Japan-based Filipina singer wows ASEAN delegates

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13) — The 23-year-old Filipina singer who is making waves in Japan wowed world leaders in Sunday's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gala night.

"It was so nerve-wracking (since) you're in front of the leaders (from) all over the world. At the same time, it's an honor to be singing there," Japanese pop (J-pop) singer Beverly Caimen said on CNN Philippines' "The Source" on Monday.

Caimen performed original songs last night, including her latest English song, "Future."

Last night was not the first time Caimen met President Rodrigo Duterte. She also performed for him during his visit in Japan from October 29 to 31 after an invitation from Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Si first lady Akie (Abe) po, I met her in a charity event. I was able to sing there, doon ko po siya nakilala and in-invite niya po akong kumanta para i-surprise si President Duterte pagpunta niya po sa Japan," Caimen said.

[Translation: I met first lady Akie Abe in a charity event. I sang there, and she invited me to surprise Pres. Duterte during his visit in Japan.]

"Nagulat po siya (Duterte) nung nag-Tagalog ako (He was surprised when he heard me speak in Filipino)," Caimen added.

One of Caimen's most popular hits in Japan is "I Need Your Love," which is also the theme song of Japanese drama show "Crisis."

Caimen recorded songs here in the Philippines under GMA Records before she flew to Japan in 2015.

Her career here was also the key to her international success, with the help of her manager, composer Vehnee Saturno.

"Yung Tagalog song ko po, pinarinig niya (Saturno) po sa producer and then nu'ng narinig niya po 'yun, pumunta po siya sa Philippines para mag audition ako and then doon na po, the rest is history," Caimen said.

[Translation: Saturno have the Japanese producer one of my Tagalog songs. When the producer heard it, he came here and allowed me to audition. The rest is history.]

Among her hits here in the Philippines are "Maari Ba?" and "May Awa ang Diyos."

Despite her success in the Land of the Rising Sun, Caimen said she still hopes to release songs here in the Philippines.

"Marami pa pong projects na darating sa Japan, and  recording new songs po. In the future, hopefully po magrerelease po ako ng bagong songs, and pagbalik dito sa Philippines din po makapagrelease din po ako ng mga songs. Mahal ko po ang Pinas," Caimen said.

[Translation: There are still a lot in store for me in Japan. I'm recording new songs. In the future, I hope to release new songs here. I love the Philippines.]