Will Manny Pacquiao duet with Dan Hill in Manila?

Danee Samonte - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - So much has been written about Manny Pacquiao’s boxing accomplishments but only a few about his duet with Dan Hill’s Sometimes When We Touch which broke into the Adult Contemporary charts in the US at No. 7 over a year ago.

Sometimes When We Touch is Manny’s top favorite and that’s why he recorded the song and performed it live with Dan at a press conference in New York prior to his fight with Shane Mosley. The big question is will he do it again?

A few days ago, yours truly together with Midas Hotel & Casino director of sales and marketing Cielo Ortega met with Eric Pineda of Team Pacquiao for breakfast when Manny and his team arrived from the US. 

Manny, although visibly disappointed from the loss, was well-composed and gamely answered questions from the press about the questionable judging. In between the press conference and breakfast which was attended by my big-shot friends from GMA (Jimmy Duavit, Felipe Yalong, Darling de Jesus and Redgie Acuña-Magno) and Solar (Wilson Tieng), Manny lit up with a smile when Eric informed him he was invited to perform the duet with Dan for the first time in the Philippines at the concert on June 29 at the Midas Hotel Atrium. From all indications, the historical duet may happen.

I met Dan on the tarmac of Mactan Cebu International Airport on the day of his back-to-back Valentine concert with Rex Smith in Cebu. He arrived in style with panache from a concert in Kuala Lumpur on Tan Sri (the British equivalent of knighthood in Malaysia) Jojo’s luxurious private jet with Phillip his personal assistant and Long Tall Howard as tour manager and liaison. The vision of Dan that lingered in my mind as I anxiously awaited for him to alight the jet was how he looked in the ’70s — hip with long dark curly hair and a bit on the chubby side which was a total contrast to the Dan who appeared — macho bald (like me) and slim (not me) but still good-looking. I have to admit that prior to our meeting, the only Dan Hill song I knew was Sometimes When We Touch.

Dan and Manny recording the former’s song Sometimes When We Touch

Good thing my wife educated me before fetching him at the airport that he was the singer/composer behind the classic No. 1 love songs Can’t We Try (which he co-wrote with wife Beverly), Why Do We Always Hurt The Ones We Love and I Never Thought. When I sat with Dan in the limo, he further educated me that he was the composer of and has his own versions of the 98 Degrees hit I Do (Cherish You) and George Benson’s In Your Eyes.

I was dumbfounded. Those were all million sellers. He even added that country superstar Willie Nelson wrote a song about him. Dan’s songs have been performed by Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, just to name a few. His signature song Sometimes When We Touch has been covered by the biggest artists in the music industry like Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Engelbert Humperdinck, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Bonnie Tyler, etc. and is on its fourth decade of constant rotation on all radio stations worldwide not to mention the thousands and thousands who sing it nightly in karaoke bars.

I myself took a liking to the song that I suggested to John Ford Coley to include it permanently in his concert repertoire which he did and has been performing it ever since 2007. In fact, it is included in his latest CD The Very Best of John Ford Coley, which is locally released by Universal/MCA and worldwide by Evosound.

After I experienced Dan’s Cebu performance, I promised myself I would bring him to Manila for his first-ever solo concert. Although he’s performed in Manila once before, it was only as a guest artist with four other performers. Dan is also a prolific author, record producer (he co-produced fellow Canadian Celine Dion’s Seduces Me which was in her Falling Into You album that sold in excess of 30 million) and lectures extensively about his bout with prostate cancer. His recognitions include Grammy nominations and awards, Juno and Harold Moon awards not to mention numerous RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) Gold and Platinum awards.

(Tickets to his performance on June 29, Friday, at the Midas Hotel and Casino Atrium are available at all Ticketworld outlets, SM Tickets, National Bookstores, Ayala Malls, Robinsons and Midas Hotel concierge. Special guest of the show is up-and-coming live wire performer J Michaels.)

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