By: Nestor Cuartero
JUST A THOUGHT: “If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare
GUILTY SI JUDGE: If Rey Valera had a choice, he’d rather not be judge.
Playing Punong Hurado on “It’s Showtime’s” Tawag ng Tanghalan has caused the veteran singer-composer countless sleepless nights, and just as many bouts with migraine, he says.
Not that the singer contestants aren’t any good. They are, sometimes exceptionally.
Valera is often hit by a guilty conscience especially after making a signal for the gong to bang following an act that isn’t up to par according to his standards.
“I feel so bad after each bang, especially when I have to deal with the often sad stories of the contestants’ lives,” he told us during a media merienda recently in connection with a concert he’s doing with contemporaries Hajji Alejandro and Dulce.
The hitmaker behind immortal songs as “Maging Sino Ka Man” and “Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko” says dealing with his guilt often leads to de-stressing activities right after doing the daily show.
“Naku, expensive ang bawat gong episode ko. Ang nangyayari, nagsa-shopping ako para mawala ‘yung masama kong pakiramdam.”
Valera is nonetheless quite pleased that ABS-CBN tapped him to be punong hurado in the revived TNT. More than the pay check, he welcomes the opportunity TNT gives him to connect with young viewers.
“Among us singers, mileage is important, especially at this certain age,” he laughed.
Part of the stress in acting as Hurado is the time pressure imposed on him. While contemplating his decision, Valera says he must compose his script running through his mind within seconds only. Masakit sa ulo, he says.
NEW SONGS COMING UP: I asked Rey Valera if he’s ever launching new songs again. He has not produced any new songs for decades, although he cleared that he has recently resumed writing again.
He explained that the hiatus was caused by changing tastes in local music. “I also thought it was a good time for me to allow other songwriters to shine,” he said.
Valera has been composing furiously once again upon the instigation of Charo Santos Concio. Charo commissioned him to write and record new songs for use in ABS-CBN drama shows, among others.
ABS-CBN has bought the rights to all of Valera’s songs that date back to the mid-70s. He is set to hit the studio soon to produce that much awaited album.
VALERA AND HAJJI NAMAN: Rey and Hajji create a new, if also unique, partnership in “Hurado Na, Kilabot Pa,” slated at the Music Museum in Greenhills on Dec. 2. Music fans will remember them as part of a quartet of troubadors that included Rico J. Puno, and Marco Sison whose series of shows ran across the globe.
This time around, Rey and Hajji do it solo, upon the instigation of producer Emmy Domingo. Emmy says she was inspired by an OPM Icons concert that she earlier produced at Solaire, where Rey and Hajji were also part of the cast.
“Hurado Na, Kilabot Pa” is presented by San Miguel Corporation and Manila Bulletin. Music fans can expect a run-through of the three legendary singers’ classic hits in an evening of pure splendour.
The show’s beneficiaries include Catholic Women’s League, Order of Witan Legis, and Discalced Carmelite priests.
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