Ashley’s Teenage Dream

Ashlie Cortez is thirteen and she has a dream.
By Efee Rafanan, Special Correspondent

I met Ashlie Cortez in Reno, Nevada before the Dream Tour Concert of Angeline Quinto and Sam Milby where she was one of the front acts. We sat down for an interview to get to know this seemingly shy and proper teenage girl.

Her father, Bobby, remembers vividly that he first heard her, at two years old, humming a tune at the backseat of his car. That’s when the parents realized that their daughter has a gift.

Through kindergarten, Ashlie showed her knack for singing in school by participating in talent shows.

She had her first taste of “public” performance during a vacation in the Philippines, in Baguio City in particular, where she was volunteered by her parents to sing in a karaoke bar with a song “Valentine”. She was 7 years old.

At age 7, her parents enrolled her in voice and piano lessons. All through these extra-curricular activities, Ashlie never had problems with her studies. “There is no need to motivate her to study. It comes so naturally for her,” said her Dad. Up to now, Ashlie’s grades are straight As.

As a performer, she had guest stints in most Manny Pacquiao Concerts – in Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe and Vallejo. She was also suppose to perform at a concert in Texas after Manny’s fight but it was held too late in the night and it was an outdoor event so her parents cancelled her participation in consideration of her well-being.

A few months ago, she and her friends started a band called Version 4.1 at the Saint Catherine of Sienna School. It is composed of 4 female members and one male. They are heavily influenced by the band.

“Green Day.” Ashlie is now learning how to play the bass guitar. As a performer, she has her preferences for songs of rock, alternative rock, pop and country genres.

She has a CD in the works which contains 10 tracks, half of which she wrote herself. The CD entitled “You’ll Make It Through” is due for release this spring. It is under Pacific Moon, an independent recording label based in Sacramento, California.

Ashlie, lives with her Mom Menchie and Dad Bobby, a doctor and a nurse, respectively, in Vallejo, California with an older brother, Phillip. Her paternal grandmother is the author of two books on the history of Pangasinan.

I asked her, “If, in the future, performing doesn’t work for you as a source of living, what would be your fall back plan?” She said that she would still do something related to art and writing.

At the close of our interview, I told her that I was excited to watch her to perform on the stage for the first time. She said she will do her best.

True enough as an opening act for Angeline Quinto for her Dream Tour at the Grand Sierra Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada on February 25, 2012, Ashlie, accompanying herself with her own guitar, successfully delivered to the audience covers of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain.” I couldn’t believe this was the shy girl I was talking to earlier. She has power and stage presence.

Ashlie is scheduled to perform next at Jose and Wally shows at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada on April 1, 2012.

Ashlie is also going to be one of the featured singers of a Pacha’s Pajamas project this spring. Pacha’s Pajamas( is one of the best children’s personalized books seller and also a children’s interactive website.

Ashlie Cortez is truly living her teenage dream.

Courtesy of: Manila Mail

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