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Gary V: Slowing down

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Gary V.JUST ASKING... by Joey Aquino
People's Journal, Aug. 24, 2008

GARY Valenciano should be really proud of his children for throwing him a party-cum-tribute in celebration of his 44th birthday. The party was held at Mag.net in Bonifacio High Street last Wednesday.

It was heartening to see Gary’s wife Angeli and children Paolo, Gab and Kiana entertaining well-wishers. Among the celebrities spotted that night include Christian Bautista, Jed Madela, Jodi Santamaria, Victor Basa, Anthony Pangilinan and Kaye Abad.


“Giving parties to parents like him should be all out party to the max… no limit,” boasts Paolo who spearheaded this surprise party. “Gusto namin kasi na maipakita sa kanya na maraming nagmamahal sa daddy ko as Gary Valenciano.”

Mr. Pure Energy himself was there to witness the overflowing love and affection of his friends and supporters in and out of showbiz. And watching him from the sideline, Gary may look old for his age; but he exudes the same energy since he started in his singing career.

Jamming that night as part of the tribute to their idol were popular bands like Rivermaya, Sugarfree, Urbandub, OBS, Julianne and Kuwan.

Meanwhile, Victor Basa commented that he could not afford to throw such a party when asked about giving tribute to his parents. Victor was also there doing on-cam spiels for his show for MTV Channel.

“Kasi ‘di pa naman ako ganoon kasikat,” he humbly compares himself to Gary V. “I’m not as big as Gary. All I could afford is to treat my parents to movies and stage plays.”

According to Gab, this tribute would be just the first of a series lined up for their dad this year. With all the love and support of his family, Gary V can relax a bit now.

But when will Mr. Pure Energy slow down from his showbiz career? Just asking…


LOCAL theater seems to be so exciting these days with the staging of Stages’ “West Side Story” this September.

Judging from what I saw during the presscon held at Trinoma, the modern-day classic tale of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” shows energy and excitement. It stars big names in local and international stage like Christian Bautista (as Tony), Joanna Ampil and Karylle (alternating in the role of Maria).

Among the cast, Ampil is the most experienced having played Kim in Miss Saigon at London’s West End; while Bautista is a seasoned and regular fixture of Stages productions. So, the competent performance will most likely be coming from them. Karylle, on the other hand, is not a stranger to theater as she has tried theater acting since she debuted as Princess Sapphire in the Little Mermaid in 2000. Thus, she will definitely hold her own against Ampil. And Karylle seems to be more excited and energetic than Ampil. That makes her refreshing to watch in this production.

Also interesting to note in that the people working backstage for this production are the same actors who played lead roles when “West Side Story” was first staged in Manila by Repertory Philippines in 1981. Its executive producer (Audie Gemora) and stage director (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo) portrayed Jeff (the Jets’ gang leader who is now played by Gian Magdangal of Philippine Idol fame) and Maria, respectively. Their creative tandem complemented by Gerard Salonga’s world-class musicality will surely wow the Filipino viewers.

“West Side Story” narrates the love story of Tony and Maria who are caught between the warring street gangs of different ethnic background – the “Jets” and the “Sharks.” Their struggle is to live together in the midst of violence, hate and prejudice.

Meanwhile, Stages’ attempt to hold its presscon at a mall is a good move as it tries to bring theater to the masses. As per observations, shoppers were unmindful of the presscon cum show. Proof that theater in this country is still for selected audience. Maybe the presence of Bautista and Karylle will convince more audiences to watch “West Side Story” when it opens at the Meralco Theater on September 5.

But isn’t this production not fitting a West End star like Ampil? Just asking…

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