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Gary V on his last major concert and why he’s not dropping the tag 'Mr. Pure Energy' anytime soon

By Susan Claire Agbayani Published Apr 25, 2024 10:39 pm

“I don’t believe you!

This was what Gary Valenciano’s only daughter Kiana said during a recently concluded press conference on the multi-awarded performer’s declaration that this weekend’s Pure Energy: One Last Time concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena (MOA) will be his last solo show.

“One last time. I don’t believe you. I don’t think anyone in this room does,” Kiana V said at a presscon when Gary V signed up as an artist of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic that day.

Gary V during his press conference at the Dolphy Theater in ABS-CBN

“Walang naniniwala that it is the last time. And a lot of people don’t. But when you come to see the show, you will understand why it is what it is. There’s a clear leading for me kasi as to where I’m supposed to go,” the veteran singer told the press.

In an Instagram post, he said he’s “celebrating 40 years of doing what [he has] always loved most.”

“And with gratitude in my heart for the One source of Pure Energy, I look forward to the new chapters, seasons, beginnings, and horizons that lie ahead. It’s time. Let’s Go Big, ONE LAST TIME!!!” he added.

Gary V’s health

It’s no secret that Gary has had to deal with Type 1 diabetes as early as his teenage years, and prior to his entry into show business. In the last few years, he has had to contend with “a heart bypass surgery, kidney cancer, dengue fever, COVID-19, and most recently, an angioplasty that required two stents to be implanted in his heart artery,” according to a press release from his production and management team, Manila Genesis, which is led by his wife Angeli Pangilinan Valenciano.

“I think it’s just fine. It’s inevitable. No one can do this forever, ‘di ba? Kasi, he’s turning 60, so it’s completely understandable that at one point, he’s going to really slow down,” his eldest child Paolo—who will also direct the upcoming concert—said in an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe.

“Mabigat s’ya na exciting. How many pre-seniors can do what he does? I’m really proud of how he’s able to still keep up with the kids. He’s got more energy pa than the young people in the cast,” Paolo remarked.

Gary felt that he needed “to do less stressful activities,” although his cardiologist Dr. Enrique Posas green-lighted the project because “You have a brand new heart.”

What’s really going to happen after Pure Energy: One Last Time

A press release from Manila Genesis clarified that the concert doesn’t mean it’s a goodbye. “It’s a transition. The concert series will mark the last time he will stage a concert of this massive breadth and magnitude.”

It also stated, “(Gary) has clarified that while he’s stepping back from headlining solo shows in large venues like arenas and domes, if he’s invited to perform at large venues alongside other artists, he’s all for it.”

He will also continue doing concerts in much smaller venues, like say, Music Museum, where he had 10 sold-out concerts–in a series–Gary V: Back at the Museum late last year.

And no, he’s not dropping the tag “Mr. Pure Energy” anytime soon.

“It’s a little bittersweet, because I grew up going to these major shows. It’s also been a while since he’s had a huge show like this. And for him to be quite decided that it’s the last, really tugs at the heartstrings,” Kiana said in an interview with L!fe. “I’m extremely excited though. We had our first run-through yesterday. It exceeded all my expectations! It's quite nostalgic hearing all the old songs, and witnessing him (in) all his glory. It really feels a lot like my childhood. But then again, it’s weird that he’s saying that he’s done with this chapter.”

Among the guests in Gary’s concert are Martin Nievera, Ebe Dancel, Gloc-9, Gab Valenciano, Kiana V, BGYO, A-Team, The Manoeuvres, and Manoeuvres Ignite. There will be two sets of other performers: Ben & Ben, Karylle, Erik Santos, Julie Anne San Jose and Rayver Cruz for Friday, April 26; and Ice Seguerra, Darren Espanto, AC Bonifacio, Jona and Zsa Zsa Padilla for Saturday, April 27. 

What Gary V has achieved so far

Gary entered the Philippine entertainment scene in 1983 as a singer-songwriter, musician, film actor, television host/performer, music producer, and arranger. He has performed in different parts of the globe as “Mr. Pure Energy” and has bagged several recognitions for her musical performances.

“You have to love what you do. Your passion goes deeper and your desire to reach people becomes wider and you become more authentic in what you do. And when people see the authenticity, they don’t forget it,” Gary said during the presscon’s Q&A portion. 

“You may not have millions and millions of followers and millions and millions of likes, but you’re making an impact on the people that need to be (reached). It’s going be challenging. The challenges–even the defeats–enable you to appreciate victories even more. Those victories will come, if you love what you do,” Gary said.

Pure Energy: One Last Time does not mean a goodbye, but a transition.

When asked via FB Messenger about his participation in the upcoming concert, recording artist and composer Ebe Dancel told L!fe, “I am very nervous and excited. Although we’ve already worked a few times in the past, it’s hard not to be a fan once he starts singing. During the rehearsals, I kept looking around and wondering if I was dreaming.” 

During the presscon, Gary sang Ebe’s song Sarangola. “He has an album called Awit at Laro, and the songs are about games we used to play in the street. He asked me to write a song about a father teaching his son to fly a kite,” Ebe said.

Prior to the press conference, Angeli walked through the exhibit of Gary’s career in the last 40 years.

“I was looking at all the trophies and all the projects. And Kiana said it very appropriately, that when he says one last time, people don’t really understand why, but I do. Because I live with my artist,” Angeli quipped. “But I see what he goes through. and I know that God has so much more in store for him. This next chapter that Gary is embarking on, brings me so much joy, so much great expectation as God continues to bring Gary to all the frontiers, all the channels, all the platforms.” 

“It’s hard to explain the emotions I think everyone is experiencing at the moment. His concerts, big concerts, literally, was my life. Everything, everything I do for Tita Regine, for Eraserheads, Ben&Ben; everything I did in those shows were inspired or influenced by my dad. It feels like…the end of an era talaga,” Paolo said wistfully.

Gary V's children Paolo and Kiana

Decades ago, Gary was given the option to move either to Japan or the U.S. to establish his career in other countries, but he ditched that opportunity to be close to his family. Paolo recalls this, and said, “We loved going on tour with him. We loved those tours, actually. But every time he couldn’t take us, it really affected him in a negative way, and I (felt) it. When I was younger, I didn’t really understand it (why Gary turned down the offer). But I can relate to that so much now that I have kids,” Paolo shared.

“A lot of people tend to ask us, do you feel the pressure (of being the child of Gary V)? That pressure isn’t to chase fame, or to shine bright, it’s really to inspire, to follow in your footsteps and make moves that come from the heart. Perhaps this is an end of a chapter. And today is the beginning of another,” Kiana said. “He is who he is. He’s had such a beautiful journey. There’s never going to be another Gary V. He’s made his mark in a way that no one else ever could.” 

Pure Energy: One Last Time will be held at 8 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on April 26, 27, and May 10. For inquiries, send an email to [email protected]. Proceeds from the concert will go to Shining Light Foundation, which is the advocacy of the Valenciano family.