Tireless at 63, Randy Santiago dances, jumps, gyrates and sings onstage non-stop

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star
Tireless at 63, Randy Santiago dances, jumps, gyrates and sings onstage non-stop
Randy sings upbeat tunes in ‘EyeCon,’ his clubbing-themed first major show in years.

MANILA, Philippines — Just when he turned 63 (in November last year), singer-TV host Randy Santiago stopped singing his hit ballad, Hindi Magbabago, and resorted to all upbeat numbers with his guest artists in “EyeCon,” his latest live concert last weekend held at the PICC Plenary Hall.

That was something new for Randy, who got used to singing ballads in most of his concerts. In “EyeCon,” however, he tirelessly sang one upbeat song after another from start to finish.

“You will witness an extraordinary concert,” Randy promised his audience. “I can see everyone. We are here to party. This is your music, your party, your experience, your ‘EyeCon.’”

From his opening salvo — Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night — to his final number, Jump, The Heat Is On and Footloose, Randy evidently rocked the stage non-stop with his guests. He jumped like he was still in his twenties.

Sunglasses at Night saw Randy with his back-up D&G Dancers, all wearing shades, his trademark get-up and donning hot pink attire.

Randy with special guest Rachel Alejandro, with Nina, also a special guest and with concert queen Pops Fernandez.

He reached out to his audience literally. He went from end to end, shaking their hands, while some posed with a quick selfie as he sang and walked towards the crowd from the top of the stage to the end row.

Randy generously performed for his audience. The concert apparently didn’t scrimp its budget but even offered more. While guests normally rendered a number or two in their usual solo spot, Randy made an effort to figure in a production number with every guest.

First to join him onstage were his “Triple Treat” show co-hosts back in the ‘80s, Gino Padilla and Juan Miguel Salvador, who carried out a Go West medley with him – King of Wishful Thinking, We Close Our Eyes, and Call Me.

With male singing champions (from left) JM de la Cerna, JM Yozures, LA Santos, and Khimo.

“This brother of mine still has very high energy,” Gino remarked after witnessing Randy’s moves.

Gino and Juan Miguel dished out a Prince medley – Kiss, I Would Die for You, and Let’s Go Crazy.

Young all-female quartet and P-pop group Calista – Anne, Elle, Denise, and Dain – impressed with their spot number, Race Car and carried a Dua Lipa hit, Cold Heart, with the man of the night, Randy.

Polaris artists, who are all winners of ABS-CBN singing contests, displayed their impressive vocal talents before the crowd as they rendered a Motown medley. Their voices soared.

Winners of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Duets JM dela Cerna sang I Can’t Help Myself and Marielle Montelibano, without a trace of her birthmark on the face, belted out Stop In the Name of Love.

The veteran hitmaker pulls Dingdong Avanzado from his seat to sing a duet with him.

Grand champion of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Season 4 JM Yozures crooned Superstition. Jezza Quiogue, third placer from the same season, carried out Dancing in the Streets. Idol Philippines Season 2 grand winner Khimo sang I Got You. “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Season 6 champion Lyka Estrella delivered Respect.

To say that the young singers were good would be merely an understatement. They were rewarded with a thunderous applause after they performed.

The Polaris boys joined LA Santos to render a Bruno Mars medley with Randy – Treasure, 24K Magic, Finesse, and Uptown Funk. Dingdong Avanzado, who was seated in the audience, was pulled by Randy to render a few lines of Treasure with him.

He did a few more solo spots, like Smooth and Livin’ La Vida Loca, before his female guests joined him in performing onstage.

Rachel Alejandro, who started going on tour with Randy when she was only 17 in “Wild Eyes: Maximum Intensity,” dished out a Gloria Estefan medley – Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet – before singing We Built This City with Randy.

With ‘Triple Treat’ show co-hosts Gino Padilla (left) and Juan Miguel Salvador.

Nina, meanwhile, who was admittedly under the weather that night, nonetheless still managed to deliver what was expected from her. She sang We Belong Together back to back with Love on Top, then did a duet of Whenever I Call You Friend with Randy.

Randy’s most awaited guest was apparently reserved for last. Before Randy did his final numbers, concert queen Pops Fernandez returned the favor to Randy after the latter guested in her “Always Loved” concert last February. Incidentally, the concert will go on tour in the US.

Pops rendered Dance Again medley – Titanium, Laser Lights, and Domino – before performing Rhythm of the Night with Randy.

A medley of Randy’s hits – Paikot-Ikot, Babaero, and Siguro – was delivered to the audience who was still in high spirits after Randy performed onstage for two-and-a-half hours. Then came his encore of Jump, The Heat Is On, and Footloose.

Randy with the all-girl P-pop quartet, Calista.

“Nakakataba ng puso na nandito pa kayo at sumusuporta sa akin up to now at hindi niyo ako iniwan,” Randy told the crowd.

“I’ve been in this business for 38 years. Hindi ko na hinintay ang 40. Baka hindi ko na kaya. Pero hindi niyo ako pinabayaan. It was 1986 when I started my solo career (after Cicada). I hit it big in 1987 with Hindi Magbabago.”

The concert definitely didn’t disappoint the full-house crowd at the PICC Plenary Hall. Musical director was Rey Cantiong of Six Part Invention, while the band was Randy’s back-up. Stage director was Jay Klio Bermudez.

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