Rey Valera: ‘There is no superstar complex in Sing Galing’

MJ Marflori - The Philippine Star
Rey Valera: �There is no superstar complex in Sing Galing�
The Sing Galing host has helped create the TV5 Christmas station ID, Atin Ang Pasko
STAR / File

For the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) icon Rey Valera, there isn’t any arrogant bone in his body. It was a breath of fresh air talking to one of our music greats and yet it felt as if he was the one more new in the industry.

What was funny was when we spoke to him fresh from his Balesin getaway with Sing Galing co-hosts Randy Santiago and Ronnie Liang, he was quick to explain, “Hindi ako mapapapunta sa pang mayaman na lugar na ganoon. Pero ma-boka talaga si pareng Randy. Noong una nga sinasabi niya X-deal at sagot na nila lahat pero sabi ko nga, huwag niyo ako palakpakan, bayaran niyo na lang ako! Hahaha!” That expensive getaway was well-deserved, said Rey, as it was an early celebration of sorts for the Sing Galing family.

Just this month, a new nomination came out for Sing Galing at the Asian TV Awards for Best Adaptation of an existing format, a second nomination after the show was launched in the second quarter of the year.

Both Sing Galing weekday and Singlebrity Saturday editions are peaking with their ratings as well. Rey shared, “Wala kasing superstar sa amin. Wala ring pa-superstar. Lahat kami pantay, pantay. Bigayan kami. Kaya okay talaga ang samahan namin.”

Apart from that, he just helped create the TV5 Christmas station ID, Atin Ang Pasko. “It’s my first time to write for a network, would you believe?” Rey said. “But what makes this different is that we made the lyrics for the viewers of the network and the network per se. Usually kasi sa ibang istasyon, ginagawa yung kanta para sa star na kakanta. Dito hindi. Ang tao ang star at bida, malinaw ang direksyon ng kanta at madaling kantahin.”

Sing Galing airs Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. on TV5 and the Singlebrity Saturdays at 6 p.m.

Miss Intercontinental Cindy Obeñita’s fighting spirit

Usually, when I meet beauty queens, even though they had undergone rigorous trainings to get the crown and title, they still aren’t on their maximum when it comes to confidence and self-assurance. This was clearly not the case for Cinderella Faye “Cindy” Obeñita.

Even before the Binibining Pilipinas coronation this year, the organization sent her to guest in one of my programs, Sa Totoo Lang. She was full of confidence in promoting the national pageant as if she was already one of the crowned winners. That was the first time I virtually met her.

I have been covering beauty pageants for a little more than a decade and have witnessed thousands of girls vying for the crown. I was impressed by how she presented herself as if she already belonged. The Bb. Pilipinas pageant was the next day and, lo and behold, the Cagayan de Oro native finished as a wild card in the competition but it was clear that did not make her flinch a bit. By the end of October, she won for the country its second Miss Intercontinental crown, following Karen Gallman’s 2018 win.

We had the pleasure to have the first interview with our Miss Intercontinental and she believed that besides her hard work, fate had it for her.

“Preparation is really half of your victory,” she said. “The other 50 percent of it is really luck. I was really thankful that luck was really on my side. It was meant to be.”

We spoke to Cindy two days ago while she was in quarantine in Cebu. To make it to the Philippines, Cindy had so many redirected flights just to get to us here, even joking about the uncanny semblance of her journey to the crown with that of her flight home.

“Siguro ang hugot ko lang talaga is, for me, victory is possible for those people who don’t use to stop fighting,” she said. “Whatever challenges you face, be it financial, emotional, physical or mental, no matter what it is, you don’t give up easily. You have to surround yourself with people that will help you along the way and that’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing right now.”

Yes, her boyfriend was there with her along the way. Cindy said he served as her cheerleader and lucky charm. “Malaking bagay na may sumisigaw ng Pilipinas,” shared she, whose fighting spirit was also boosted by her family that was constantly with her in spirit even though the pageant aired at 3 a.m., Philippine time.

“I haven’t seen my family in over a year but I’m so happy and touched by their support,” said she. “I cannot wait to see them when I get out of quarantine. I felt their presence.”

Now, Cindy is gearing up for some homecoming festivities in Manila and in her province after she ends her quarantine tomorrow. She is still waiting for her contract with Miss Intercontinental as well. Even though we are still in a pandemic, she vows not to have a virtual beauty queen reign. “We make sure na magiging physical activity ang gagawin natin,”she said. “We will go to Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, especially na marami tayong green list countries. I will continue to spread my advocacy, which is cervical cancer awareness.”

Since it’s the political season yet again in the Philippines, we asked Cindy if she would be a “politically outspoken” beauty queen. She answered that she wouldn’t name names and would pretty much want to be out of the hot water but here is her stand.

“We need to be aware of the current issues happening in the country and you need to make a stand,” said she. “Actually, I made a stand already on what leaders we should choose for the coming elections. I did not say the names but qualities. Do a background check!”

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