Each moment is The Moment

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When I look back, it seems like only yesterday when Erik Santos was starting out on his journey to make a name for himself as a singer — and now, here he is, marking his 10th year in the business.

It’s been an incredible 10-year ride, and sometimes even Erik himself can’t believe that it has gotten this far. “Because at first, after I won (in Star in a Million, where he was the first grand champion), of course, I didn’t know then that it was only the beginning,” says Erik. “Akala ko, after I won, makakabalik na ako ng school, at mapagpapatuloy ko na ‘yung pag-aaral ko. Yun pala, ‘yun ang simula ng lahat, after you win. That’s where the battle and the hard work begin.”

Erik has come a long way from his Star in a Million days, and as his former manager, I am proud of him. Although he was a wildcard entry, he worked hard and wouldn’t accept the idea of failure. He knew that there was a front-runner, but at the same time, he had come too far and sacrificed too much to allow himself to fail. The night before the grand finals, Erik couldn’t sleep and replayed what he wanted to happen again and again in his head. “At the back of my mind, I thought, ‘I’m gonna get this.’ I want this, I need this, nandito na ‘ko, so at that point, it’s like do or die.”

But when he finally got to the Star in a Million stage, he let fate take over. He didn’t plan anything, not even the way he was going to walk onstage, or sing. “Of course, there was tension and I couldn’t sleep the night before, even for one second, I really couldn’t sleep. All I was telling myself was, ‘I’m going to get this.’ I didn’t plan how I was going to do it. I just told myself, I was going to feel the song — This Is The Moment — and whatever happened after that, bahala na si Lord doon.”

Today, Erik is acknowledged as one of the finest singers in the business. He has won awards, staged sold-out shows around the world, had his life story featured on Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) and is a regular in ASAP. He has come very far from the would-be singer whose only dream was to watch a Martin Nievera concert live. Never in Erik’s wildest dreams did he imagine that one day, he’d be singing and sharing the stage with Martin and Gary Valenciano, or even be tagged as Martin’s heir-apparent.

But although he has achieved a lot, Erik — who will be celebrating his 10 years in the industry with a major solo concert, InTENse: A Decade with the Prince of Pop on Nov. 9 at the PICC — doesn’t feel it is reason enough to rest on his laurels. He dreams of releasing an international album and building on the 10 years he’s had so far, and taking that to 20, 30, even 40 years that so far, only the likes of Gary and Martin have been able to achieve.

“For me, that’s something that is so hard to achieve given the different platforms in showbiz and the fact that there are so many singing contests, so many reality searches, sa dami ng gustong mag-artista, people come and go. Minsan, magugulat ka na lang na wala na si ganito,” says Erik.

So, he has set a more modest goal for himself, which is to at least notch another 10 years in the industry.

After that, he’ll allow himself to think of the next 10, then the next, and the next. At this point, says Erik, he’s just thankful that he has passed the 10-year mark. “I’m just so thankful na nakarating ako ng 10 years,” he says.

“So, my dream really is to stay for another 10, 20, 30 years kasi parang buhay ko na ang music.”

For Erik, each moment has become The Moment.











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