Sharon to her fans: “Hindi ko po alam kung pa’no ko susuklian ang kabutihan n’yo sa akin.”

PHOTO: Anna Pingol

PHOTO: Anna Pingol

Sa nakaraang sold-out 40th anniversary concert ni Megastar Sharon Cuneta sa Smart-Araneta Coliseum last September 28, inasahan na ng mga manonood na agad siyang bibigay o mapapaiyak sa warm welcome sa kanyang ng audience sa kanyang opening number. Kilala kasi si Sharon sa pagiging emotional at transparent.

 

Pero naging buo ang composure ni Megastar up until the point na nag-spiel siya para i-introduce ang kantang,  “Dahil Nandiyan Ka” na dedicated niya sa kanyang mga loyal Sharonians na para sa kanyang ay ang kanyang “forever.”

 

Part of the song’s lyrics went:

“Malayo ang aking narating

Dahil sa ikaw aking kapiling

Awit ko, inaanlay sa inyo [iyo]

Ang dahilan ng aking tagumpay.

 

Kay hirap ng ating simula,

No’ng panahong kayo [ikaw] lang

     ang sa aki’y nagtitiwala

Naroon ka, sa aking pag-iisa

No’ng parang ako’y nilimot na.

 

“Kung minsan ay parang nais bumigay

Masakit na ang mga paa’t kamay

Ngunit ang alalala mo ang dahilan

Upang tumayo’t muling lumaban.

 

Ang dahilan kung bakit narito ako,

Marahil nandiyan ka pa,

Marahil ay umaasa

Kahit na ito ang pinili kong lugar sa mundo…

 

Ang dahilan upang mangarap,

Ang dahilan upang magsikap,

Ang dahilan ko ay dahil nandiyan ka…

Ang dahilan ko ay dahil nandiyan ka.”

 

Hindi na raw niya alam kung paano niya susuklian ang kabutihan at loyalty ng kanyang mga Sharonians.

 

“Minsan po panandalian po akong nawawala,” panimulang speech niya, addressing her fans directly. “Pag iniiisip ko po na nakalimutan na po ninyo ako or wala nang nagmamahal sa akin… biglang nagpaparamdam ’yong Sharonians ko, hindi po kayo nawawala.

 

“And only God knows how much you mean to me. Hindi ko na po alam kung pa’no ko susuklian ang kabutihan ninyo sa akin. Kung p’wede ko lang hatiin ang katawan ko ng ilan pieces—ngayon, mas maliit na ngayon kasi konting pieces nalang—para po mabigay ko sa inyo lahat.  Kayo po talaga ang forever ko.

 

“I love you Sharonians!”

 

Inamin din niyang naging kabado siya sa magiging bentahan ng tikets sa kanyang Araneta concert dahil nitong mga nakaraan—bagamat mga sold-out din—ay pawang sa mga probinsya na lamang siya nagko-concert. Inalala din niya ng isang pagkakataon na nag-flop ang isang concert niya kasama si Martin Nievera.

 

Say ni Mega: “Alam ninyo po no’ng huli akong tumungtong sa Araneta [Coliseum]…mula po kasi no’ng 1984 nag-solo concert ako my first ever…every year halos or everytime na nagko-concert ako dito, hindi ko po pino-problema kung mapupuno ko. Lagi kong pino-problema kung okey ba boses ko…

 

“Isang concert po, the last time na tumuntong po ako dito to do a concert na sarili ko was—of all the people the concert king Martin Nievera…Martin himself will tell you—nagulat po ako because nobody seems to know that we had a concert. In other words, we weren’t be able to promote it well. People were surprise that our concert had passed…we had no support in terms of promo. In other words, that concert was a flop. And from that day on I could not set foot in Araneta. I was so scared!

 

“Dito po sa concert na ito, araw-araw po tinatanong ko, ‘Kumusta ’yong tickets? Kumusta ’yong tickets? Gumagalaw ba? Mapupuno ko pa ba? Kaya ko pa ba?’ 

 

“Last night, we sold out. Usually it sells out on the day of the concert itself  kasi ang mga Pilipino po, last minute tayo mahilig. Yesterday I got the news. God knows I… We were busy last night. I had a dinner around one in the morning… I couldn’t believe it.”

 

Sa puntong ito ay bumigay na nang husto si Sharon. At saglit na nagtakip ng mukha at yumuko.

 

“My concern was my voice,” patuloy niya. “Kasi ang tagal ko na nga pong hindi nagko-concert sa Maynila kundi sa probinsya and I knew that this is gonna be full of new arrangements, new songs and I was so scared dahil ang tataas ng areglo… mga kasama ko mga bigating artista….

 

“Napakabuti ng Panginoon Diyos. The only part I have this concert is using the voice He gave me even before I was born. He said, ‘This is gonna be your voice, Hija.’ My prayer was that let my fortieth-year concert be the most brilliant that you will let my voice sang because this [voice] came from you. Nobody could have planned my life or career to be this successful over 40 years. No human being. Only God almighty planned all this for me.”

 

Inamin din ni Sharon that night na hindi niya akalaing makakabangaon siyang muli matapos manamlay ang kanyang career noong mga nagdaang taon.

 

“You know, one year ago…Ilang taon na po ’yong nagdaan hanggang just one year ago, wala na pong pumapansin sa akin. ABS-CBN lang po ang nagsali sa akin sa shows—The Voice and Your Face Sounds Familiar.

