For the better

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Atty. Mike Toledo - The Philippine Star
For the better
(From left) Augusto Palisoc Jr., Kris Aldover-Ysmael, the author and Melody Del Rosario.

“I’ve heard it said, That people come into our lives For a reason — Bringing something we must learn; And we are led to those Who help us most to grow if we let them, And we help them in return.”

These are the opening lines to the popular song For Good that Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, singing as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively, have immortalized in the Broadway musical Wicked — a song that we also wished to immortalize as a tribute to our own man for all reasons and for all seasons, our chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, or simply MVP.

The idea was broached by Melody del Rosario, vice president for public relations and corporate communications of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and president of the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation, to do a music video tribute to our chairman on his 75th birthday.

Melody Del Rosario.

According to Melody, the same song was presented to MVP on his birthday some years back, albeit in a PowerPoint presentation, but the lyrics were spot-on, and it resonated much about how we felt about him.

The concept was to produce a music video using talents within the Metro Pacific family. They called on Augie Palisoc, Metro Pacific director and president of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc., Kris

Aldover-Ysmael, Metro Pacific vice president for investor relations, Melody Del Rosario and myself to render the song.

When we were asked to be a part of this project, it was a no-brainer for us because, for one, we knew that MVP loved music, and that, two, he is very supportive of music programs and projects through the years, like what he has been doing for PhilPop.

Augusto Palisoc Jr.

Music is close to his heart, and it is also close to ours.

This music video was for someone very close to our hearts, someone we deeply respect and admire.

What better way to give tribute to a man who has led us unwaveringly through even the most difficult of times like this pandemic than through song and music?

On a personal note, I was beside myself with excitement — the thrill of performing with my colleagues in Metro Pacific, not to mention recording in a professional studio.

The song was apropos. It tells about how certain people make an impression on us and on our lives, and how we are changed “for good” — and “for good” here has a double meaning: it can mean forever, or it can mean for the better.

There is a reason behind the change, and it does not happen by chance. This is probably the most impactful song of Wicked because it reflects the central theme of the musical, which is basically about good and evil, but more on being able to accept others despite their differences — and that, by acceptance, lives are changed for the better and forever, both acceptor and the accepted.

Kris Aldover-Ysmael.

We experienced what it was to be like professional artists — the practice sessions and recording sessions in a studio for professionals; working with Dominic Benedicto, the musical director/arranger, Franklee Garcia Lorenzo, the voice coach, and musicians; then shooting the music video in a sound stage with production and technical crew by Garahe Films Production. It was the real thing!

Because we met MVP, our lives were changed for good — for the better.

The testimonies of the different executives from the Metro Pacific family were not mere platitudes to the Boss. They were heartfelt tributes of daughters and sons to a loving father who oftentimes had to make the hard and difficult decisions, but always for the good of the family and for all.

Deo Nery Fidelson, Franklee Garcia Lorenzo and Dominic Benedicto.

You can still catch the music video, both the original and extended versions, online, particularly through the Metro Pacific social media platforms.

And, as the song rightfully ends, “Because I knew you, I have been changed, for good.”

Magic Bautista and Ian Maven Panganiban.
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