Hindi nakalimot ang world singing champion na si Jed Madela na sumuporta kay Ms. Lea Salonga, ang isa sa mga tampok na singer-performers ng Broadway musical na Cats na kasalukuyang itinatanghal sa Main Theatre ng Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Bandang ika-pito ng gabi pa lang kagabi, August 10, ay nasa lobby na ng CCP si Jed, kasama ang kanyang ina na si Mrs. Agnes Madela, para sa 8 o'clock performance ng musical. Jed and Lea have been very good friends for several years now, kaya masayang pagkakataon ang panonood ni Jed kay Lea sa natatanging musical na itinatanghal sa ating bansa.
"Before pa ako nag-showbiz, sobra ko nang iniidolo si Lea Salonga. So, to be called her friend is such an honor," nakangiting sabi ni Jed sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
He even recalled the many times Lea would oblige to give VTR messages and such other greetings on special occasions, like his birthdays and other showbiz anniversaries.
"Yes, yes, oo...surprise messages, may VTR silang ipinapakita, saying words na sobra akong nao-overwhelm, you know, hearing those messages from Lea," sabi ng singer.
At natawa uli nang bahagya si Jed, "Actually, siya yung nag-label sa akin na 'hindi tao.' You know, it's very flattering!"
Ang tinutukoy ni Jed ay ang wari'y "term of endearment" sa kanya ni Lea dahil sa extra-ordinary singing ability niya, kung kaya naging champion si Jed sa World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) noong 2005.
For which Jed will forever be grateful to Lea. "Thank you," simpleng sabi niya.
STARSTRUCK. Hindi pa nga nagtatagal ang pagiging magkaibigan nina Jed at Lea, ayon din sa pagbanggit ng premyadong singer-recording artist.
Aniya, "Actually, I just met Lea when I got into showbiz already... nung nanalo na ako sa world [singing] championships and I was able to perform with her. Dati, ano lang, from the side, na ina-appreciate ko yung craft niya, to the point na talagang ini-invite niya ako to guest in her concert...sobrang hindi ko makakalimutan 'yan for the rest of my life!
"And to be part of the concert of Lea, to be able to sing with her, to share the stage with her, is such an honor for me. Hanggang ngayon, every time I see her, sobra akong nai-starstruck pa rin!"
Ang mga unang pagsasama nila ni Lea sa mga show, as Jed recalled, "It was for this university...for a certain university, na anniversary nila and I was her guest. Then, I performed with her when she went to Bacolod and Iloilo... sobrang na-overwhelm ako talaga!"
"Well, I'd love to work with Lea again," sagot naman ni Jed when asked about any upcoming project na posibleng pagsamahan nilang muli ng international singer-performer.
Dagdag niya, "Sana magkaroon ng project, a show, or even a recording with her. Isa sa mga dreams ko 'yon, na magkaroon ng kahit isang recording lang, isang duet with her. That's going to be preserved forever."
Given both Jed and Lea's talents and status as artists, hindi malayong matupad ang nasabing pangarap ng mahusay na singer.
"Sana, sana magdilang-anghel ka," nangingiting tugon ni Jed sa PEP. "Si Tita Ligaya [Salonga, Lea's mom] bahala do'n. I'm looking forward to meeting [and working] with Lea again."
ON SINGING AND ACTING. Kinumusta rin ng PEP si Jed on his latest professional concerns and he mentioned an upcoming album.
"I'm about to release my sixth album under Universal Records...coming end of the month," sabi ni Jed.
Anim na albums na bale ang na-release, under Jed Madela's name, but he probably considered Songs Rediscovered 1 and 2, which were released in different years, as just one album.
"It's a concept album. Hindi ko pa masabi kung anong concept," aniya pa. "It's something that, you know, a real music lover should collect. It's a collector's item, actually. Ang masasabi ko, it's a remake, but it's not the usual. Sana abangan nila 'yon.
"I think, for me, it's one of the best. My best, so far. The songs are very heartfelt, really carefully chosen. And I'm really proud of the project. Ang ganda ng album. When I listened to it for the first time, ano ako...goose bumps!"
Kabilang sa mga hit albums na ni-record ni Jed Madela, as released by Universal Records, ang mga sumusunod: I'll Be Around (2003), Let Me Love You Collector's Edition (2004), Songs Rediscovered 1 (2005), Only Human (2007), The Voice of Christmas (2007), at Songs Rediscovered 2 (2009).
Nag-hit din ang mga single na ni-record ni Jed, tulad ng "How Can I Fall," "The Past," "The Search Is Over," at "Love Always Finds A Way."
Would he also consider doing movies and teleseryes next?
"Well, I'm not closing my doors," sagot ni Jed. "Maybe at the right time, with the right project. May mga offers but, you know, I feel that I'm not ready yet for acting. I'm for singing talaga. The most that I could do, when it comes to acting would be in my music videos. In movies or teleseryes, hindi pa siguro."