that she has a famous sister and father. She and KC only met during the wake of their grandfather, Rollie Concepcion, in 2008. Garie recalled it was the most memorable moment of her life. Catching up on the lost years they were apart, Garie and KC never lost contact. “We’d hang out every time we have time.”

She added she’s also in touch with their younger half-sister, 16-year-old Chloe, via Facebook. “She was the one who added me up. She’s also musically inclined. I think she plays guitar or piano.” Chloe is Gabby’s daughter with former Vogue magazine editor turned actress Jenny Sequia.

“They’re both based in Sweden so it’s hard to meet up,” Garie said.

Singing has always been Garie’s passion. At the age of three, as her mother told her, she was already singing Disney tunes. She learned by merely listening to the radio.  “So having an album is truly a dream come true for me.”

Garie’s reason why she’s entering show biz only now is simple. Her mother decided she has to live her younger years like a normal teenager. “I’ve never left the Philippines. I grew up here,” she said.

She finished a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Institutional Management major in Tourism Management from De La Salle University-Benilde.

Apart from singing, she said she likes to try hosting. Acting, she emphasized, is still too far-fetched.  Of course, she expects the comparison with the already established KC, who everyone describes a show-biz royalty.

Garie, judging from the way she talks, laughs and sings actually sounds like KC. The influence is already there. Or could it be the Concepcion genes, right there in her vocal cords?

She recalled an incident. “One time, I called up dad (Gabby). We’ve talked about several topics already when he paused and asked me, ‘Wait, which daughter I am talking to now?’”

So far, KC has two best-selling albums titled “Cassandra” and “KC”.  With the undeniable similarity of their voices, it is hoped Garie’s debut album won’t be attributed to her heartbroken sister. Or at least in the future, she could name her next album with her own name, “Garie” or “Garie’s”.

Discerning listeners and fans out there will be the judge.

Now out in music stores, “Relaks Lang Tayo” has 13 original tracks by lyricist Edith M. Gallardo and musician Nino Regalado, with inputs from equally brilliant composers Ogie Alcasid, Louie Ocampo and Moy Ortiz.

Besides her mother, immediate family and close friends, Garie dedicates this album to her Ate, especially the carrier single, also titled ‘Relaks Lang Tayo’.

“It’s a very positive song,” said Garie, who proudly confessed she’s romantically unattached.

Incidentally, in the album’s accompanying statement that was written way before KC’s tearful confession on national TV, the song is described Garie’s favorite track because “it speaks about how one should see life and handle things in any given situation. One must learn how to relax, surrender and think that everything will be OK one day.”

Pure coincidence?

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