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Gary V on the pleasures of biking, the power of praying and channeling his creative energy during pandemic


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Gary Valenciano

If there’s one factor Gary Valenciano misses most since the pandemic broke out, it’s doing stay live shows. There’s merely nothing like the sheer pleasure, he stated, of going up onstage, laying down his catalog of hits, singing his coronary heart out, and pulling off high-octane dance numbers until he’s dripping in sweat. He’s Mr. Pure Energy, in any case.

But understanding that he can’t burn off that gasoline in entrance of a stay viewers anytime quickly, Gary V determined to channel it, as a substitute, to different creative tasks and private pursuits, which give him vital shops to specific himself, and platforms to enhance himself additional as an artist.

In the absence of the live-music scene, the 57-year-old music icon spends his time in the studio, writing songs, like his newest one “Make Us Whole Again.” He continues to be taught the ropes of digital media as he shoots and produces his personal online content material; he has began a vlog that chronicles his little-known ardour for biking; and, most lately, he collaborated with Pray.com, an app for day by day prayer and Bible-based audio content material.

In this one-on-one interview with the Inquirer, Gary V talks about what he has been as much as the previous 12 months, and how he makes use of that “pure energy” off the stage.

Tell us about your mission with Pray.com

I’ve observed that individuals’s consideration span is getting shorter, as a result of every part might be simply accessed now. So years again, I believed of making Bible-inspired tales, only one minute to a few minutes lengthy. I didn’t know the place to place it, as a result of Spotify and different platforms nonetheless weren’t widespread again then.

Now, I’m working with Pray.com, which is an app the place you’ve completely different personalities encouraging individuals to share God’s phrase. I allow them to hear my tales, and they thought that they might very properly be half of their platform. It’s referred to as cinematic audio. The tales don’t have accompanying movies to make the listener let his or her creativeness run free. There’s music scoring, which I take care of.

I wish to encourage everybody, it doesn’t matter what you’re going by, to take a second, to cease and pray. Prayer doesn’t must be difficult. Start a dialog with God, who hears your each cry.

What’s the story behind “Make Us Whole Again”?

I wrote the tune final 12 months, however. I couldn’t end it. It was really impressed by the shutdown of ABS-CBN … I’m not one to drive the challenge, so I waited and waited. When COVID circumstances began rising once more, I managed to complete the tune, nearly a 12 months after.

It turned larger than what it was supposed to be… It’s about instilling hope in individuals, understanding that there’s Someone who can heal us and make us entire once more—coronary heart, soul, spirit. It’s extra of a plea or a prayer.

How are issues with you and your ABS-CBN colleagues?

We’re so grateful, not solely to the Kapamilyas, but additionally to all the Kapatid and Ka-A2Z. Who would have ever thought that ABS -CBN could be seen in different stations? I don’t assume that has ever occurred… We have misplaced some nice employees and expensive mates. …But we proceed to work laborious, it doesn’t matter what.

We’re additionally grateful to the individuals who watch us online. So it’s good that ABS-CBN had already began exploring the chance of boosting its online presence means earlier than.

How has your creative course of been affected by the pandemic and lockdowns?

There’s extra room to be creative… Online reveals might be extra demanding than stay reveals. In a stay present, the stage is already set for you: You do a sound test, go to your resort room and relaxation, then return onstage. When you’re up there, it’s all nice—you’re giving it your all, you’re sweating, the viewers is happy. But after that, you’re achieved.

Now, it’s simply me, my nephew and niece organising for the online reveals. I ensure the sound, the combine and my voice are OK. If my shopper needs a recorded video for a company present, I’ve to shoot it, and my nephew edits it. I’ve to treatment the vocals the means it ought to be, as a result of that video is ceaselessly. ‘Di ako ‘yung raket lang; I don’t simply seize a mic and sing.

Things have modified fairly a bit. But it’s enjoyable making an attempt out new issues as a result of you’ve time.

But as Mr. Pure Energy, it’s essential to miss the live-music scene and the adrenaline.

There’s actually nothing like stepping in entrance of an viewers… But it’s good that Zoom live shows enable me to see individuals up shut. I can see their response higher.

I favor stay, even in online reveals, as a result of I’ve that immediate suggestions on Zoom. In a means, reveals have turn out to be extra private. You’re watching me, however not with different individuals… I really like studying viewers’ suggestions in the chat field.

How do you keep wholesome and shield your self from the virus?

I’ve to watch out as a result of I’ve rather a lot of comorbidities. It’s not simply laborious, however necessary to remain wholesome now.

I’ve been uncovered and up shut with individuals who have been contaminated. Luckily, I didn’t get it. Some individuals inform me that I should have a robust immune system … My diabetes might be good and unhealthy at the identical time: It’s unhealthy as a result of I’ve to do upkeep, nevertheless it’s good as a result of it means I’ve all the time been aware about sustaining a wholesome way of life.

I eat properly, work out, and go biking from time to time. I can nonetheless carry out and meet up with youngsters, even. It’s laborious, however I can nonetheless do it. I cheat from time to time—a bit chocolate or potato chips right here and there—however I don’t must make drastic adjustments. I suppose that has helped me in defending myself in opposition to COVID.

And I don’t actually exit a lot. If I’m not performing, I simply keep at residence. This is how I’m even, earlier than the pandemic. So when the pandemic occurred, it wasn’t such a shock. But of course it was robust not with the ability to see some of your family members.

You stated you’re additionally into biking?

I received into it as a result of of a late greatest buddy, who launched me to different riders. I used to be embarrassed at first as a result of he launched me as “Mr. Pure Energy,” however I ended up getting exhausted, tongue out, whereas older and youthful riders handed me… But I fell in love with it.

I’ve a brand new vlog referred to as Gary V-sikleta, the place I put up my bike rides and let individuals see that aspect of me. It’s not nearly me using, however me sharing about life tales, the significance of staying wholesome…all that. It’s a interest and ardour.

What satisfaction do you get out of it?

It’s about having fun with nature much more … I really like going for a trip and, immediately, you see the ocean or Taal Volcano. I really like moments like these as a result of it offers me a way of achievement and peace, particularly once I’m in the center of nowhere—simply me, my bike, nature and God. I may simply sit there and pray, cry, plead or speak to Him.

So it’s additionally meditative in a means?

Going to Calatagan, Batangas was one of my favourite journeys. I set off at 4 a.m. and received there at round 2:30 p.m. I sat by the water and not a soul was there. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the ability to do it once more, however that second gave me inexplicable pleasure.

What else are you planning on doing?

There’s a potential sequence of live shows in the United States. I additionally hope to do a sequence of online reveals that may hopefully culminate in a significant live performance. We have but to begin grinding, and I’m trying ahead to them.

Can you think about what it could be love to do a live performance after a protracted whereas?

There’s no telling what precisely you’ll really feel, however I do know I might be very emotional all through…I do even have some fears. I don’t know the way sturdy my legs and lungs might be after a protracted break. A live performance shouldn’t be like “ASAP,” the place you may take a break in between numbers… So, I must actually apply and practice. Luckily, I’ll have time.

Is there something extra you may ask for?

I don’t assume there’s something I would like extra, but when there’s extra to return, I’d be completely satisfied to have it… Music-wise, I want to do extra collaborations with youthful artists and bands.

I’m hoping for a breakthrough in the close to future, one thing that may assist us eradicate the pandemic. To anybody scuffling with the virus proper now, I’m praying for them. I hope separated households might be reunited, full.

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