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Paul Anka does it Oscar Violago’s way |


Paul Anka does it Oscar Violago’s way

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star
Paul Anka does it Oscar Violagoâs way
Special guest Paul Anka brings the house down during the Violago party.

Oscar Violago had no idea what was in store for him when he celebrated his 80th birthday recently in their spacious Forbes Park home. His loving children, AJ, Princess, and Malou Tanjutco made sure they would pull out all the stops by surprising him with their dad’s favorite all-time singer, Paul Anka. The siblings grew up listening and loving Paul’s songs because their departed mother, Bootsie, would often play his tunes at home and in the car. This was a tribute not only for their father, but for their mom, whom they love dearly and miss terribly.

Oscar Violago’s family birthday dinner with Paul Anka as his surprise guest.

Though it certainly was not an easy feat, since the celebrated singer/songwriter/actor is based in the US and performs worldwide, the coordination was undertaken by Renen and Cel de Guia of Ovation Productions. As son-in-law Ryan Tanjutco enthused, “What do you get a man who does things his way? Surprise him with the man who wrote My Way!”

The celebration originally started out with a list of 200 persons, but grew to another hundred guests. With 24 ambassadors in full force, the party was a veritable United Nations, as they gamely sang “We love Oscar” to the tune of We are the World.

The musical evening included the Violago grandchildren: Manu, Santi, Enzo, Arianna and Ellie presenting a catchy Beatles medley.

The ambassadors singing a surprise number for celebrant Oscar Violago

Deeply religious, the visibly touched Oscar remarked, “Thank you for a very beautiful and happy 80th birthday. I am currently in the process of writing a book to impart the gifts and lessons I have learned to inspire future generations. The miracles in my life prove that there is a true, loving God through Mama Mary and St. Joseph. I know that our angel Corrina and my wife Bootsie, whom I will love beyond eternity, are present and among us.”

He ended with, “I look forward to seeing you when I celebrate my 100th birthday,” to the applause and cheers of the lively crowd.

Paul Anka enthralled the audience with hit after hit, including his first song, Diana, which he reworded to “Bootsie.”

Young guests enjoyed the Violago party

As Paul sang Times of Your Life, that was originally for Kodak, he remarked, “The things that used to matter to me no longer do. What matters are family, friends and health.” Many more tunes followed that brought beautiful memories and stories behind the songs: Lonely Boy (because Paul had to be hidden from the screaming fans who would grab him, so he would be hidden and brought to the concert venue in a box and would be alone), New York, New York (where he made us stand up, sing and sway), It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (for his pal, Buddy Holly, who passed away at a young age in a tragic plane accident), and many more melodies.

It was a veritable love fest for the guests and singer, as he made sure his repertoire included My Way, rewriting the lyrics, and made Oscar sing along, making the celebrant state, “It was as if I were Frank Sinatra having a duet with the great Paul Anka!”

The musical evening continued with the performance of RJ Jacinto rocking ‘n’ rolling as the exuberant crowd clamored for more.

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