From the day I found out the schedule for Gary Valenciano’s concert to celebrate his 29th anniversary in the industry, I immediately booked tickets for me, my sister, and my friend. The concert series will be held in Music Museum for 8 days during the month of April and May, and we decided to watch on the 27th of April.
I remember before, my high school alma mater would invite Gary V to perform for their founding anniversary (I forgot the exact date). I think he was invited twice when I studied there. There was this time when my sister asked us to watch one of Gary V’s performances with her and the moment when I first knew and saw Gary V turned out to be a cathartic moment. Because since then, I became his fan.
Fast forward to present. On the day of Gary V.’s Day 6 On Higher Ground concert series, my sister, my friend, and I planned to leave our house earlier so that we won’t be late and avoid the horrible traffic congestion in Greenhills. Unfortunately, since it was a Friday and the Avengers movie is showing in theaters, our plan didn’t exactly work out the way we wanted it to be. All parking spaces and valet services near Music Museum were full, but good thing there’s still valet service in front of Promenade.
Upon entering the theater, the backdrop of the stage was quite intriguing. I think it was almost 8 in the evening when we entered, but the seats weren’t full yet.
After minutes of waiting, the show started. Jordan Escusa did the opening act of the concert. I was impressed by his hosting skills because he can very well entertain the audience by imitating the voice of sponsor ads, as well as Optimus Prime from Transformers. According to my friend, he was once invited as speaker for our high school alma mater retreat last time.
Next, Quest performed some songs before the main event the audiences were waiting for. I can certainly say that Quest did an amazing job incorporating Gary V’s song titles into a structured, meaningful lyric of his rap.
And the wait is over, Gary V finally appeared! I was able to capture some cool pictures during the show:
This part was where Gary had a blooper moment (haha!). I wouldn’t mention what happened, but I’m pretty sure everyone who watched that night will know what I’m talking about, including Gary V himself.
Julianne, another talented artist, was the guest of the concert. After her solo performance, she and Gary sang a medley of some of his mellow songs.
Gary was also able to share the Word of God through his performance. That night, the verse that best described him was Psalm 92:14. It says: They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh… (NIV version). Gary V brought out music alive and fresh. Both young and old can undoubtedly relate to his songs.
And Gary V sang a quintet version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow with a recording of himself in four distinct voices.
And then, the shoulder pads (!!!), as Gary V would call it. The songs performed during this session transported the audience back to the 80s, letting the older ones feel nostalgic over their childhood days. Juan Miguel Salvador played the keyboard. The only song I recognized was Don’t Stop Believing (because I am young… LOL).
My sister, my friend, and I wouldn’t have noticed that Jed Madela was seated right in front of us if Gary V didn’t call out to him. So Jed Madela was requested to go on stage and sing for the fans who requested for a sample. He sang Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? – he possessed such an amazing voice, by the way.
As the concert was nearing its end, Gary V sang a few songs which included my all-time-favorite: How Did You Know. He also sang Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo, and Sana Maulit Muli.
The concert, without a doubt, provided a great opportunity where the audience can witness Gary V’s amazing God-given talents in singing and dancing. His passion for it shows that he’s not doing it in vain, but instead, he’s doing it for Him. It’s kind of hard to imagine the fact that he’s already 47 years old and yet he can still sing and dance his heart out. I don’t think I could still do what he can do if I were in his shoes.
With that said, it is evident that he is a living example of God’s unconditional love for us. Gary V proves to have complete faith in the Lord by not letting his diabetes become a hindrance to always bring out and show the best of what he can do. He is a walking, singing, and dancing miracle. Amazing, right? I guess it is in this very situation that we can humble ourselves and trust in God because at the end of the day, He’s still the one who gives us strength during times of darkness.
No words can express how immensely happy I was to experience this moment. Not only did Gary V’s songs and message touch my heart, but seeing him perform on stage left me speechless. Even the sounds and visuals captured the moment as well. I was so starstruck-ed that the time when I got the chance to take a picture with him, the muscles in my face were trembling! I hope nobody noticed it. However, on the brighter side, the experience was fulfilling – it was a dream come true to see him close up, take a picture with him, and hold his hand even just for a while.
But everything comes to an end. I wished and hoped to have more even though the concert ended. It seemed that I couldn’t get enough of it. The feeling was, indeed, so overwhelming. Up to now, I can’t stop smiling – Gary V hangover, I guess, haha! If only I could relive this moment, I would’ve gone back to it for as long as I live.
Overall, I’m glad to have watched his concert and I’m definitely looking forward to his 30th anniversary. This is truly a night to remember. His inspiring songs have surely lifted us up to stand on higher ground with him – letting us move our feet, as well as our hearts and souls.
(The other songs he sang during the show (those of which I recognize): Halina, Tara Na, Di Na Natuto, Wait Forever, Each Passing Night, Even For A While, Love is Real, Break Me, Take Me Out of the Dark, Warrior is a Child, Eto Na Naman, When She Smiles)