Christian with 1 for 3 costars Mark Bautista (reclining) and Aicelle Santor
1 for 3 means ‘I love you!’
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 30, 2020 - 12:00am

The show must go on.

Even as he grieves for his dad who passed away last week, Mark Bautista will be in tip-top shape for 1 for 3, his pre-Valentine concert on Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Theatre at Solaire with fellow Kapuso Christian Bautista and Aicelle Santos.

On stage, Mark will be singing happy love songs perhaps without showing the sadness deep within him. Funfare learned that during the wake in Cagayan de Oro where he hails from, Mark danced with his mom to the song Dance With My Father to celebrate her and Mark’s dad’s wedding anniversary this year because she would be celebrating alone at the same time next year.

“It was the most memorable dance of my life,” Mark was quoted as saying. And, for sure, his saddest Valentine’s made more so by the reality that he is, as in the past few years, without any Valentine. Alone again naturally but not really lonely.

Mark, alone again naturally but not really lonely.

Married in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 17, 2018, Christian and his wife Kat Ramnani have just come back from their oft-postponed honeymoon in Africa from Dec. 23 to Jan. 12; while brand-new wife Aicelle and husband Mark Zambrano, married in San Juan, Batangas, on Nov. 16 last year, have moved their honeymoon (in Japan) to May.

1 for 3 is actually a variation of 143 which means I Love You. Directed by Paolo Valenciano with Mel Villena as musical director, the concert produced by the three stars is a perfect joint effort since they have been in GMA shows but never together in a concert. The Solaire concert will be a showcase of their “vocal prowess, mixing pop, jazz and a pinch of theatrics” with a repertoire of songs calculated “to move, enthrall and spark joy among the audience.” The concert ushers in the Valentine season.

“The season is packed with shows,” admitted Mark, “kaya ayaw namin sumabay.”

According to Christian, since they have been friends for a long time and working for the same network, why didn’t they produce their own show?

“A show that we can fully control,” added Christian. “Approved kaagad. Parang nag-usap-usap during an inuman at nabuo ang concept. We are happy that Paolo is directing the concert.”

Paolo has been “monopolizing” big shows including that of Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez last year, and his own dad Gary Valenciano’s concert in April touted to be his last solo outing, creating the misconception that Gary V is retiring (no, he’s not…yet!).

Christian Bautista and wife Kat Ramnani during their (delayed) honeymoon in Africa from Dec. 23, 2019 to Jan. 12, 2020

At the presscon, host Carlo Orosa (Christian’s manager) didn’t just call the three stars one by one. Instead, he introduced them with a litany of their latest achievements: Christian for being Asia’s Romantic Balladeer, performer in Josh Groban’s concert last year and the main singer at the opening ceremonies of the 2019 SEA Games…Mark for his critically-acclaimed performance as Ferdinand Marcos in the London musical Here Lies Love (Mark would explain how he missed an audition for the Broadway presentation of Aladdin simply because he forgot to open his e-mail and missed the invitation)…and Aicelle for her praised theater turns in Himala the Musical and Rak of Aegis, and performing with Jackie Chan and Andrea Bocelli at an event in Beijing, plus her forthcoming stint as lead actress in Ballet Philippines’ staging of Rama Hari.

Each of them marked their entrance (at Annabel’s where the presscon was held) with a song and then, before the open forum, they sang together a new song, Simula, composed by Mark. 

It must be interesting to watch Christian, Mark and Aicelle in the concert because they are all products of talent searches: Christian a finalist in ABS-CBN’s Star in a Million in 2003; Mark third placer to Sarah Geronimo in Star For a Night; and Aicelle a runner-up in GMA’s Pinoy Pop Superstar in 2006.

Aicelle with husband Mark Zambrano during their wedding on Nov. 16 last year in San Juan, Batangas

As a nod to this month of hearts, Funfare asked the three stars what three songs meant so much to them. 

Mark

1. I Need You,

2. Broken Bow, and

3. Simula (“My first time to write a serious song for the new decade, which is sung by other artists, Aicelle and Christian, and not by me”).

Christian

1. Ligaya (“The Eraserheads song rearranged and beautifully orchestrated as background for our wedding march”),

2. The Way You Look at Me (“The soundtrack of my career in the last 15 years”), and

3. Leo Valdez’s Magsimula Ka/Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up (“Even if I didn’t win in a contest, these two songs pushed me to not give up”).

Aicelle

1. Kapangyarihan ng Pag-ibig (“A song that I recorded back in 2006, written by Jungee Marcelo. It speaks of being grateful for the love that you get in general and being thankful for the blessings. Blessings are equivalent to love. Ibig sabihin n’un na-e-experience mo ‘yung love ng Panginoon, ng pamilya mo at mga kaibigan mo. You attract all the positivity because you are grateful”),

2. Make Me Whole (“This is the song intended really for the man I will marry. It’s a song by Amel Larrieux”), and

3. Dear God (“You know how worship songs would connect to you and relate to your life? I think this is the song that relates to my life. It’s called Dear God by Smokie Norful. During the times in your life na parang wala ka ng pag-asa, there’s no one who could rescue you, God is there”).

(1 for 3 is presented by Solaire Resort & Casino in cooperation with PLDT Home. For tickets, call Ticketworld at +632-8891-9999 or visit website at ticketworld.com.ph.)

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

AICELLE SANTOS CHRISTIAN BAUTISTA MARK BAUTISTA
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