After a series of music releases that garnered multiple nominations, Nicole Laurel Asensio is set to release on December 1 a brand new original Christmas duet entitled “Sana Masaya Ka” with iconic OPM artist Jeffrey Hidalgo, produced by Gabe Dandan and released under Warner Music.

“Sana Masaya Ka” is a bittersweet duet that unfolds the story of former lovers spending their first holiday season apart. Nicole Asensio’s silken vocals evoke nostalgia and Jeffrey Hidalgo’s smoky timbre resonates deeply into the very fibres of the bed of instruments arranged by Gabe Dandan. The classic and organic elements brought by strings and woodwind sections blanket the song with much-needed warmth and familiarity as the characters sing of healed hearts and happier holidays to come. 

Sana Masaya Ka

“Jeffrey has a beautiful signature vocal tone that can smooth over the rough edges of even the most painful lyrics and make it an easy listen. His depth as an actor/director makes his delivery and storytelling hit home. I learned a lot while tracking him. It makes me smile when I think about how this project is entirely homegrown and home-recorded. Lawrence Nolan recorded himself playing drums from his home, Gabe played Bass, Guitar, Hammond and Rhodes as well as sang backup vocals from home. The strings and woodwinds played by Ted Amper and Carlo Mikhail were recorded by us in my home and our friends Jess Fermino, Mark Enriquez and myself took turns tracking vocals. Learning the quirks of the process and making mistakes was definitely part of what made this song even more memorable,” Nicole beamed. 

The last time I had a Christmas single was 25 years ago so I am really looking forward to the release of this track. Nicole and Gabe asking me to do this collab is really an unexpected blessing, ” Jeffrey Hidalgo exclaimed.

“This was one of the best collaboration experiences I’ve had in the studio if not, the best! My favorite aspect of being a musician is the recording process and recording this single was the most fun I’ve had in the studio. I enjoyed working with Nicole and Gabe immensely. I loved how they took me out of my comfort zone with out-of-the-box harmonies that were peculiar but so delectable to the ears. I loved their vision for the song form the get-go, so I was all in,” Jeffrey added. 

Nicole muses, “It really is a bittersweet season for some, I wrote the lyrics and melody because not everyone’s Christmas is merry. Though it is easier said than done, focusing on the blessings gets us by. Relationships fail. People make mistakes and grow apart. However, the markings of truly loving someone is wishing them love and happiness even if you are no longer involved with them…you still want to know they are alright, and that they’ll still have a Merry Christmas even if you’re not in the picture anymore. 

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