He was that 20-something singer whom your parents or grandparents have probably seen in one of the folk houses along Mabini Street in Manila back in the early 70’s. He was that Circus Band member who, along with Hajji Alejandro, Pat Castillo, Jacqui Magno and Tillie Moreno, was a staple in Metro Manila’s flourishing live music circuit in the mid 70’s. He was that promising, eager solo act who, at the end of an eventful decade, has started out releasing and recording ballads that would eventually become classics serving as the soundtracks of many lives.
His name is Basil Valdez — undoubtedly one of the country’s finest and most enduring performers; a man considered a living legend and an important pillar of the local music industry.
On June 27, a rather overcast Wednesday, his golden voice graced the Wish 107.5 Bus and took Wishers to one brief trip down memory lane with his performances of his greatest hits. But his debut Roadshow gig was more than just a nostalgic set, it was a profound event wherein he imparted lessons that transcend the world of music.
Here are three essential things we’ve learned from the OPM icon.
Keep doing what you love while you still can
Perhaps it is an innate characteristic of a true-blue artist to have the drive to continue doing what they love. And Valdez is a quintessential figure embodying this desire to keep the flame alive.
Despite having a time when he “had some health issues” last year, he made sure that his presence was still felt by his loyal supporters. In 2017, he held a successful show at the Theatre at Solaire to celebrate his 40th year in the industry as a solo performer. This month, he is set to return to the scene with a Music Museum concert on July 11 with the acclaimed Ateneo Chamber Singers — a special offering he was promoting when he went aboard the Wish Bus for his first-ever Roadshow stint.
Exuding great enthusiasm in inviting listeners to his latest show, one wouldn’t even imagine that the 66-year-old balladeer had once temporarily lost his voice during the formative years of his solo career.
Never forget the people who’ve been a part of your success
Another thing to adore about Valdez’s Roadshow guesting was his vivid storytelling — a clear proof how the things he shared were of great significance to him.
For instance, when he introduced his career-defining hit “Ngayon At Kailanman,” he had this to say: “October 27, 1977 — we’re counting 41 years since this was released. When I recorded this song, the late George Canseco told me that it was a song meant for weddings. And at the time, it was very relevant because I was also singing in churches…’Ngayon At Kailanman’ was the very first Filipino song he composed for me.”
Esteemed balladeer Basil Valdez graces the Roadshow with an exquisite performance of “Ngayon At Kailanman,” “Nais Ko,” and “You.”
This same tender recounting — thick with tidbits of trivia — was present before he sang “Nais Ko,” penned by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab (a long-time collaborator and his musical director of nearly three decades), and “You,” a track written for him by his former classmate, the late Gerry Paraiso.
His three-segment radio interview was also teeming with memorable anecdotes from his decades-spanning musical journey, including performing for the Kings of Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
Musing about the longevity of his career, he uttered, “I’ve had so many experiences as a singer. I have traveled in most continents to perform…Looking back, I’ve realized that my life as a singer had gone a long way. And I really owe that to the people who have supported me.”
Be grateful and leave everything to the Most High
Apart from expressing gratitude to his fans, he also did not forget to acknowledge the One who blessed him with the gift of music. “It might sound trite and corny, but I most especially owe all my blessings to the Lord Almighty,” he remarked.
To further convey his appreciation, he also shared that when he interprets some songs nowadays, he sings it with a deeper meaning in mind, citing this verse from “Ngayon at Kailanman” as an example:
Dahil kaya Sa’Yo nang maitadhanang ako’y isilang sa mundo/ Upang sa araw-araw ay Siyang makapiling Mo/ Upang ngayon at kailanman, Ikaw ay mapaglingkuran, Hirang
Meanwhile, when asked if he has still some career wishes he wants to be fulfilled, he said that he will just “leave everything entirely to [Him].”
“I don’t want to sound so spiritual and religious…but you know, at my age and [at] this time of my life, I am already contented with what I have done. I just wish happiness, and I hope I’m able to impart some insights to other people who watch my concerts,” he added.
Watch his Wishclusive performance of “Ngayon At Kailanman” below:
Catch Basil Valdez and the Ateneo Chamber Singers on July 11 at the Music Museum. Check out TicketWorld for ticket inquiries.