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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Julie Anne at her most vulnerable yet in ‘limitless, A Musical Trilogy’

Vanessa A. Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  In the trailer for the first leg of Julie Anne San Jose’s musical trilogy that will premiere globally tomorrow, she is seen hunched in tears as she mutters, “Matagal ko ng kinikimkim ‘to.”

The clip makes for an interesting teaser for the Kapuso performer’s fans, but don’t expect earth-shaking revelations in this one-of-a-kind event.

Julie Anne explained in a digital media conference the context behind her line: Like many during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, she had been dealing with cabin fever and simply felt overwhelmed to finally travel and be amongst nature once again. Finally, she felt free and able to breathe again.

“Breathe,” in fact, is the title of Part 1 of Julie Anne’s “LIMITLESS, A Musical Trilogy”, which promises to unveil her different facets as a singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and multi-instrumentalist. She travels to the three island groups of the Philippines where she discovers new inspiration in unexpected locations.

“In 2020 we started conceiving this idea of having a show for Julie Anne. But  times were and still are uncertain. We didn’t know how to proceed and what exactly it should be,” began GMA Regional TV and Synergy First Vice President and Head Oliver Victor Amoroso.

While virtual concerts have been a dime a dozen during the pandemic as artists pivoted to online platforms, Amoroso felt another event in the same format will fail to truly capture the essence of what they wanted to achieve.

“Going to back our last project, ‘Alden’s Reality,’ we had the same concerns. And the answer we found was presenting something that has never been done before. And that was a very freeing mindset for the entire team. It allowed us to entertain more ideas, be more open to possibilities. It was actually a risk to venture into something unknown. But with the goal of still connecting with our viewers amidst the present constraints, it was a bold move worth taking,” Amoroso continued.

While in the process of creating what would be “LIMITLESS”, the GMA Synergy team received news that their first project – “Alden’s Reality: The Virtual Reality Concert” – made it as finalist at the 2021 New York Festivals Awards. That 2020 event has the bragging rights of being the first virtual concert in the Philippines.

The recognition brought “a new level of pressure, but also ignited a different kind of desire to make this even more special,” added Amoroso.

Under the creative direction of Paolo Valenciano (who also directed Alden’s Reality), “Breathe” will feature the hidden gems of Mindanao, as Julie shares her experiences and discoveries about herself. She meets with the locals of various locations in Mindanao, learning more about their culture and values.

“Parang doon kami nakahinga lahat. I felt like I needed that,” shared Julie Anne. “The whole team was so happy. Nakakita uli kami ng trees and mountains. It was a wonderful trip, food for the soul. Like I was breathing new air. It was my first time to go to these places and I must say it was truly worth it. It felt so nice to be in another environment and experience their culture. We also felt the warmth of the locals.”

Citing the La Palmera Mountain Ridge in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat as her favorite sight during the trip, Julie Anne hopes her audience will likewise personally discover this and other picturesque sceneries for themselves when they are safely able to.

On what makes this musical offering special, Julie said, “For me and the whole team, this is more than just another online show. It’s beyond that. It has given us more reasons to live our lives…that there’s more to life than this pandemic, that there’s so much more to see out there. Lahat tayo gusto makawala from this pandemic and explore the world. I hope you join me to heal, breathe and rise.”

“I also want to share not only my music, my adventures and discoveries, the country’s hidden gems, but also a piece of my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever been this open and vulnerable. I’m seen as a performer, a singer. But for the first time, you’ll see me as me. It’s also my first time to see myself like this…parang walang iniintindi, just enjoying the places I’m in, the people I’m with.”

Now dubbed by GMA Network as Asia’s Limitless Star, Julie Anne shared how when the concept was presented to her, there no was no doubt in her mind that she “needed this.”

She said, “I get to travel for work before but hindi talaga ako nakakalibot. There’s always a commitment, an agenda…oftentimes its back to Manila the next day, back to reality. I realized I didn’t really have time for myself. There’s always a lot of stuff going on.”

Grabbing the chance to “Breathe”, Julie Anne “bared her heart and soul into this project,” as Amoroso put it. And it was one cathartic experience for the 27-year-old artist.

“Each of us is still trying to deal with the trying times and to be able to produce a musical trilogy like LIMITLESS, to have it seen by people not only here in the Philippines but in every part of the world is something I hope will inspire everyone to keep on seeing the good things around us,” she quipped.

Julie also collaborates with Kapuso homegrown talents and local artists from all over the country. For the Sept. 17 leg, she will be joined by Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista and “The Clash” alumnus Jong Madaliday, who hails from North Cotabato. Julie worked with Myke Salomon, the musical director behind the hit musicals “Huling El Bimbo” and “Rak of Aegis.”

A versatile talent, Julie is one of the hosts of “All-Out Sundays.” She is also set to return with Rayver Cruz as Clash Masters in the musical competition “The Clash.” Early this year, she starred in the rom-com series “Heartful Café”, and will soon be seen on an online video streaming platform’s musical series titled “Still” alongside Christian Bautista.

Julie was also recently featured on a digital billboard at the iconic Times Square in New York City. The said billboard was for Spotify’s EQUAL campaign, which encourages users to listen to amazing women all around the world.

Whether one is in the Philippines or abroad, one can purchase tickets to “LIMITLESS” via www.GMANetwork.com/synergy. Ticket buyers have options to purchase tickets specific for each leg or avail of the ticket bundle for the three legs.

Tickets are priced at P599 (General Admission); P1,499 (Synergy Pass GA); P1,199 (VIP); and P3,299 (Synergy Pass VIP). A special merchandise awaits ticket buyers who will purchase the VIP and Synergy Pass VIP.

JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE
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