MANILA - Jed Madela is "better now," but there was a time when the pop balladeer had anxiety attacks following a phase of feeling "irrelevant and insignificant" in the local music scene.
The singer, 40, opened up about a time in his career when he nearly quit, in the episode of "Tonight with Boy Abunda" on Monday.
Explaining why he felt unimportant, Madela said: "Ang daming naglalabasang bago, ang daming naglalabasang mas magagaling, mas nakakagat ng audience. There was a point na talagang sinabi ko na pagod na ako."
"No matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I pushed myself, I tried to conform. Kung ano'ng uso, sige, sundan natin. Sumasakay ako, pero wala," he said.
What followed were episodes of anxiety attacks. Madela recalled there weren't particular reasons that triggered his difficulty breathing, but surmised that his feeling of being dispensable in showbiz "started everything."
"Hindi ako makahinga, I couldn't breathe properly. 'Di ba, when we breathe, it's just like second nature. Wala lang, andiyan lang siya. But then, it had to be an effort for me. Kinakailangan kong stop and breathe. Nag-pa-panic talaga ako," he explained.
That was five years ago. Since then, Madela has learned to surround himself instead with positivity, and the "right people," among them his solid group of supporters who have been with him for the most part of his career.
"I'm better now. I realized na you do not need a lot of people talaga around you. You just need a few good ones to keep you sane," he said.
With a Kia Theatre concert all set for Valentine's Day -- on his 15th year in showbiz -- Madela is an image of longevity, with his fears from half a decade past of being "irrelevant" nowhere in sight.