Yeng: "Naisip ko kailangan na nga mag-baby pero nadedelay because maraming proyekto."

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Ako Si Josephine--A Musical Featuring The Music of Yeng Constantino will run from September 8 to October 9, 2016 at the PETA Theater Center. The lineup of the musical includes a Yeng Constantino song created for Sarah Geronimo.



Yeng Constantino, who first turned heads in Pinoy Dream Academy season one as a singer-songwriter, is celebrating her 10th anniversary in showbiz in a different way.

"What a way to celebrate 10 years, with a musical! Ang sarap na hindi ako yun nandoon sa stage, na nakikita mo na nagshishine yung songs, hindi lang si Yeng. It's good for me na mapanood ko isang proyekto na hindi siya tungkol sa akin," said the Pop Rock Princess at the presscon of Ako Si Josephine--A Musical Featuring The Music of Yeng Constantino.

This musical will be staged from September 8 to October 9, 2016 at the PETA Theater Center.

She recalls the journey of how it all began with her manager Erickson Raymundo of Cornerstone Entertainment.

"Three years ago, sinabihan ako ng manager ko na pag nagcelebrate ako ng 10 years hindi yung typical na concert, dapat musical na compilation ng mga pinasikat at sinulat ko."

She brushed it aside, not taking Erickson seriously.

Yeng admits she suffers from false humility and self-doubt, explaining, "yung ayaw mong tanggapin yung isang bagay dahil you're humble, pero that's another form of pride. Ang true humility sa narealize ko is really just being grateful, opening your arms, accepting and just receiving yung blessings ni God."

She recalls, "Ah okay, kung mangyayari, mangyayari, pero finally nung may meeting na, binigyan nila ako ng one week na pumili ng mga songs."

When she gave her song choices, all of them made it to the list, completing the musical line-up of Ako Si Josephine with 24 songs. Half are her pop hits and the other half are songs from her albums that didn't become singles or songs like "Kaibigan Mo" which she wrote for Sarah Geronimo and "Paano Bang Magmahal" which Yeng wrote for the Piolo Pascual-Sarah Geronimo movie The Breakup Playlist.

She explains she's happy with what the PETA team has done with Ako Si Josephine.

"I have to trust the team na kung nakikita nila na bagay etong kanta, like Hahanapin Kita na hindi pa naririnig ng ibang tao pero nakita nila na bagay sa story, may nakikita sila sa kanta na pwede paglagyan. Very generous naman yung team. Walang angst sa group sa paggawa, lahat parang happy lang, miski sa audition process, chill lang."

Liza Magtoto wrote the screenplay for Ako Si Josephine. She's also the mind behind Rak of Aegis.

Yeng shares, "Grateful ako kay Ms. Liza Magtoto kasi binigyan niya ng ganitong klase napagandang storya tapos ginamit ang mga kanta ko at ang galing, first time ko narinig, naiyak ako, wow pwede pala gawin yun, maging ganitong kulay ang kanta na eto, maging ganito ibig sabihin niya."

The singer adds: "Yang yung maganda, hindi siya about me though awit ko yung gagawin, just reading the script mapupunta ka na agad sa ibang mundo. Sumisilip ako sa ibang bintana, 'uy ano yun, kakaiba.'"

Yeng, who has a big core audience with teens and the millenial generation, knows Ako Si Josephine will resonate with them "ang cute ng story, nakakakilig, nakakatawa, si Josephine feelingerang palaka!"

The basic premise of Ako Si Josephine follows the journey of Josephine as she falls in love with Chinito in a music empire controlled by Monotomia where love and music are taboo.

Yeng admits, "Kung mayroon akong nakarelate, kay Josephine, bukod sa quirky siya, ganoon din ako, yun nilalakasan ko yung loob ko na ha, kaya ko eto! Alam kong maraming mga bata makakarelate doon. Even sa colors pa lang ng buong play, matamis na sa mata ng kabataan."

Purposefully, Yeng is not part of the cast directed by Maribel Legarda (also the director of Rak of Aegis)

The ABS-CBN singer admits, "Sinadya namin na hindi na ako kumuha ng role, yung Josephine, real name ko yun. Alam ko naman yung forte ko na singer-songwriter lang ako, so di ko na kukunin yun kasi baka pumangit! Mas magaling sila kumanta sa akin, nahiya ako!"

She is not closing her doors to doing theater in the future but she points out, "Isa naman yan sa mga gusto ko gawin pero sana pag ginawa ko yun, sana hasa na, lagot ako sa tatay ko kapag ginawa ako na half-baked, babatukan ako noon!"

Yeng is happy they found Via Antonio and Maronne Cruz to play Josephine.

On Via, Yeng recalls, "Nung audition, maraming pumasok, pero it's just like magic inside you when I saw her. Nung paglabas niya ng room, I said, nakita na natin si Josephine. Yung feeling na nakita mo na siya, hindi pa siya prepared noon, pero tawang-tawa na ako sa kanya. Kaya niyang hulihin yung mga mata mo, hindi ka titingin sa iba. Sobrang saya, I really liked her."

She's doubly excited because they have Jon Santos playing the villian Monotomia.

"Si Sir Jon, grabe nagulat ako na nag audition siya for Monotomia, di ko talaga inexpect yun, pinapanood ko lang siya sa Resorts World, nagulat talaga ako. Sino ba ako para mag-audition siya? I think na-excite siya sa script at sa storya, I think nag-spark yun ng curiosity sa heart niya."

Yeng is humbled and expectant with what Ako Si Josephine will reach as it follows in PETA's Rak of Aegis wake.

"Three years ago, nanood kami, di maarok ng pag-iisip ko na andito na tayo, lumaki ako sa kanta ng Aegis, naging icon namin sila sa We Love OPM, lahat ng songs nila alam ko, napaka iconic. I hope marating ng musical na eto yung narating ng Rak of Aegis, sobrang funny, fan din ako ng story nun."

The grand presscon was Yeng's first sneak peek of Ako Si Josephine and of the songs performed, she loved the Jeepney Love Story scene so far. Yeng is committing to watching as much as she can, especially during the nights she invites friends.

She jokes, "mas maganda para sa 'kin na mapanood ko sa opening night. Sabay kami manonood ni Yan [Asuncion, her husband], sabi niya sobrang proud siya. 'Yan ang pinakasarap na feeling sa buong mundo na yung taong mahal mo ay proud sa ginagawa mo at full support."

Her husband's full support is something she appreciates "even at times naisip ko kailangan na nga mag-baby pero nadedelay because maraming proyekto ngayon, lagi niyang sinasabi, 'Okay lang love, hintayin natin, pangarap mo pinag-uusapan dito.' Pinagpala talaga ako sa kanya!"

Yeng and Yan got married on February 14, 2015.



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