Barbie Almalbis pays tribute to animal rights activist relative on ‘An AsPin’s Song’

In honour of her late grandaunt Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco

Filipino singer-songwriter Barbie Almalbis has dropped a new track, ‘An AsPin’s Song’.

Almalbis penned the song in tribute to the late Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco, whose work as a fervent animal rights activist is well-known in the country. To Almalbis, Nita was simply known as Tata, her loving grandaunt.

Stream the song below.


The track is named after the beloved mixed-breed dog indigenous to the country, and Almalbis writes from the perspective of an AsPin in admiration of Nita’s lifelong efforts.

“Tata was a gifted musician and a champion for animals,” Almalbis recalled in a press release. “She was the President of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, which she reorganised in 1986, after having been one of its youngest volunteers in the ’50s. I had always wanted to write the song she requested, but I didn’t have much experience with AsPins.”

Nita passed away in October at the age of 93, and the song comes after Barbie felt the need to pay proper tribute amid the “outpouring of love from family and friends and people whose lives she touched,” as she writes.

Reaching out to Alya Honasan, an aunt from her husband’s side and friend of Nita, Almalbis sought her help on the song. “After a few days, she sent me the lyrics to ‘An AsPin’s Song’, and I was so touched by her words,” she explains.


The single comes on the heels of Almabis’ live rendition of “Umagang Kay Ganda”, a song originally penned by Butch Montserrat. The performance was released on Tuesday (Dec 1) by radio station Wish 107.5. Watch the video below.

Sony Music Philippines confirms that Almalbis is currently preparing a full-length album for release next year.