Gary Valenciano takes performance “on higher ground”

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Proceeds of Gary Valenciano's On Higher Ground concert will go to UNICEF and Shining Light Foundation.

For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999, the Music Museum at 721-6726 and 721-0635, and Manila Genesis at 706-2170 to 71, 0915-4975225, and 0908-8871397.

Have you seen the best of Gary Valenciano yet?

If you say yes, you are bound to take your words back.

At the Music Museum, where his series of concert opens on April 12, Gary takes “pure energy” to a higher level.

As expected, his dance routines are impressive, though his knees, he says, are close to screaming, “Tama na.”

His voice has become even more poignant as he retells bits and pieces of his 29-year career in showbiz.

But what leaves his audience gaping in awe is how he puts innovation into his performance.

THE HIGHLIGHTS. The backdrop—which at first is just plain white—transforms each time there’s a change in the performer’s repertoire.

“To put up something like this is not very easy to do,” Gary remarks.

Using CGI (computer-generated imagery), the high-tech production—led by his son Paolo—has successfully brought in a starry sky, full moon, green pasture, old villa, rocky mountain, and several Gary Vs to the stage.


As for his song selection, it features an interesting mix of classic OPM hits (“Di Na Natuto” and “Each Passing Night”), upbeat tunes (“Hataw Na,” “Tara na,” and “Halina”), the teleserye theme songs (“Tayong Dalawa,” “Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo,” “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, “ and “Sana Maulit Muli”), and gospel pieces (“Search and Know, “Take me out of the Dark,” and “Warrior is a Child”)—which he sings with Julianne, the latest addition to Manila Genesis Entertainment’s roster of talents.

By the time Gary renders “Heto Na Naman,” he begins goading the crowd to dance.

And when he segues to the medley of Jay Sean’s “2012,” David Gueta’s “Without You,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Time of my Life,” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” everyone is on their feet.

“How nice to see my generation move to that sound,” the Kapamilya performer quips.

The Rage band’s front man Juan Miguel Salvador joins Gary V in that most-applauded number.


Meanwhile, astounding is the apt word for his version of “Over the Rainbow.”

As a performer, he’s always on the lookout for “something new, something different.”

But, “I’m always running out of time. It’s always been the problem—time. And how I wish I can have more… me.”

Behind him, four Gary Vs appear, and join him in singing the song popularized by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.

For his finale, he chooses “How Did You Know?”

Naturally, the people yell, “More!”

He returns with “Look In Your Eyes” and “Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan.”

The crowd doesn’t want to let him go, but Gary V says, “I have a legit reason to leave, may show ulit bukas.”

He adds, “It has been a pleasure to go through this journey with you. It's been a great journey...this is my way of saying thank you.”


The fans reward him with a standing ovation and a thunderous applause, happy to witness a performance “On Higher Ground,” which will run at the Music Museum on April 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, and May 9, 10.

SPOTTED: Zsa Zsa Padilla, Karylle and boyfriend Yael Yuzon, Jericho Rosales and Kim Jones, Zia Padilla, Isabelle, Jhong Hilario, Gi Tongi, TV executive Choa-Fagar, theater actor Audie Gemora, talent manager Carlo Orosa, Jan "Lumen" Isaac, and, of course, Gary V's wife Angeli Pangilinan and children Keana, Paolo, and Gabby—whose date is Coleen Garcia.


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