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Daniel Padilla takes on the Big Dome

MANILA, Philippines - Daniel Padilla is taking on the Big Dome. Some pundits are likening it to a David taking on a Goliath, as the 17-year-old Kapamilya actor-singer is mounting his first-ever concert at the same venue that has long provided the stage for the biggest and most established foreign and local artists.

“Yes, (it’s a) super challenge. Kahit sino, matsa-challenge ng sobra,” said Daniel in an interview. “I cannot yet imagine what’s gonna happen. Of course, I’m nervous! Pero gagawin ko po lahat para maganda po ang kalalabasan ng concert.”

The STAR recently caught up with the fast-rising teen idol in two separate press events — one held for his latest endorsement deal, while the other was to drum up his upcoming concert, which is Daniel’s way of celebrating his 18th birthday (which actually falls on April 26).

If at all, Daniel feels that what he’s about to do is such a huge responsibility for someone as young as him, he’s not allowing the pressure to weigh him down. “Wala akong iniisip. Kahit ano, takot. Bahala na ang Diyos sa akin.

He said he simply wants to have fun on April 30. “I want everyone to enjoy. Ayoko nung tipong concert na medyo lie-low. Gusto kong concert yung talagang mataas ang energy.”

It is Star Magic boss Johnny “Mr. M” Manahan himself who is overseeing the production. Daniel is also very part of the conceptualization. “Masaya po ako sa ginagawa ni Mr. M… Masaya po ako sa lahat. That’s why I need to be in my best condition, to take care of myself, to practice.”

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Part of Daniel’s preparations are voice lessons. The guest list is yet to be finalized, but fans will be seeing for sure Daniel’s own band, Parking 5, of which his brother, Jose Carlito, is the lead singer and he the bassist.

“That was my first request before everything else — that my band gets to play in the concert. And OK daw, pwede daw, kaya na-excite ako lalo kasi banda yun at yun paborito kong gawin. Yung singer namin kapatid ko.”

The repertoire will feature many rock numbers, just reflective of his musical tastes.

“I’m an old soul. I like music from the ’60s to the ‘90s,” said Daniel whose favorite bands are the likes of The Beatles, Scorpions and Deep Purple. “I grew up in those kinds of music because of the influence of my stepfather (Naldy Padilla of the band Orient Pearl). Singer siya. Dun naman ako lumaki dati, tapos every day bukas lang yung radio namin at yung music luma lahat, so ako, yun lang naririnig ko. We would memorize all the CDs. Mas naintidihan ko yung music na ganun.

Told that his fans call him the “Justin Bieber of the Philippines,” he reacted, “Thank you! But I don’t listen to those types of music. I love old school. Mas masarap siya (classic rock) pakinggan.

His April 30 concert is also a thanksgiving of sorts for all the great things coming his way. Daniel started out in the industry roughly four years only, but 2012 proved to be his breakthrough year. He had a hit teleserye Princess & I which gave birth to his love team with Kathryn Bernardo, a multi-platinum debut album, and just recently, the movie Must Be...Love with Kathryn and a chart-topping single Nasa ‘Yo Na Ang Lahat which he interpreted for the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2013 competition. Daniel has a new album, and his concert is poised to be a success as, according to producers, tickets to his concert are sold-out except for some seats in the upper-box and general admission areas.

He’s enjoying the best of both worlds. Asked which he enjoys more — singing or acting, Daniel admitted, “First of all, I’m really not a singer. But I’m thankful to have been given some talent in singing. At ginagawa ko ang lahat para maayos ang kanta ko. Pero kung papapiliin ako, huwag na ho. I’m happy that I have another career aside from acting. It’s a blessing!”

Daniel is also aware of the criticism of his voice. While his voice may not be the best around, he believes it’s unique.

“OK lang naman kasi wala namang kayang gumaya ng boses ko. Hindi naman sa nagyayabang pero yung mga kapwa kong artista hindi taga-rito sa ABS na inaasar ang boses ko, gusto kong sabihin bakit, double platinum ba kayo?” he frankly said.

He knows his frankness has, however, earned him his share of bashers. “Yun nga, yung ibang supporters, minsan ako na mismo yung sinasabihan kung anong kelangan kong gawin. Actually, I’m not a robot.... Minsan sinasabi nila parang may pangalan ka na nga tapos ganyan ka pa rin umasta. Yung totoo, dati ganito na ako umasta, pero di naman ako pinapansin. Pero di ko kailangan ramdamin yun, tuloy lang… trabaho lang ng trabaho.

Daniel said never in his wildest dreams that he’d imagined ending up as an actor, let alone stage concerts, record albums, even as the showbiz blood is coursing through his veins (his parents are Karla Estrada and Rommel Padilla; while his uncle is Robin Padilla, whom Daniel is always compared to in terms of looks, the way he speaks, the swagger and charm, etc.).

Daniel thinks that he’s in showbiz for a more important reason. “Maybe there’s a reason why I am here. Maybe I need to help my family. Hindi ko po naisip mag-artista talaga pero nakita kong kailangan ako eh.”

He shared that his family went through financial difficulties.

Talagang naghirap kami before at di lang basta hirap. Namulat ako sa hirap ng buhay. Pero lahat yun challenges in life. Lahat tayo, kahit di man pareho sa akin, dadaan sa ganyan. But we can overcome them.”

Daniel said those difficulties early on made him more appreciative of his career. “Nung nandito na ako, nakita ko kung paano, mas naintindihan, mas pinangarap at mas pinag-aralan ko yung trabaho ko.”

For advice in dealing with the demands of work and the challenges of being a teenager, he turns to his mom, whose constant reminder is to “just be good.

“Sa salitang magpakabait, kasama na lahat yun (including love life). Yung nanay ko pa-simple lang yan eh, pero talagang alam nya lahat ng nangyayari. Advice on love? Relax, don’t rush.”

As for his birthday wish, Daniel said, “Wish ko lang sana tuloy-tuloy na ang mga nangyayari sa ngayon at sa nangyayari sa pamilya ko.”

Daniel Live: A Birthday Concert is a production of Star Records. For tickets, call 911-5555 or log on to www.ticketnet.com.ph.

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