by Nickie Wang
At the press launch of Gerald Santos’ repackaged album entitled Pinakahihintay, members of the press were briefed what to ask and not what to ask the 20-year-old singer. It somehow gave us the idea that Gerald actually has an issue since we do not closely track the career of this lad even after he won Pinoy Pop Superstar season 2.
Before he jumped ship to TV 5 as a freelance artist, he went straight to GMA 7’s big bosses to ask the status of his projects with the network. He received no solid response.Thereafter, he filed a complaint stating that a composer who is associated with GMA-7 attempted to sexually harass him in several occasions. In all instances that he faced the media, he declined to name the composer.
“He’s been through a lot so let’s just focus on Gerald’s plans and future projects,”said the host of the album launch.
So again, cobwebs still blanketed the question why the sophomore album got recalled twice since it’s launch in 2008, and why there was no official statement released pertinent to the copyright issue clouding the album’s carrier single “Hanggang,” which he sang during the grand finals of the talent show hosted by Regine Velasquez.
Nevertheless, Gerald’s third attempt to release the record looks more promising this time. Aptly titled Pinakahihintay, it compiles 12 all-original tracks (that means “Hanggang,” which is a Wency Cornejo composition, is no longer included).
He believes that coming up with this kind of project is already a gamble, just like his decision to join TV 5. He asserts that this bold move will encourage other young artists to find their own voice and make original music that speaks more of their generation.
“We made a survey and we found out that people now want to hear new songs.If we are not going to do it now, this generation wouldn’t be able to produce classic songs. Our children wouldn’t be able to hear the kind of music that defines our time as well. That’s why I believe new and original songs must be given more exposure this time,” Gerald stated in Tagalog.
The young balladeer hailed from Navotas puts hit 100 percent belief on Pinakahihintay. He is quite sentimental when he said that he wants to bring back the time when all we hear from the radio are music with meaningful lyrics and good melodies. He also supports the initiative of the government to feature more OPM on the airwaves.
A novice songwriter
The repackaged edition album, a record of mixed genres, is a statement that Gerald works hard to improve his craft. Since he started singing professionally, he also began writing songs. Two of his solo compositions called “I Cannot Imagine” and “Kailan Masasabi” are included in the new record. He also collaborated with Prinstar Music Philippines’ Rommel Ramilo by providing the music for the tracks “Gotta Be Strong” and “This Feeling Inside.”
“I don’t have any other things to offer except for my talent and this unknown little album,” the now songwriter humbled during the open forum.
Prior to being asked by the press, Gerald rendered some songs lifted from the album. He went out of his comfort zone by performing upbeat pop and ended the mini show imitating the voices of Gary V., Ogie Alcasid, Martin Nievera, and Janno Gibbs.
“These people are my musical influences and if I sound like them it’s only natural because I grew up singing their songs,” Gerald explained.
Although big breaks were elusive in the past years for Gerald, he is now equipped with a better material that he can claim his own. His energy towards performing is renewed, which he attributes to the situations he has gone through.
“Sana po manuod kayo sa grand launch ng Pinakahihintay,” the young artist requested as soon as he finished the final number.
Pinakahihintay was launched on TV 5’s Party on 5. It will be followed by a series of mall and provincial tours in November and December.
Hallmark before Diva
“What kind of Diva are you?” This was the only recurring question asked to everyone who attended the grand launch of Solar Entertainment’s newest family member, Diva Universal.
The satellite television took over Hallmark Channel on the regional cable channel lineup on Sept. 19 and was officially introduced to the public three weeks later.
“It’s not a lifestyle channel. It’s a premier entertainment channel that celebrates attitudes and spirits associated with women. It is geared towards a female skewed audience but not really exclusively for them,” said Universal Networks International (UNI) managing director Raymund Miranda in an interview with the Standard Today.
He furthered that Diva is a word that works across multiple countries including Europe, Latin America, and Asia and branding the channel as such is a product of a long research process. He also made it clear that Diva did not replace Hallmark Channel, which is still a very strong brand and had reached more than 20 million viewers across 21 Asian countries including the Philippines. It is still a staple television network in countries in America and Europe.
According to the UNI official, Diva Universal is the third channel created for UNI and currently being launched globally.
Exciting new shows
UNI aims to modernize its brands “or update them a little bit” that is why the launch of Diva Universal also sees the debut of an original production called Rookie Blue, a US police drama, and the much-anticipated new season of Biggest Loser Asia.
“Most of the programs are going to stay. We know that Hallmark has been known for the movies and definitely viewers will still be able to see them just like before. Diva is actually more of a mixed of the old and new,” Miranda, a former GMA Network executive, explained.
Diva Universal’s also started airing reality shows including The Fashion Show featuring Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland, and the cooking competition series Top Chef. It also airs exclusive first-run content such as the Golden Globe award-winning series The Good Wife and The Oprah Winfrey Show.