“Mr. Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano will celebrate his 25 years in the local music scene with a big concert at the Araneta Coliseum, but even he, dubbed as a total performer, admitted that the road to success was not always smooth.
The singer, best known for his praise songs and ballads such as Sana Maulit Muli, Kailangan Kita and I will Be Here, said it was not just talent and pure luck that brought him to his status now.
Valenciano said success doesn’t happen overnight.
“It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of passion in what you do. There were a lot of ups and downs, learning from the right decisions, learning from the wrong decisions as well,” Valenciano said during his guesting on ANC’s Shop Talk last Thursday.
Since station affiliation was non-existent then, Valenciano recalled that in the early days of his career he had to appear in every show of every station to be recognized by the people to gain fame.
He said this was what he and other artists like Martin Nievera and Randy Santiago had to go through to “gain the following that [have] know now.”
Valenciano said he had made wrong career decisions in the past but he learned from these mistakes through time. He noted that up to the present he is still continuously learning.
The singer said he lasted for 25 years in the music industry because he gets the support he needs.
“So, it’s easy for me to say God is in control, and he always is and that is true, but there are so many things that come with that. I have a great management team. I’m part of a great organization. I’m part of ASAP (a variety show every Sunday on ABS-CBN Channel 2). I had the support that I feel perhaps there are others who are just as deserving. I’m just very, very thankful and grateful that I have it,” he said.
Entering show business
The 44-year-old singer started performing during his senior year in highschool in 1982 and officially entered show business on May 13, 1983.
“Noong 4th year, I auditioned for [musical group] Kundirana and I was accepted,” he recalled.
He was later invited to perform at “The Pilita and Jackie Show” wherein he initially sang along with an entire group.
“I came out with the entire group, with the quintet, so I sang with the quintet. Then, I was invited to go back as soloist… even at that time there was no certainty that this is what I wanted to become.”
Various television guestings followed including Germspesyal and Penthouse Live, until he launched officially his singing career on May 13, 1983. Since then, he launched at least 20 albums and his songs became instant hits.
In 1984, he released his first album called "Gary." He also held his first sold-out concert at the Araneta Coliseum the same year.
He received his first international award during the Tokyo Music Festival in 1985.
He received his first best performance by a male recording artist trophy for the song "Take Me Out of the Dark" in 1988. He won 11 awards for his album "Moving Thoughts," which includes hit songs Sana Maulit Muli, Di Bale Na Lang and What More Can I Say.
In 1989, he held a hit concert where almost half a million people showed up to watch him perform. “It was memorable because it was also for a cause; that people gave goods and stuff.”
He released in 1990 his “Shout for Joy” album, which he described as “a first of its kind.”
“I remember [someone] coming up to me and saying, “Mr. Valenciano, di ba kayo kumanta ng Shout for Joy pero sumasayaw kayo, pwede ba ‘yon?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s how I feel. I love God and he loves me [and] this is the song that came out.’ You can’t put God in a box and I’m glad that song introduced God to different people,” he said.
In 2001, he was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines. Since then, he has been involved in power leadership forum series, touring around high school campuses. He is set to visit 10 more schools starting January of next year.
Valenciano described the job as more fulfilling than coming up with a big concert.
“The youth today are so brilliant. They’re smart, physically fit and yet they’re the most scarred… You get to hear what they have to say not just what you have to sing,” he said.
Valenciano will hold the two-day concert at the Araneta titled “Live at 25” on November 14 and 15. He will bring his concert to Dubai and Qatar. For tickets, call 7214405 loc. 201 or visit TicketNet.
Now, Valenciano is not only doing performances here and abroad. He is also performing on stage along with his two sons.
“…We have this line between that determines who the person in authority, who the father is but we’re also friends,” Valenciano shared. “With Gab (Jose Angelo Gabriel), we dance together. We perform together. Paolo, we’re talking about movies, ideas for concerts. And with [Kristina Maria Mikaela], issues of the heart. She’s 15 and she got all these questions. [She’s] very open about it [and I] appreciate it.”
Valenciano also attributed his success and life to his better half, wife Angeli. The Valencianos’ marriage is one of the strongest in the showbiz industry.
“I still have so much to learn from my wife…. She’s really my better half. I am where I am today actually because of her decision and courage to tell me what I need to hear and not just what I want to her,” he said.
“I’m alive today, this heart is beating, because of my wife’s wisdom. When she saw me close to death, the first thing she would do is pray and then call and run for help. She would always go back to the source of life and ask for more life for me and I’m here now,” he added.
Valenciano was diagnosed with diabetes in 1978 and he has been on insulin pump since November 2005.