Jaya is marking a milestone in her career via her grand concert, Memories 25 Years, to be held at the Solaire Hotel and Casino Grand Ballroom on November 10 (Monday).
The veteran singer admitted that she has thought about quitting showbiz but she held on, allowing her to reach her 25th anniversary in the entertainment industry.
However, her most challenging and perhaps most painful memory of all is having survived a suicide attempt that she did in the past.
Jaya also talked about being hospitalized for abdominal pain, which resulted in surgery that removed her gall bladder.
She narrated: “I have a stone as big as butong santol, na bumara, dahil malaki nga siya, medyo masakit na siya.
"The pain lasted 8 hours so by the time I got the pain at 6 pm of Friday, all the way mga 1 am ng Saturday dinala na ako sa ospital. From there the doctor decided na hindi na pwedeng hintayin. They gave me the schedule of operation. After the operation daw it will last five to six days, you’ll be okay like nothing happened. So, they took it out, the operation lasted 1 ½ hours then I’m okay na."
What would she consider as the secret for her longevity in the music scene?
“Honestly hindi ko alam ha, siguro kasama yung discipline at pakikisama. Siguro baligtarin ko, unahin ko ang pakikisama. Sa Pilipinas iba ang pakikisama, e. Pag ayaw ka nilang katrabaho kahit na you’re the best singer, they don’t care. They don’t put you in a show or sa mga guesting. They won’t work with you.
"The mere fact na I’m in SOP, or in Party Pilipinas and in Sunday All Stars all these years, that goes to show nasiguro may tama akong pakikisamang nagawa. Isa pa sa sikreto ay yung respeto mo sa sarili mong craft, somehow kasi along the way, na lo-lost ka rin, e.
"Starting ka as bagets, ang dami mong arte, ang dami mong sagabal sa isip. Sometimes, you correct that, makinig ka rin sa mga matatandang may pinagdaanan na. I think I was really glad that I really go to right people, pag may konti kang mali at na guide kanila at pinakinggan mo, kumbaga maga-grounded ka. I think that’s really the key…respect, pakikisama at yung discipline. At kailangan tanggapin mo kung anong style meron ka, don’t keep copying, mahirap yun, e, hindi ka magmamarka. Fortunately, yung boses ko, hindi katulad ng iba, kasi medyo mababa siya, boses itim, hindi ko na naisip palitan, I stick into it, di ko na inisip palitan, kasi I want something different.”
What can audiences expect from her concert?
“Kasi ang lagi kong naririnig kahit mga corporate shows and any other shows, ang laging tinatanong sa akin ay yung dati. Tinatanong nila kailan daw ako gagawa ng album tulad ng dati? I think they really want those stuff. Dito sa concert, meron silang maririnig na old songs ko meron din new songs. Pero karamihan sa mga songs nakakantahin ko rito, yung mga lumang songs na matagal na nilang hindi naririnig ay ibabalik namin. You’re going to be hearing a lot of Chaka Chan and Anita Baker songs at ibang lumang kanta ko, And of course with my tropa [Regine, Ogie and Janno], yung tatlong sikat na darating. We're gonna do, what we normally do in SOP, pero medyo mahaba siya. Hopefully, ma enjoy din ngmgatao, the good friends we have had all these years are joining me in these concert for a short moment.”
Did she ever think of quitting showbiz in the span of her 25-year career?
“Yes, dumating na yung point that I want to quit showbiz buti na lang I’m surrounded by the right folks, I don’t know how that works. Regine and Ogie, grabe yang mag pep talk sa akin. Nakakatawa nga na ang critics ko ay sila. Sila yung nag sasabi na...'Ay ang arte!' Nai-inarte ka naman, hindi pwede yan, tanggapin mo yan, huwag kang masyadong ganito. They advised me. Ang swerte ko na sila rin ang pinagkukuhanan ko ng advice, alam naman nating big star si Regine at siya pa nag-a-advice sa akin. Isang tawag ko lang sa kanya, she’s always there for me.”
When asked about the biggest challenge she faced, Jaya candidly revealed that it was her suicide attempt that she did in the past.
“Nasubukan ko na rin 'yan, kaso mali! Ayaw pa yata talaga akong tanggapin ni Lord, kasi andami mo nang ininom na gamot at bumubula na yung bibig mo then nakatulog ka na, pagkagising mo, puro ka lang suka…anong nangyari? Mali!”
Did she feel pressure about being the daughter of veteran performer Elizabeth Ramsey?
“Yun nga ang extra boost ko, e, everytime people see me, they think of her. Yung parang hindi talaga ako tao pag wala siya. So, becoming a daughter of Elizabeth Ramsey, of course, is not all heaven and sweet roses, definitely plus yun pag sinabing Ramsey ka, kailangan may talent ka, kasi magaling si Elizabeth Ramsey, e.”
What do you hope to achieve through your 25th anniversary concert?
“Alam mo honestly, gusto ko lang mag enjoy ang mga tao to remember what I’ve done in the past 25 years. Siyempre minsan may slight memory loss tayo, nakakalimutan din nila what you’ve done, what you were known for. Ako music lang naman masaya kong ginagawa, masaya na ako nun, kahit malaking bar or maliit na bar, eto nga Eclipse Bar ng Solaire bongga na ito, e, tapos dinala pa nila sa Grand Ballroom. So, I'm so excited to hear again my old songs and what Jaya is known for.”
Jaya, who gained fame for her renditions of "Dahil Tanging Ikaw,” “Wala na bang Pag-ibig,” “Hanggang Ngayo’y Mahal,” will have Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs, Kyla, Jonalyn Viray and Faith Cuneta as guests during her concert.
Jaya marks 25 years in showbiz; recalls memory of suicide attempt
by Interview by Allan Sancon posted on November 1, 2014