Something about Lea Salonga



Who is Lea Salonga ( pronounced Le- yah  Sah-long-ga ) and why am I writing about her ?


First, I just watched a few snippets of  her  Broadway show  with George Takei in Allegiance, and secondly, I couldn’t think of anything to write about.


Lea Salonga  has been a popular  singer in the Philippines, since the 1990’s,  and still popular  to this day,  from  almost 25 years ago when she played the leading  role in the musical Miss Saigon. The story was ,  the producers of the show had been looking for Asian stage actors and singers for a long time when the producers were asked, ” Have you been to the Philippines yet ?”  They went to the Philippines and ended up getting everyone who auditioned , including Lea  who was just 16 at that time and member of Repertory Philippines.



She won the  Sir  Lawrence Olivier  and Theatre World Awards  in London , then when the show was brought to Broadway, she won again, the first Asian to win a Tony  Award.  During her stint on Broadway, she was asked to provide the singing voices of Jasmine in Walt Disney’s  animated film Aladdin and Mulan .  Below is a video of Lea, and Brad Kane singing  A Whole New World at a Disney studio . ( how nostalgic ! ) * only 2 min. 32 seconds of your time , folks *



Lea in Mulan , just 2 min. , a beautiful song, great voice….  they say the best ” Disney Princess singing voice “.



They also say she is one of the  best who played the role of Eponine in Les Miserables, as mentioned by Anne Hathaway who played Eponine in the movie.




She has played  a lot of roles on Broadway, the latest of which is in Allegiance , ( 2017 ) with George Takei. ( playing the role of a Japanese woman at a Japanese internment camp in the US during WW2. )


That’s it.. And please check out my manga/anime/video games blogsite @       I have a new entry, about  RWBY, an American – made  anime, I rate 9/10.


This is all for now.  Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving Day , folks ! ! Peace and stay green.  Bye ! !

30 responses to this post.

  1. Good to know about her and how she gathered fame!


  2. Thanks for bringing my attention to Lea Salonga — beautiful, skillful voice. Happy Thanksgiving, Renx!


  3. History bit for you. The first Asian actress to play a leading role in a Hollywood movie was Nancy Kwan, in 1960, “World of Suzie Wong.” She was 20 years-old. Up to that time, film roles for Asian female characters were given to Westerners made up. The female characters in “Suzie Wong” were, as a sign of the times, Asian stereotypes. On the positive side, Nancy Kwan broke a barrier, earned recognition for her acting, and she outshone the star of the flim, William Holden, who was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars at that time.


    • Lea also played Flower Drum Song on Broadway.

      Yes, at least nowadays , Asian roles are already given to Asians. My problem here, if its Asian , it’s always played by Chinese – looking actors. There was this movie, An Officer and a Gentleman, ( Richard Greer movie ) , supposedly shot in the Philippines, but then, Filipino roles were played by Mexicans. o_O


      • I have seen Officer & but did not know about that casting issue. That movie–35 years ago!–was notable for the casting of Louis Gossett as the drill instructor. Black men had not been cast in that strong a role up to that time, unless they were named Sidney Poitier. And Gossett won an Oscar for being not only the tough DI with a bunch of (almost all) white kids, but also the mentor and father figure that the Richard Gere character never had. So, while the casting of Mexicans as Filipinos may have been backward, casting Gossett was a step forward. And so it goes. And now that you mention it, I see what you mean by Asians in movies being primarily Chinese.


        • The only Filipno I know who had been cast as a Filipino in a movie is Lou Diamond Philips. ( though he was cast as a Native American before. ) There are quite a number of Filipinos in Hollywood, but their roles are not as Filipinos, not even Asians, just the regular role of an American ( because they don’t look Asian enough , that’s a disadvantage. ) The one who comes close to being Asian – looking is Tia Carrere, Hawaiin born, but both her parents are immigrants from the Philippines.

          Here’s something funny…….. we usually can tell who are Filipinos , or at least has Filipino blood…… and my mother was very sure Jessica Alba was Filipina…… but she’s not, but the funny thing about her is, in her TV show ( before she became a Hollywood star ) , Dark Angel, she played the role of an Asian….. didn’t say exactly Filipino, but in the show, she had a Spanish name, and her family looked like Filipinos, not Chinese – looking. I mean, who is Asian and has a Spanish name? Filipinos.


          • As luck would have it, I caught a little bit of “Young Guns’ on cable after I read your comment. Lou Diamond Phillips played a Native American gunfighter who rode with Billy the Kid–a most unlikely scenario in 1880s New Mexico. Tia Carrere I remember from Wayne’s World and then in the familiar Asian female role of Dragon Lady as the nemesis of your former Governor, in “True Lies” Nevertheless quite a remarkable beauty.


            • I have not seen Young Guns.. I just read about it ^^” But I’ve seen True Lies. The movie is about Ahnold being a spy, right ? … the movie is almost a comedy, and I like it.

              Come to think of it, there are actually a lot of Filipinos in Hollywood, but as I said, they don’t look Asian enough, and thus, cannot represent Asia. Ex. Vanessa Hudgens , the star in High School Musical, and I think there are about 4 on TV shows who have major roles , like Vincent Rodriguez in Crazy Ex- Girlfriend,
     Shay Mitchell in Pretty Little Liars ( the Lesbian girl ), that Asian guy in Superstore named Marco Santos ( really funny in that show ), Darren Criss in Glee, Nia Peeples, …………… and not to mention Bruno Mars who’s half Filipino, but identifies more with Filipinos than with Puerto Rico.

  4. Yay! We were just talking about her! I’m so happy you wrote this. Lea has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. I would love to see her perform live.


    • Well, she’s on Broadway again. Listening to the song Reflections gave me the shivers.

      I don’t know if she’s still playing on Allegiance with George Takei. It’s been on one year , after all. Sometimes, famous Broadway stars headline the show for a year, then they turn the role over to another.


  5. I was lucky to see her live in Miss Saigon in London, together with the rest of the Filipino cast 🙂 that must have been in 1990 or 1991 with Him Indoors and my sister. We queued for hours for the last minute tickets or returns and so worth it! We also saw Jonathan Price coming out of his car in the afternoon. Lea Salonga was brilliant! The show was amazing, standing ovation and the cast waited in the lobby so we were able to talk to them or just said hello. So proud of them and of being a Filipino! ❤


  6. Happy thanksgiving Ren!
    Honestly I never liked Anne in Les Mis even though she did an ok job. But you are right about Lea! She has a fantastic voice!
    Now I have a whole new world stuck in my head


  7. Before reading this post I had not yet heard of her. She really has an amazing voice. Thanks for sharing this😀 And of course happy thanksgiving to you 😀


    • And likewise with thousands and talented great singers and stage actors…. people do not hear about them. I thought the fact that she was the person who sang A whole New World would resonate more with people, lol.

      Thursday next week is Thanksgiving Day…… Food galore ! I sure am gonna pile up 5 pounds of body fat…. then another 5 lbs. during the holidays, ha ha ha.


  8. Thanks for sharing, Mulan is one of my favourites!


  9. I hope you had a really lovely Thanksgiving. I’d never heard of Lea Salonga of course, but your post intrigued me so I looked her up on Google 🙂


  10. What an interesting and well-written post about Lea Salonga. Thank you for following BrewNSpew.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: