|Birth name||Maria Amapola Cabase|
|Origin||Cebu City, Philippines|
|Labels||Warner Music Group|
Maria Amapola Cabase, better known by her stage name Amapola, is a Filipino singer, actress, musician, television, and radio host. She is widely known in the Philippines as the original artist for the song, "Kapantay Ay Langit", which was later popularized by singer Pilita Corrales. Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos dubbed Cabase as a "Music Ambassador" for the country in 1973. In 1984 she released her international debut album produced in collaboration with Jazz pianist Bobby Enriquez, who led the Cal Tjader Trio for Amapola's debut Jazz album, Sophisticated Lady.
Amapola's music career began when she sang the love theme "Guihigugma Ko Ikaw" for the Azucena Pictures film Utlanan. The song "Kapantay Ay Langit" sung by Amapola and composed by George Canseco, won the Manila Film Festival "Gabi Ng Parangal" (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Award) song of the year award. It was later popularized by singer Pilita Corrales which eventually became her signature song. Amapola was awarded the key to Cebu City by then Governor [Manuel Cuenco] to celebrate her work as Toy Orchestra Conductor, making her the youngest person ever to receive the honor. The event was held at Cebu City's DYRC-Radio, attended by Cebu Normal School (now Cebu Normal University) Military Toy Orchestra, Conductor- Amapola and Director - Mrs. Coronada Pingol, the CNS Toy Orchestra creator.
Since the 1970s, Amapola has performed jazz and popular music. She has headlined in venues such as The Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, The Union Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, Stern Grove in San Francisco, The Town Hall in New York, The Grand Hotel in Washington DC, and The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In 1979, Amapola’s band, Amy and the Sounds, featuring her father, Mahnee Cabase on the keyboards, were commissioned as the house band at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
In the 1980s, Amapola won a number of awards for her music, such as the Awit Award for Best Female Singer and Best Vocal Performance. In 1984, she was inducted into the Tinig Awards Hall of Fame for her contributions to Filipino entertainment industry.
On November 13, 1971 Billboard released the news that Amapola started her recording contract with Vicor Music Corporation. Formerly with D'Swan Records and winning her first Awit Awards as Best Female Singer in the Vernacular, Amapola signed on with Vicor to record her first two hit singles: Secret Love and Never. The aforementioned singles anchored the Gold hit "Songs and Amapola" under the Pioneer Record Label.
- 1970 Kapantay Ay Langit
- 1971 Secret Love
- 1971 Never
- 1971 Sinner Or Saint
- 1971 Little Things Mean A Lot
- 1971 I'll Walk Alone
- 1971 One Love
- 1971 Hideaway
- 1971 Loss Of Love
- 1971 Songs (by George Canseco)
- 1971 Face To Face
- 1972 Story Of A Starry Night
- 1972 Ah-Choo
- 1972 Forbidden Games
- 1973 Speak Softly Love
- 1972 Songs and Amapola
- 1982 Live, At The Manila Hotel
- 1984 Mahnee Cabase Compositions
- 1988 Sophisticated Lady
- 2004 Broadway, My Way
- 2005 Coming Home (Piano Solos)
- 2008 By Choice
- 2008 You Don't Know Me
- 2010 Merry Christmas. Darling
Songs and Amapola
Amapola's first compilation album "Songs and Amapola" was released under the Pioneer Label of Vicor Music Corporation and included all of Amapola's 1971-72 hit singles.
Television and writing
Amapola hosted a weekly TV variety show at KEMO-TV (now KOFY) in San Francisco, which she hosted from 1978 to 1981. She regularly performed on Manila television shows such as “Stop, Look, Listen” (as one of the weekly hosts), “Eat Bulaga”, "Superstar", "Seeing Stars", "Etchos Lang", and "Live with Pops and Martin" through the 1980s.
In 2003, Amapola published Coming Home, her first novel. Coming Home won the Florida Writers Association's Palm Award for Romantic Fiction and was a finalist for Best Fiction of 2004 in Foreword Magazine. In 2005, she published Promising Skies, which received critical acclaim from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh.
Cruise ship headlining
From 1986 to 1990, Amapola headlined onboard all ships of the Royal Viking Line: Royal Viking Sky, Royal Viking Star, Royal Viking Sea and Royal Viking Sun, and sang with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Bob Crosby and the Bobcats and the Mitch Kerper Orchestra. In 1990 Amapola played the role of Bloody Mary in the RVL Sun’s Theater production of “South Pacific”. From 1990 to 1994, Amapola sang on board the Song of Flower of the Seven Seas Cruises, and Hapag Lloyd’s Hanseatic explorer ship that cruised South America and alternated with the Arctic and the Antarctic. On board the Hanseatic, Amapola was offered to sing on board the MS Gripsholm. In 2006 Amapola was invited to headline on board Regent Seven Seas Cruises Voyager World Cruise.
Amapola raised two children with her second husband, Nicolas T. Aiello. She is now married to Stephen Woodward, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1989. The two have since been active in the search for a Parkinson's Disease cure.
Honors and legacy
Awit Awards, Best Female Singer in the Philippines (Vernacular)(won)Awit Awards, Best Female Singer in the Philippines (won) NPC Lifetime Achievement Award, National Press Club, Philippines (merit) San Francisco Cultural Society, San Francisco Cultural Award (won) Bay Area "Eye" Awards, Entertainer of the Year (won) Amapola has been inducted into the Awit Awards Hall of Fame and the Tinig Awards Hall of Fame.