Basil Valdez & The Soundtrack of His Life

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Did you know Basil Valdez has stopped listening to foreign songs, ever since he embarked on a solo career, after having been a member of the famed Circus Band in the ‘70s?

‘’It’s difficult for me to interpret foreign songs because when I sing, I really have to dig deep,” explained Basil. “I have to ask what is the composer trying to convey through the song. Medyo di ako maka-connect, unlike when they are written by Ryan Cayabyab or George Canseco, ang ganda na ng arrangement, madali ko pang makuha ‘yung tamang feeling for the song. It’s because there’s a connection between the song and my life. If I cannot connect to the song, why would I sing it?”

It comes as no surprise then that when asked what the 25 most memorable songs to him are, Basil lists down his very own, those which have been written specially for him by some of the greatest composers this country has ever produced.

“Yes, and I’m very lucky, even blessed, that I have worked with those composers.”

Basil has performed the most beautiful and the most haunting Filipino love songs that have transcended several generations and which have become part of the soundtracks of our lives.

“What really satisfies me now is singing and seeing people enjoy my songs,’’ he added.

On Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, at 9 p.m., Basil will perform his well-loved originals in a show dubbed as A Night With Basil Valdez at K-Pub, the newest entertainment venue located at The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Basil will naturally share with his audience the songs which are not only memorable to many generations of Filipinos, but also to him because these are the ones especially closest to his heart.

Here are Basil’s “25 Most Memorable Songs”:

= Ngayon at Kailanman (George Canseco) — “This song is my first recording. Binigay ‘yan sa akin ni George. It is so poetic, the lyrics are just so perfect. But the story there is that George wanted to change some lyrics at the last moment. The lyrics ‘Sa bawat araw ang pag-ibig ko sa ‘yo, liyag. Lalong tumatamis, tumitingkad,’ he wanted to change it to ‘Sa bawat araw ang pag-ibig ko sa ‘yo, hiyas. Lalong tumatamis, tumitimyas.’ But it was too late, naka-press na ang plaka. It sold over a million copies. Nag-triple platinum. Up to now, I’m surprised that it’s still selling.”

= Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan, Kastilyong Buhangin, Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo, Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan, Paano ba ang Mangarap and Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan, all by Canseco — “All the songs above were composed for me by George, all really tailor-made for me, either for my album or for a movie theme song. Kitang-kita ko ‘yung gift ng Diyos sa kanya, even if he was drunk he could compose a beautiful song. When I entered the studio, George had written only one verse but the melody had already been taped. So, ‘yung verse na iyon, inaaral ko. Then, while we were rehearsing, he would be drinking brandy or whiskey. While I was recording the first verse, George would be writing the second verse hanggang mabuo na ang kanta. Makata talaga.”

= Salamin ng Buhay (Canseco) — “I remember being very challenged by this song as no two notes in the song were similar, but George encouraged me that I could do the song. Mahilig siya mag-push ng range ko. Ang tataas!”

= Ngayon (Canseco) — “George wrote this song because he wanted me to join a contest, ‘yung Awit Likha Pambata, which was affiliated with Metropop. He needed the P100,000 prize money. Ayun, nanalo!”

= Nais Ko; Iduyan Mo; Paraisong Parisukat; Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang; Sometime, Somewhere; and Tuwing Umuulan At Kapiling Ka, all by Ryan Cayabyab — “Memorable sa akin ‘yung mga kanta ni Ryan kasi parang shoot na shoot sa personality mo siya mag-compose. Ryan and I have worked together for years, pati mga concerts namin abroad for the Moroccan royalty. One evening, nagsisimula pa lang kaming mag cheese-cheese, wine-wine nun, and we were just talking. Afterwards pagkauwi ni Ryan, he called me up and told me he has written three songs for me. Yung short time that he left and reached his house, nakasulat na siya ng three songs for me!”

= You (Gerry Paraiso) — “At the time, I was recording an entire album of Paraiso songs, including You. At that time, medyo nababagalan ako sa turn-out ng kanta. I told myself, ‘How come it’s taking so long?’ Pero one day, he told me, ‘Basil, this song is really for you.’ I didn’t realize that he was really patterning the songs after my life kaya natatagalan. So, we finished the album. Then one year later, Gerry died. I cried and cried. Doon ko kasi na-realize na what he was doing was really for me.”

= Let the Pain Remain (Willy Cruz) — “This is the very first song that Willy wrote for me. I asked him for a song and I was hoping for a Tagalog song but he gave me this very beautiful song.”

= Lead Me Lord (Arnel de Pano) and Lift Up Your Hands (Cecile Azarcon Inocentes) — “I was teaching when I started my singing career. Tanggap na actually ako sa Jesuits. Ayaw lang ng iba kong friends na pari. In the ’90s, I was invited by my Jesuit friend to do a concert at the Ateneo de Zamboanga football field with about 8,000 people watching. Kahit mga Muslim, kinakanta yung Lift Up Your Hands and Lead Me Lord. Doon ko naisip mag-pari. I was tired, I wanted to serve. But my priest-friend told me, ‘Look, kapag singer ka, you’re able to evangelize to so many people in your shows. Pero ang pari, usually mga 50 people lang. Sayang lang ‘yung talent mo. You don’t have to be a priest to serve’.”

= Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga (C. Azarcon Inocentes) — “Maganda talaga ang mga kanta ni Cecile. She rarely writes songs but they are very beautiful.”

= Say That You Love Me (Louie Ocampo) — “Louie wrote this for me. The problem was that I wasn’t able to promote it well. Paano ba naman, ‘yung kasabay ng kantang ‘yon mga Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan at Paano Ba Ang Mangarap, mga mabibigat na kanta. So Martin Nievera’s version of Say That You Love Me became more popular.”

= Nag-iisang Pangarap (Bien Noriega, Sonny Angeles) — “This song is memorable because of the composers. Lumapit sila sa akin and asked me to sing the song. Pinarinig ko kay Ryan (Cayabyab) and he said he’d like to arrange the song. It is an inspirational song.”

= Ikaw (Lyrics by George Canseco, Music by Louie Ocampo) — “Although I was not the first one to record this song, Ikaw was originally written for me. George wrote the lyrics for his wife and he asked me to keep the lyrics first. Pero di siya magkaroon pa ng inspiration to write the melody. Later on, pinagawa kay Louie Ocampo ang melody and it was given to Sharon Cuneta to record for her movie with Ariel Rivera. I am applauded in at least three parts whenever I sing this song, using Homer Flores’ arrangement.”

= Kailan (Fred Areza) — “Fred was my grade-school teacher in Music at the Ateneo. He sent the song to me. Ang ganda, eh, parang may pagka-kundiman. But I told him that for it to be marketable, I would make it more modern. It was arranged by Emy Munji. Ang gaganda ng salita.”

= Hindi Kita Malilimutan (Manuel Francisco, S.J.) — “The composer, now Fr. Manoling, was 16 years old at the Ateneo High School when he wrote that song. I found out about it kasi I was staying at Teacher’s Village in Baguio one time. May narinig akong kumakanta niyan. Nagandahan ako sa melody. I asked around about the song, ‘yun nga, that it was written by a certain Manoling Francisco with his entire class in Ateneo. I went to Fr. Manoling personally kung okay lang i-record ko siya, okay naman daw. So, I included it in my album SALMo (an acronym that stands for Sundin Ang Loob Mo).”

K-Pub is an exciting Korean barbecue dining concept located at The Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. The restaurant also features a stage with professional sound system and lights set-up and the largest LED screen in the country for a restaurant. It has hosted many international and local acts, including CNBlue, B1A4, Alexander, Side A, South Border, and Freestyle. For information, call 847-1961 or 847-3098.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with