By Nickie Wang
Contributor/Manila Standard Today
20 May 2008
There’s a lot more to Gary Valenciano than just music as he celebrates his 25th anniversary in showbiz. It is going to be a year-long celebration of thanksgiving beginning with a concert entitled His Love at the Music Museum on May 22, 23 and 29.
“I am ending my remarkable 25 years and beginning another 25. I am moving to another chapter with His resounding Love,” Gary muses in optimism that he would still continue inspiring people with his artistry and good deeds.
Gary ’s His Love concert will be a celebration of fun and relevance, and humble prayer of thanksgiving for a milestone that exceeds the 25 years he’s stayed on top of his game. Incidentally, this year also marks the 30th year he’s successfully managed and beaten all odds to become the poster child for juvenile diabetics everywhere.
“His doctor in the States calls him a living miracle,” says wife and Genesis president Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano. Given the exhausting and demanding nature of his tours and performances, Gary has defied odds of being a diabetic patient even after years of close calls. Often, juvenile diabetics are given five years before their eyesight shows signs of deterioration.
Fittingly, Mr. Pure Energy released his new album entitled Rebirth. It is a 15-track compilation album that consists his covers of meaningful songs like Mandy Moore’s “Only Hope,” a Michael English song originally recorded by Lea Salonga called “Mary Did You Know,” and his version of the classic “Lean on Me” and “Stand by Me” as well as some of the most emotional songs including “He Won’t Let Go,” and “When I Hear You Call.”
“I call it Rebirth because it’s time to renew ourselves. With all the things happening around us and with all the crises in our country, Filipinos have been feeling down, they need, we need something to lift our spirits,” Gary states.
Inspired by the public who continuously admires and looks up to him, Rebirth is his personal prayer of gratitude that aims to touch everyone’s life. It is his relevant gift not just to the music aficionados but for the people as well who thrive and regard music as a significant part of their lives.
In the album, Gary writes in the liner notes: “Rebirth is not about trends but rather it hopes to cater to the rhythms and beats, harmonies and melodies played out in real life, filtered by emotions nestled in the human heart.”
Gary’s legacy continues
The inclusion of his children in the concert is always a much-anticipated act. In his concert at the Music Museum, he will be joined by his two sons Gabriel and Paolo. He will perform the bracing interpretation of Gab’s arrangement of “Shout for Joy,” and Beatles medley with Paolo.
“People want to see my children performing with me. I enjoy it as much as they do. They are starting to do something else; they are creating their own names in music. I want to perform with them while they still have time,” Gary says as a proud father of his two equally talented boys.
Paolo, who had tough times getting away from the shadow of his father and being compared to younger brother Gab, being expected to venture in pop music, found his niche in rock music with his band Salamin. He is the lead vocalist of the band.
“I was very affected and insecure. I am Gary V.’s son but it is kinda peculiar not being able to sing. But now, there’s no pressure at all. I am secure with the Lord and His plans. It just makes me proud being a Valenciano so I strive for excellence in everything I do, I can’t do something mediocre,” Paolo reveals during the press conference of his father’s concert.
Gabriel who’s regularly seen in Asap resembles his father in so many ways: his being lean and tall, his passion for the beat and his flair on the dance floor. Gab is a dancer, actor, choreographer, percussionist and a music producer.
“Humility. I keep my feet on the ground. That is one of the things I have learned from my dad, from my parents. He also thought me to be hard working and how to be a perfectionist in a world of imperfection,” explains Gab when asked about the things he learned from his superstar father.
Gary ’s success with a career that spans 25 remarkable years did not come to the singer easy. In fact, he had to hurdle challenges in all the turning points of his career before he finally attained stardom. In 1984, before his first major concert, he shocked everyone with an admission in his private life that would later decide the fate of his career as a performer and an artist.
“Before the public I had to admit that Angeli is pregnant and I am the father,” Gary remembers.
His honesty and his willingness to perform and touch other people’s lives through his music and works made his name an indelible mark not just as a singer, an actor, or a performer but an institution in the industry that command respect and admiration.
Growing old with style
There are artists who have faded and there are musicians who are in the verge of losing their luster. But amid the number of growing young audience, Gary is still able to make himself and his works appealing to them.
“I can’t be a total performer forever. I may lose the energy but not the ideas. I get ideas from the younger generation. I ask my children and get their opinion to the type of materials I am going to release. That’s why I am optimistic for the next 25 years of my career,” he states in his pure energetic style.