Former sweethearts Joey Albert and Louie Ocampo reunite in concert


"When God closes a door, he opens a window. I think, sa nagdaan sa amin ni Joey, it was music that really brought us together. And may nai-contribute kami sa OPM and tinanggap ko na lang na that was part of God's whole plan for us," says Louie Ocampo (right) about his past relationship with Joey Albert (left).



Kinilig ang members of the entertainment press na humarap sa dating magkarelasyong singer at songwriter na sina Joey Albert at Louie Ocampo sa presscon nila sa Music Museum, kung saan din gaganapin ang muli nilang pagsasama in a very special show titled Tell Me...Once More sa August 3 and 4.



Para sa marami sa atin, naging bahagi ng ating buhay ang mga pinasikat na mga kanta nina Joey at Louie, gaya ng "Tell Me" at "Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin."



Nang tuluyang magkahiwalay at nagkanya-kanya ng landas ang dalawa 20 years ago—naunang mag-asawa si Joey kay Ting Pacis at namalagi sila sa Canada—nag-iwan ng larawang hindi maganda sa mga tagahanga nila ang paghihiwalay na ‘yon. And now, they're back together in a two-night musical event.

TOGETHER AGAIN. Inusisa ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang dalawa sa mga nararamdaman nila sa kanilang muling pagkikita at sa nagbabalik na lumipas nila.



"It started because I needed to do a project for Gawad Kalinga," simula ni Joey. "I'm an advocate of Gawad Kalinga. And I remember nung sabihin sa akin ni Tito Meloto, who's involved with GK, ‘yung isa sa mission ng project to bring out opposite entities together. Nagbiro siya na maybe, this project can bring Joey and Louie together again.

"Kaya, when I was awarded my own village in Negros Occidental, ‘yung Albert Village—na dinedicate ko for my sister Anna who died na and my father Angel—sabi ko, ‘One, day I will just do it,' ‘yung project na magsasama kaming dalawa ni Louie.



"It was me who called him [Louie] up. Siyempre, ninenerbiyos. And after konting kumustahan, sinabi ko na agad sa kanya ‘yung concept ng project," kuwento ni Joey.



Ayon naman kay Louie, "I was caught by surprise with the phone call. And she brought out nga the project at once and nagustuhan ko naman. So, in principle, sumagot agad ako."

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THE BREAK-UP. Twenty years ago na ang nagdaang panahon nang magkanya-kanya sina Joey at Louie. Manakanaka silang nagkikita kapag umuuwi si Joey from Canada. May mga occasions na pareho nilang dinadaluhan, pero hindi nagaganap ang maayos na pag-uusap o kumustahan man lang.



"I think the last time was three or four years ago," pag-alaala ni Joey. "Sa akin naman, tapos na ‘yon, e. Both of us had moved on. In 1987, I think, nagkaroon na kami ng closure. I had my farewell concert in 1995."



"I think, totoo naman ‘yung kasabihang if you're not meant to be, kahit na ano pa ang gawin ninyo, something will come up," pagsang-ayon naman ni Louie.



Nasaktan ba sila sa paghihiwalay nila?



"Yes," pareho nilang sabi.



Joey said, "Even for one who's leaving the other person, hurting din ‘yon. After everything's been said and done, maiisip n'yo rin na when a relationship ends, both ends are nasasaktan. Pero mag-end man, you'll just look forward to a new beginning with a new one."



Louie added, "Yes, sabi nga, when God closes a door, he opens a window. I think, sa nagdaan sa amin ni Joey, it was music that really brought us together. And may nai-contribute kami sa OPM and tinanggap ko na lang na that was part of God's whole plan for us."



Gumawa ba si Louie ng song for Joey after their break-up?



Si Joey ang sumagot: "Oo. May song nga siya for me, hindi na niya ibinigay sa akin. Aminin mo, napunta kay Pops [Fernandez]."


Ito ba ‘yung "Don't Say Goodbye"?



Iiling-iling lang si Louie habang tumatawa.

Kampante na sa pagtingin sa kanilang nakaraan, what do they remember most about each other?



Sabi ni Louie, "Kikay siya."



Sabi naman ni Joey, "Sobrang seloso siya. Lahat na lang ng kausapin ko, pinagseselosan!"



Dagdag pa ni Joey, "He spoiled me so much, e. Parang baby niya ako."

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"Walang third party, ha?" adds Louie. "Pero ikaw ang unang nag-asawa!"

SEPARATE LIVES. Umuwi sa Pilipinas si Joey kasama ang kanyang mag-anak: ang asawang si Ting at dalawang anak na sina Trixie (17) at Margarita (14). Pareho rin daw mahilig kumanta at nagbababad sa mga karaoke bars ang mga anak ni Joey.



After her bout with the Big C, nagpatuloy naman si Joey sa pagiging pre-school teacher niya in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



"I teach kids sa Monkey's Play Home, mga three to five year-olds. I find teaching a very nice profession. It's the next best thing to singing," kuwento niya.

Nakilala naman ni Joey ang kanyang mister na si Ting dito sa Pilipinas nang nagtatrabaho pa ito sa Security Bank. She has not given up pa her dual citizenship.



"That's one thing na ina-advocate ko rin there," sabi ni Joey. "‘Yung may mga hawak na dual citizenship. Na kahit na nasa ibang bansa na kami, we can still help here by giving back and show pa rin our patriotism to our country. Many Filipinos there naman are receptive sa ina-advocate ko.

"Sabi nga, it's not what's in it for you but what you can do for your country, too. We've been given our own paraisos. It's time naman to give back, even just a piece of that. E, there are at least nine million Filipinos in North America and Canada. There is power in oneness.



"I find it hard lang when they start questioning you na about the government. And doon, meron na ring multi-cultural helping house. Like, when you need to get a job na similar sa trabaho mo na rito, tumutulong sila to at least get you commensurate jobs. There is so much that the Filipinos can do overseas, na hindi niya kailangang kalimutan what he has here."



Kuwento naman ni Louie, "My parents are also involved with Gawad Kalinga. And I did the theme song din for Couples for Christ. And by the way, did you know that Joey is the first Filipino artist to come out with CD? Siya ang unang nagkaroon ng CD."

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Happily married na rin si Louie with three girls and one boy.


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