The first part of the disc shows the 36-year-old Tracy mother as a teenager on the shores of Hawaii, singing beautifully on a variety show called “Filipino Beat.” The DVD then transitions to clips of her children — Bo, Amber, Bryson and Alana — giving it their all behind the mic.
Quiambao’s passion for singing has turned into a passion for her children. The stay-at-home mother is a dedicated volunteer at Kelly School, where her sons and elder daughter study and have never missed a day of school, she said.
“I just feel emotionally excited and happy, and it brings me back to the past when I see it in my own children,” she said of watching them sing. “I feel very proud that they can actually sing — they’re very talented, and they can draw a crowd.”
Though she’s a little bashful when asked about the old days, Quiambao was a talented singer herself. After moving from the Philippines to Hawaii when she was 5, she started a career in music, with a little commercial acting, as well. Quiambao said one of her songs even hit No. 1 on Filipino music charts in 1992.
Later, she met Bon, a native Californian who convinced her to move with him to the mainland in 2000. Since 2002, the Quiambaos have called Tracy home.
Now, those memories of performing come back to her when she watches her children, all of whom have taken a shine to singing — even 3-year-old Alana. Quiambao helps them out occasionally, but as a choir mom, Quiambao said she tries to remain low-key.
“If she wouldn’t have met me, she probably would’ve furthered her singing career, but it’s been a blessing for all of us,” said Bon, a design engineer. “She’s pretty much a supermom. She puts a lot of time into not only the kids, but anything involving the kids.”
In addition to volunteering with the school choir, Quiambao also has a hand in coordinating the school’s annual talent show and helping students who struggle with their work.
“Whatever the teacher wants me to do, I do it,” she said. “I have no excuse. If I’m a stay-at-home mom, I’m dedicated to them.”
While some boys and girls might be embarrassed to have their mother at the school so much, Quiambao’s children said they enjoy having her around. Quiambao said they regularly ask her if she’s going to stop by their classrooms.
“The people that are having a lot of trouble learning the subject, when my mom comes, she helps them learn and have a better understanding of it,” said Bo, her eldest son.
• In the Spotlight is a weekly profile in Our Town. To nominate someone or to comment on this story, contact Our Town Editor Justin Lafferty at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet Maria Quiambao
• Age: 36
• How long in Tracy: Seven years
• Born: Marikina, Manila, Philippines
• Education: James Campbell High School and Kapiolani Junior College, both in Honolulu
• Occupation: At-home mother, volunteer at Kelly School
• Family: Husband, Bon; children, Bo, 11, Amber, 9, Bryson, 8, and Alana, 3