[Brod Atty. Ulysis Calumpad (rightmost) with his daughter, Kyla (at his right) and representatives from PolyEast Records. Photo credit from myxph.com]
“Of course, I am very proud of being the father of Kyla.”
These words describe what brod Atty. Ulysis Calumpad feels when referring to his daughter, Kyla, Asia’s Queen of R&B, Philippines’ Soul Princess and the first East Asian female to win an MTV Award.
Kyla, whose real name is Melanie Hernandez Calumpad (now married to PBA cager, Rich Alvarez) is a multi-awarded singer locally and internationally, songwriter, TV and movie artist, TV presenter, and producer. She is one of the popular divas like Regine Velasquez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Karylle, Jaya, Rachelle Anne Go, and collaborated with Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Jay R, to name a few.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Philippine Christian University.
Early Days as a Singer/Songwriter
Music being his passion, brod Ulysis started singing at the age of nine (9) years old by joining contests on television shows and radio programs. Thereafter, he became a regular on radio shows, appeared on stage and invited during fiestas where he sang cover songs. He admitted that singing became his means of livelihood during those times.
During his college days, he put up a band named, The Postmen, a quartet where he played as a bassist. The band did some professional stints at Bodega Manila, in Quezon City and pub houses. He also wrote some original musical compositions, one of which landed on the airwaves 35 years later. The band tried to enter the music industry by submitting their demo tapes to music outfits but were unfortunate to land any recording contract.
Brod Ulysis continued the band’s stint when they won 2nd place in Student Canteen, a TV program then with wide viewership. This helped him cope up with his financial needs.
(Contract signing with PolyEast Records)
“Finally, musician na ako!”
In an interview by Manila Bulletin, Kyla said that he heard his dad blurted out, “Finally, musician na ako!” when one of his original compositions in the 70s was recorded and included in Kyla’s album, “Private Affair.”
This song entitled, “A Song for the Love in Summer,” whose melody and lyrics were written by brod Ulysis when he was 20 years old, was dedicated to his girlfriend, Olivia Hernandez who eventually became his wife and the mother of Kyla.
Kyla was quoted saying, “Kinikilig ako during the recording ng song kasi sinulat ‘yon ng dad ko nung mag-boyfriend pa lang sila ng mommy ko”.
The song would have been buried in memory had it not been for the insistence of Kyla to have it recorded as a feeler for her album.
(Kyla and her parents after winning the Tanghalan ng Kampeon Grand Championship)
Personal Coach and Mentor
Brod Ulysis’ frustration to be a musician did not deter him in pursuing his passion. Where he failed, his daughter succeeded. He already planned and set the path of Kyla in the musical industry.
He said that although all his children sing very well, he found in Kyla a potential to pursue a singing career when she was 9 years old. He and his wife were blessed with four children: a son as the eldest and three daughters, with Kyla the third among them.
He and his wife Olivia became the first coaches and mentors of Kyla when she joined singing contests locally and abroad. She won as the Grand Champion of Tanghalan ng Kampeon where she sang, “I Am Changing.” She also represented the Philippines to the 4th Yamaha Music Quest in Japan, her first out-of-the-country undertaking.
Getting a recording contract for Kyla was not easy. Brod Ulysis said that it was a tough challenge and they experienced a lot of difficulties and rejections from record companies. But he did not surrender until Kyla’s talent was finally noticed. And the rest is history.
(Kyla and Brod Ulysis in Japan for the 4th Yamaha Music Quest)
Getting into the Legal Profession
Contemplating that singing is not a promising job, brod Ulysis strived in his studies and became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He practised as a CPA and engaged into a business which was not profitable. He was already working with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) when one incident prompted him to venture into the legal profession.
Barely two weeks working with the CSC, he got involved in an accident where three (3) persons were injured while studying how to drive. Realizing the need to have a knowledge of the law in cases like that, he enrolled at the Far Eastern University – Institute of Law and made it in the Roll of Attorneys.
Later, he became a Graft Investigator at the Office of the Ombudsman which he held until he retired from government service at the age of 50. His name is specifically mentioned in Supreme Court decisions in cases filed by and appealing the decisions of the Ombudsman like Ombudsman vs. CA and Macabulos, GR 159395. May 7, 2008 and Frances-Filipino vs. Drugmakers’ Laboratories, Inc., GR 158960, November 24, 2006.
(Brod Ulysis’ family)
Being a Diva’s Dad
Brod Ulysis is not a “stage father,” preferring to support his daughter away from the spotlight. He works and rejoices silently but shies away from the camera. He succeeded in his planned route for Kyla after all the sacrifices that he had to endure. His best consolation is to see his dream of becoming a celebrity singer come true through his daughter.
By being a father of a diva, he said, “It affects my professional and social life in the sense that I receive praises and immediate attention and preference when people learn that she is my daughter.”
A Song for the Love in Summer
A Private Affair Album by Kyla
Kyla’s Official Facebook Page
Kyla Facebook Fan Page
Kyla on Instagram
Kyla on Twitter
Kyla – Asia’s Queen of R&B Facebook Page