Growing up on Gary V.
Joy Jonette Chuyaco (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - I became a Gary Valenciano fan when I was six years old (that was in 1986), and up until now I still am. I remember that I would always take the cassette player with me wherever I go (even to the bathroom) just to play his songs. There was even a time while I was writing my essay and I had my earphones on. My teacher reprimanded me for that, but she didn’t understand that I was inspired by the songs of Gary V.

It wasn’t until I graduated from high school in 1997 when I got to meet Gary in person. Since then, I tried my best to never miss any of his shows. Throughout the years, I was very lucky to have the chance to meet and talk with Gary many times: Backstage, during his mall shows and a few times at his former studio. As much as I want to share every story, I believe I can only choose the most memorable ones. This is not to brag but just to express how happy and surprised I am at how such a talented and successful man can be so humble. No wonder, that after 30 years in the industry, Gary still stands. Here are three of my most memorable moments with Gary V.

A party with Gary V. (May 2005)

It was in 2005, Gary’s management company and the E-group (one of Gary’s fan groups) came up with the idea of having a simple gathering of fans with Gary. 

As the party began, everybody was glowing with excitement and happiness. We didn’t have any idea of what was in store for the day. All we knew was that we were going to have a party with the man!

Not for long, Gary came. We were all quiet as he greeted us. He said at the beginning, “Sorry, I would just be dropping by because I needed to go somewhere else.” All of us frowned upon hearing that, and I bet he noticed that. He smiled and quickly stated that he was just joking — and so the party started.

We all had snacks together, including Gary, on the table. After that, we played games and even Gary joined in. I didn’t win in any of it but I still felt like a winner that day. We were then gathered and asked to throw any questions to Gary. I asked two questions: One was if he still gets nervous when performing, and the other one was if he has ever forgotten lyrics while performing. Finally, we took a group photo of that memorable day. Where was I in the photo? The best place to be. Now, it makes me want to say, “Sana Maulit Muli.”

A visit before leaving the Philippines (October 2008)

In 2008, my dad passed away and this heart-breaking event made me and my mom decide to try a new life in China, where my sister and her family have been living.

Preparing to move to another country isn’t easy at all: Packing all our the stuff, selling and giving away things we couldn’t keep, mom selling her long-time business, leaving our friends and relatives, and of course, giving away my five dogs.

It might be strange to some, but one thing that came to my mind was the reality that I would be missing a lot of Gary’s shows, plus I won’t get to be as updated on news about him as how I was.

At that time, Gary was going to have a major concert (Gary V. Extreme) a few months after I go. Obviously, I couldn’t go to that one. To say “goodbye” to Gary, I asked one of his staff if I could visit him at his studio. Luckily, they were very understanding and allowed me to.

After a rehearsal, I went to Gary, who already knew about my dad’s passing and my going to China. He hugged me and gave me some encouraging words. It was comforting. Although I wasn’t sure about the whole situation that was going on in my life, I felt a bit of strength. As I was about to go, he said that he was going to show me something about the upcoming show. He also reminded me not to tell anybody about it.

Although I felt really sad because I would be missing his shows, I just felt happy that I have the opportunity to say goodbye to him in person. To my surprise, he said goodbye not as a celebrity but as a friend.

More than what I prayed for (July 2009)

It was a few months before our scheduled visit to the Philippines. Mom and I were so excited. We were missing our relatives and friends, the food and on my part especially, I was missing Gary and his shows. Believe it or not, I prayed to God wishing that He would allow me to have a meet-up with Gary,  hoping that Gary would still remember me.

When I arrived, I was informed that I could visit Gary in his studio for a meet and greet.  

Come that day, I was nervous while waiting for him to come out from the rehearsal room. When he did, he saw me and called out my name — yes! We talked a lot like friends as he was having his break.

When it was time for rehearsal again, I boldly asked if I could watch since it had been a long time and I hadn’t seen his shows. I wasn’t expecting a yes, but surprisingly, he allowed me to. So, there I was, sitting on a chair — the lone audience — as he and his band started to play the music. It was like a private show for me.  

When the rehearsal ended, everybody left the room but Gary. He was playing the piano. I asked if I could stay for a bit, and he said yes. As he started singing, I got carried away and started to sing with him. I even requested some songs. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be there with your favorite singer and sing with him. It may not be on stage, but the moment was definitely as precious.

Until now, whenever I tell this story, it makes my heart pound with excitement. Such a rare happening and it happened to me. I thank God for it.

Currently, I am based in another country, the reason why I don’t get to watch a lot of Gary V. shows like I used to. Nevertheless, I treasure all those moments with him. It didn’t matter if I needed to wait in line or to struggle with the crowd. To a fan like me, it was all worth it. All I can say is that from then until now and in the coming years, I will always be a proud and happy fan of Gary V.

(Gary V. celebrates his 30th anniversary in the music industry with ARISE: Gary V.  3.0 concert on April 11 and 12 at the Big Dome.)

ALL I ALTHOUGH I AS I BIG DOME GARY GARY V GARY VALENCIANO MOM AND I SANA MAULIT MULI SHOWS
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