Jimmy Bondoc bares innermost feelings in new album
- Vanessa A. Balbuena () - November 6, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Out with a fresh album this month, acoustic crooner Jimmy Bondoc is rediscovering life's simple joys and reveals his innermost feelings in his latest independent effort titled "Ang Mahiwagang Bisikleta at Ang Huling Makata".

The songwriter likewise pays homage to a beloved mentor, reminisces on a past love, and sings of a guy (a fellow singer) he believes wronged that past love.

Jimmy-known for his original hits "Let Me Be The One", "The Man I Was With You" and "Akin Na Lang Sana Siya"-remains a crowd pleaser because he likes to interact with his audience and makes fun of himself. This light-hearted persona translates to his approach to life in general, which is the reason he gives why he's still single up to this day.

Apart from preparing for the album's release, he was also busy the past months with ABS-CBN's recently-concluded "Twist and Shout", a singing game show hosted by Martin Nivera and Gary V. Jimmy and fellow acoustic singer Aiza Seguerra sat as resident jurors.

Jimmy shared he loved the stint because it was his first regular TV show, and he was able to establish a family bond with the hosts and his co-judge.

The talented musician chatted with The FREEMAN during his recent trip to Cebu for the V Party Series show at PAGCOR Teatro Casino inside Waterfront Hotel in Lahug (PAGCOR brings in an artist every fourth Saturday of the month to entertain its VIP's).

The Freeman: What have you been working on recently?

Jimmy: I have a new album made up of 10 original songs that I composed. The album title is actually the combined titles of two songs in the CD. Lahat ng songs, I tied them together to make a story, like a children's book. The cover of the album, which I painted, really looks like a children's book. I hid in the house for a long time and became a hermit just to paint. And I really enjoyed the process. "Ang Mahiwagang Bisikleta" is a song about returning to innocence because I'm 35 years old now and parang I felt that my life has gone full circle. I began to appreciate simple things again...

TF: Like riding a bike?

Jimmy: Like riding a bike, yes. I hope you get a chance to listen to the songs. It's also about letting go of negative feelings like greed. The other song, "Ang Huling Makata" is about my teacher in high school, Dr. Onofre Pagsanghan. If you know the Ateneo community, then you'd know this guy. He's called Mr. Pagsi which is shortcut for Pagsanghan and he's also masipag. He's 83 years old and an institution in the Ateneo. Eighty percent of my art and my writing was inspired by him. I'm Atenean all the way, from the cradle to the grave. I graduated 1987. I wanted to pay tribute to this man who gave life to my art and to the arts of many people. For me, he's the last poet on earth. APO Hiking Society, Johnny Manahan, Bill Velasco --all these great people nagdaan sa kanya.

TF: What's the general sound of the album?

Jimmy: Some are still in the acoustic genre, but the rest are in very Pinoy rock flavor. Not rock and roll, but Pinoy rock. There's a good groove, very easy to listen to.

TF: So this album will sort of tell us what you're going through at 35?

Jimmy: Definitely. For a long time, I had certain age issues especially when I turned 30. Kasi I'm very youthful eh. I'm vigorous and makulit. I enjoy life. As a matter of fact, I'm single now and people tease me about it. But I'm single kasi I like traveling without having to ask permission from someone. Of course I plan to settle down in the future, pero meron akong Peter Pan syndrome. When I started feeling na patapos na yung bachelor stage ko, that's when I wrote this album. When I turned 35 this year, that's when I felt na nag-simplify na ulit yung buhay ko.

TF: Aside from your singing career, what do you do?

Jimmy: Before, music was the only thing that I did. But because the industry has been kind to me, I was able to save up a bit and I invested it on land. I built some townhouses in Boracay. Kasi we already have land in Manila so I didn't feel that I had to invest there. And I've always been a water person. So I wanted to build my dream house in Boracay. Actually, dalawa pa kami ni Nina na bumili nun eh, when we were still together. When we split, naging issue pa yan. But some of the tabloid writers don't have their facts straight. We're good friends and we already divided our property legally. Dream house dapat namin yun. But it's okay, no bitterness. That's how life goes. Plans change. The good thing is, we handled it maturely. Now, my half of the land, I already started building demo units in it. It doesn't require constant attention though. I still do music and appear on TV. So what I do is really music.

TF: Any song in your new album that touches on your time with her?

Jimmy: Yes, several. There's "We Used To Have It All". That's a really nice song and the only one where everything was done by a live band. There's also "Unlearn." And then there's one song na we were already friends again and she was confiding in me regarding the debt of her ex-boyfriend sa kanya na ayaw bayaran. I don't want to mention names so please don't na lang. So gumawa ako ng kanta tungkol dun, ang title "Utang." It's a really funny song. Some people think I write these songs because I'm bitter or para mang-asar. Ako naman, hindi. I just write whatever occupies my mind. I don't do it to hurt or chastise people.

TF: Aren't you afraid you'll start a conflict with the person your song is alluding to?

Jimmy: I don't know. But I never engage in a word war naman. Dati may mga sinasabi sila but I never responded. I try to be a gentleman. However, I don't want to curtail what I want to express as an artist. Bilib na bilib ako when I saw an interview of director Laurice Guillen. She was asked what's the difference in her directing now that she's a bit older. Sabi niya, "I don't apologize for my work anymore." I loved hearing that. Ibig sabihin nung mas bata siya, she felt a need to apologize when she did a scene that might have offended other people. But now she doesn't feel that anymore. For her, she was an artist, I'm going to write it how I want to. So ganun din ako.

TF: You penned the lyrics of your first chart-topping single "Let Me Be The One" in 1992. Why do you think you've managed to be still active even with new talents cropping up year after year?

Jimmy: I really hope this doesn't sound pretentious. I'm not a very religious man, but I think this is God's will eh. It's what He wants me to do. So hindi Niya ako pinapabayaan. Pangalawa, people think na parelax-relax lang ako. And I really am a laidback person, but I do work hard. There was this one whole year that I couldn't sing "Let Me Be The One." It was so heartbreaking. I lost my voice, I couldn't sing anymore. Some people pag ganyan, wala na, retire na. So I really had to relearn it. From the moment I woke up until the time I slept, I worked on my voice. I was willing to restructure the way I sang and I had to change my entire technique just to sound the same. And remember, I was singing since grade school so it was very hard. Until I relearned my voice, and now it's second nature to me again.

And that's why I'm still here. Because I still sing well, I hope. And there's something about my personality that I suppose people like kasi makulit ako sa stage eh. Ang daming magaling kumanta eh, pero mas matutuwa sila pag makulit ka din. It's a rollercoaster ride watching my shows kasi I switch up my emotions. Imagine if there's this guy singing puro heartbreak songs on stage. Baka magpakamatay ka pag-uwi mo diba? (THE FREEMAN)

ALBUM ANG HULING MAKATA ANG MAHIWAGANG BISIKLETA BUT I JIMMY LET ME BE THE ONE PEOPLE REALLY SO I WHEN I
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