Gary Valenciano is still at it even at 47.
At the press conference for his new album With Love, Gary Valenciano—a collection of his hit songs turned into theme songs—at the Mesa Restaurant in Quezon City on August 31, Gary said:
"Goodbye is not part of my vocabulary."
In 2008 when he did the Gary Valenciano: Live at 25 concert, actor Jericho Rosales saw him kiss the stage after the show in Araneta Coliseum.
"Chief, you kissed the stage. What does that mean?" Jericho asked Gary.
"That's it," was Gary's simple reply.
The unusual gesture would easily give off an impression that Gary might be quitting showbiz. However, he was quick to explain what he really meant about that kiss.
"I mean, with regard to big concerts na tipong 'Hataw Na,' at my age, it's difficult to keep up a concert like that for two and a half hours. That's one.
"Second, to produce a concert like that, ang hirap.
"Third, there's a whole new generation that I'd like to help para ma-achieve din nila kung ano yung na-achieve ko and beyond that.
"So, at that time, 2008, yung Live At 25, that was my way of saying 'Okay, next. Who's next?'"
To put it simply, he was passing the crown to the next concert superstar.
Among his own children, who all seemed to have acquired his many talents, his second son Gabriel (or simply Gab) is the one being touted to take on his father's image (they are look-alikes, after all).
Does Gary see Gab as the one who would "inherit his throne?"
"Well, I don't know. I think all the artists, especially somebody like Gab, have their own thrones and tier of sorts. Kumbaga, meron siyang sariling destiny.
"In fact, the throne I think won't go to somebody else because they're carrying on what I started.
"[Being Mr. Pure Energy,] I think that I've already done that a long, long time ago. Now, they've been able to spread their own set of wings. They're flying," he said believing in the uniqueness of each young artist, including his own children, who all excel in their respective fields and music choices.
Paolo, the eldest, is into rock and alternative music. He sings for bands Salamin and Rivermaya.
Gabriel, on the other hand is into film scoring and dance music, which he performs as well. He is also a musical arranger.
"Gabriel has done arrangements for me and arrangements for Jericho Rosales na medyo kakaiba doon sa ginagawa niya para sa ASAP.
"Kasi sa ASAP, puro sayawan. Pero with Jericho, yung 'Naalala Ka' at yung 'Bumuhos Man Ang Ulan" are two songs na ballad pero they both became Number One in different radio stations.
"So, that for me is an area na [he's good at.] Kasi ako, I arrange music pero si Gab kaya niya. Ang bilis bilis niyang gumawa ng mga arrangements, ang gaganda ng gawa."
The youngest, Kiana, on the other hand, is more into R&B and soulful indie tunes.
Gary admits he had no influence on his kids' liking a particular genre, especially with Kiana who he says is an amazing singer. In fact, he's eyeing her to pursue a career in music, but only if she wants to.
As parents, Gary says that he and his wife Angeli are just here to back the kids up in their chosen career paths.
In terms of influencing the kids, he says they have acquired his work ethics and burning passion for the things they love.
"Ayokong isipin nila na yung ginagawa nila ay parang raket-raket lang. It's not about having a raket. It is about coming out onstage and sharing who you are, not just your music, but who you really are.
"Ito siguro yung masasabi kong pinakamalaking influence that I had on them.
"When Gabriel is at work, it's very hard to bother him. He's like me. When I'm there in front of the keyboard tapos may pumapasok na melody, kahit na gaano may napaka-importanteng balita or napaka-importanteng kailangang madesisyunan, you cannot stop me.
"Kasi oras na you stop that, tapos lalabas ka ng music room for 10 minutes, pagbalik mo wala na. So you can't stop that.
"Si Paolo ganoon din pag gumagawa siya. Either nagsusulat siya ng kanta or nagre-recording siya or nagvi-video editing siya. Kasi yun din ang ginagawa niya, he edits videos. Very passionate din siya.
"Si Kiana naman kakaiba sa lahat dahil ang passion niya talaga is in fashion design more than singing. She likes to sing pero makikita mo talaga. Sa kuwarto lang niya, e, puro mga drawing ng mga fashion designs.
"Stylist or fashion designer, that's what I think she wants to be. Hopefully, in the next year she'll be able to release something. And only then will she be able to decide kung ano talaga ang gusto niyang gawin, fashion design ba or singing? I told her she can do both."
On the other hand, Gary also recognizes the fact that it is his kids who are influencing him now when it comes to making new music.
"They keep me up to date with regards to kung ano yung gustong marinig ng kabataan ngayon. Gabriel is 23, but he can create music that anywhere from ages 11 to 20 gusto.
"Ako, I'm so much into the content of the song and it is good that I have Paolo, Gabriel, and Kiana because they teach me how to keep the content in the song but also treat it in a certain way na magugustuhan ng lahat. And that for me is what I learn from them."