MANILA — Rey Valera had been a daily staple on “It’s Showtime” as the head judge of the singing contest Tawag ng Tanghalan, until the latter part of 2019, when he went on a months-long leave from the noontime program.
The music veteran, who resumed his “hurado” duties in September last year, went into detail about the health scare that forced his four-month absence from “It’s Showtime.”
Valera, 65, recalled the episode during a Tuesday press conference for “The Acoustic Playlist,” his joint concert with former Side A vocalist Joey Generoso scheduled on February 7 at Palacio de Maynila.
Valera recounted that he had been set to perform in the US for a series of shows in mid-2019, when he noticed that his stomach appeared swollen days before his flight.
When he consulted a doctor, Valera was advised to undergo an operation as soon as possible — preventing him from leaving for his US concert tour.
Due to his non-appearance at the shows, Valera had to pay to P2.5 million to the concert producer.
Initially, Valera feared that there was a lump in his stomach, but his surgery revealed that the apparent swelling was due to abdominal adhesion.
“Ang nangyari pala, nagdikit-dikit ‘yung bituka. Ang tawag nila, ‘adhesion.’ Iyon pala, ‘pag meron ka nang dating operation — in my case, appendix — nagdidikit-dikit daw talaga ‘yun,” he explained.
“Ngayon ang worry lang daw nila, baka mayroong bukol na maging malignant. Then they have to cut it off. Buti naman wala,” he said.
Valera then turned pensive as he pointed out that his contemporaries, including the late Rico J. Puno, are “slowly going away.”
“Kapag kayo ay nandito na sa ganitong edad, and ‘yung mga kaibigan mo unti-unti nang nauubos, ang sasabihin mo sa sarili mo, ‘You may be next.’ It’s not if, it’s when. It’s only a matter of time. How long can you prolong?” he said.
“Buti nga kumakanta pa ako, e. Pero imagine mo, nauubos na ‘yung mga kaibigan mo, right in front of your eyes, and yet here you are, still trying to sing with Joey. Para sa akin, bonus na period ito. It’s an honor, it’s a gift,” Valera said.