Angelito Toledo Alejandro, or better known as Hajji Alejandro, is a Filipino singer and actor who became popular in the 1980s through chart-topping songs such as Tag-araw, Tag-ulan, Panakip-butas,Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika and Nakapagtataka. He originally held the moniker Kilabot ng Kolehiyala (College Girls' Heartthrob) before it was bestowed upon Ariel Rivera in the 1990s. He is the father of singer Rachel Alejandro and the husband of late TV host, actress, and beauty queen Rio Diaz who died in 2004 due to colon cancer. They have a son, Ali Alejandro.
Early life and education
Hajji Alejandro was born on 26 December 1954. He started singing in high school, where he formed his own group and played in school programs. While taking up management at the Ateneo de Manila University, he joined Circus Band and started singing professionally. After graduation, he left the band to concentrate on a solo career.
In 1976, Alejandro recorded his debut album containing songs Tag-araw, Tag-ulan and Panakip-butas which instantly topped the music charts, propelling the album to achieve a gold record. Riding on the momentum, he followed it up with one of his most remembered songs to date---Nakapagtataka---which has been covered by many Filipino artists in the 1990s including his own daughter, Rachel Alejandro. It easily became one of the most iconic songs in OPM.
He toured numerous major colleges and universities, frequently holding concerts to build more fan bases. His campus tours proved successful as he drew great crowds of students, which earned him the title "Kilabot ng Kolehiyala." He then shifted his focus to a more mature crowd, holding a series of shows in hotels and nightclubs in Manila.
In 1978, he recorded the singles Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika and Ang Lahat ng Ito’y Para sa Iyo which also topped the music chart, giving him another gold record. “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika” even beat Freddie Aguilar’s hit “Anak” to earn Hajji the grand prize in the First Metro Manila Music Festival.
On 1 July 1978, Alejandro won the Best Singer Award in the First Seoul International Song Festival in Korea singing Ryan Cayabyab's composition “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.” It was the first time that the Philippines won a top award in a songfest.
Aside from singing, Alejandro is also into stage acting, having been cast in “Batibot” under the direction of Behn Cervantes. He was also in “Kapinangan” and other original ethnic musicals at the Metropolitan Theater and adaptations of Broadway musicals such as “The Wiz” and “The Fantastiks.” In 1977, he was also part of the case of the rock opera ballet “Tales of the Manuvu.”
In the 1980s, he operated a small restaurant along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles with Rio Diaz.
- 18 Greatest Hits
- 25: The Silver Anniversary Album Of Hadji Alejandro
- Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika
- Panakip Butas
- Hajji and Rachel Alejandro in Tagaytay. Manila Bulletin. (Retrieved 2009-04-03).
- Hajji Alejandro. Cultural Heritage. (Accessed on November 4, 2009).
- “Today in Philippine History, July 1, 1978, Hajji Alejandro won the Best Singer Award in the Seoul International Song Festival”.The Kahimyang Project.(Accessed on July 1, 2015).
- “Hajji Alejandro Biography”.PinoyStop.(Accessed on July 1, 2015).