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Remembering Donna Summer


In the 1970s, when it comes to dance music, Donna Summer was queen.

In the ’70s, we were under Martial Law. And we had a midnight to 5 am curfew. Because of the curfew, parties should end either at 10 pm to give time to travel home or to continue until 5 am, after the curfew. The parties that ended at 5 a.m. were called “stay-in” parties. I loved stay-in parties when we were in high school.

During parties, the dance floor was always crowded when Donna Summer songs ( like Love to Love You Baby) were played.

I was 16 years old when Donna Summer came to the Philippines. My high school classmates and I, about ten or twelve of us, went to her concert at Araneta Coliseum. She must have been told that the Filipinos were conservative people and that we were under Martial Law because her first numbers were quite tame, without the usual sexy gyrations and moanings. Suddenly, one gay teenager stood on one of the ledges and did the Donna Summer moves with abandon. A spotlight was focused on him and the crowd roared. Donna, upon seeing the teenager doing her (Donna’s) moves, immediately changed gear and sang and danced with gusto – with moaning and suggestive body movements. And we all danced to her music.

While I was in college, a forgettable film Thank God It’s Friday came out. Donna played Nicole Sims, a wannabe singer.  The film may be forgettable but her song Last Dance  became a big hit and she won her first Grammy.

She even turned one of my favorite songs, MacArthur Park (Richard Harris version), into disco music.

I miss the 1970s – my high school and college years. While I preferred to listen to Rock music, I danced to disco songs.

And now it’s time to say goodbye to the Disco Queen, Ms. Donna Summer.

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