 

“Wala na akong commercials…Noong araw halos every week may shoot ako ng commercial… nakakapag-pagawa ng bahay…ang daming nabigay ng Panginoon at ng career ko. Even when I did Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha—i’m proud of that movie, I’m so proud of that movie. Direk Mes de Guzman and Ate Ria de Guzman gave me great movie, that Cinemalaya movie…

[The dramedy Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha was her first foray in the indie films scene and it became an official entry in the Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2017.]

 

“And then it started, then came Unexpectedly Yours with Robin Padilla—my partner in crime, concert in provinces, concert after concert, concert after concert sold out…sold out after sold out, and then a new CD from Star Music…it’s called Megastar Again from Star Music. And Star Cinema, ABS-CBN, Star Music, now a new movie with Star Cinema again…and I’m gonna talk to boss Vic [del Rosario] from Viva Films, a meeting with the Monteverdes [of Regal Films]… I can’t believe! I’m 52 and God is just blessing me and blessing me because… He blessed me first and foremost with all of you.

 

[Unexpectedly Yours, her reunion movie with Robin Padilla under Star Cinema, earned nearly 300M when it was shown in November last year. Sharon was paired with Robin, who also became her boyfriend, three times in the past: Maging Sino Ka Man in 1991, Di Na Natuto (Sorry Na, Puede Ba? in 1993, and Pagdating ng Panahon in 2001.]

 

Addressing her fans again, she said: “You know, usually when we start weaning, the fans go to someone else…and ang daming batang [artista na] bago, hindi ninyo ako iiniwan. Oho alam ko cute ako, alam ko sexy ako, alam ko hindi ako mukhang 52. . . hahaha!

 

“You know I have been loyal to my craft, I’ve been loyal to my station, I’ve been loyal to my friends in the business, I’ve been loyal to my family and friends who will attest that I never have changed. Never! Not once. Ang nagpapalit lang po sa akin…tataba, papayat, tataba, papayat, tataba, papayat—eto kasing si Miguel [her adopted son], sa kanya po ako pinaka-tumaba, hindi ko naman dinala. But in my heart, he’s my son and he’s a blessing, he’s a joy. I’m so proud to be his mother. That’s why pala God didn’t give me son in my tummy because He was sending Miguel. Son, I’m so proud of you… I’m proud of my Frankie, I’m proud of my Miel.”

 

 

Bilang breakers during the concert ay nagpalabas sa malalaking LED screens sa Araneta ng mga interviews sa mga nakasama ni Megastar sa trabaho during her 40-year journey sa showbiz. At bawat nagsalita—gaya ng mga film producers, music producers, film and TV directors, mga co-actors, at maging mga miyembro ng production staff—ay pawang mga papuri ang ibinahagi tungkol kay Sharon. Pinuri nila hindi lamang ang angkin nitong talent sa pagkanta kundi pati ang pagkakaroon nito ng mahusay na tenga sa musika. Halos lahat ay pumuri sa pagiging professional nito at sa kahanga-hanga niyang abilidad na mag-memorya ng mga kilo-kilometrong linya.

 

Marami ring nagbanggit sa angkin niyang galing sa  pakikisama at sa hindi mapapatawan niyang ambag sa industriya ng musika, telebisyon, at pelikula.

 

It was actually Richard Gomez who summed it up quite well when he said in the VTR that stars like Sharon never get lost. “They rest,” sabi ni Goma. “But they don’t get lost. And during their comeback, they’re still that bright... shining as brightest as when she started. And Sharon is that.”

 

Kaya naman hindi rin rin natapos ang gabi nang hindi nililingon ni Sharon, para pasalamatan, ang karamihan—kung hindi man lahat—ng mga naging bahagi ng kanyang blessed 40-year career. Inisa-isa niyang hanapin sa audience ang mga ito para personal na pasalamatan.

     

“Also, I wish she’s here tonight, Mama Mina [Aragon], Mama, you made my movie career, you are my Mama… I miss you everyday. Thank you, boss Vic del Rosario… Boss Vic, meeting na po tayo. May time na po ako after this [concert]. Hahaha!

 

[Mina Aragon is the late wife of Viva Films head Vic del Rosario. She helped Boss Vic run his company in the 80s.]

 

“My Mama Charo Santos is not here tonight but she sent me some flowers, she had a very important previous commitments. I really owe her so much because my Mama Charo is my heart. My Tita Malou [Santos of Star Cinema], I love you so much. Tita, salamat po sa tiwala.

 

“Alam naman ninyo ako Santos dahil Charo Santos, Malou Santos, Tita Millet Santos kahit Mortis na s’ya, Vilma Santos… Vilmanian po ako, e. Lahat po ng Santos. I’m so blessed boss Vic is here, Tita Malou is here, my former bosses in Sony [Music] and BMG [Records] are here… Mr. Rudy Ty, Mr. Narciso Chan… thank you so much.  Some of the best boss I’ve ever had. Kung may nalimot po ako, pasensya na po.

 

“Magpapasalamat din po ako sa TV5. Napakaganda naman po ng Madam Chairman kahit wala pong nakapanood kasi po ’yong signal namin ang may problema, hindi naman po ’yong show. Pero salamat po, salamat sa inyo. P’wede bang bilhin ng Dos [ABS-CBN] ’yong Madam Chairman, Tita, para may makanood? Ang ganda po no’n, e. Joel Lamangan at Joey Reyes ’yon, e. Boss Vic, bilhin natin para may makakita. But thank you so much, thank you MVP [Manny V. Pangilinan, TV5 Chairman], joke lang po. I love you and everyone who’s been a part of my forty years.”

 

[The sitcom Madam Chairman, where Sharon played as a barangay captain, had a one-season run on TV5 in 2013.]

 

Sharon went on: “It’s really impossible to say thank you to all of you. Who else from showbiz are my friends who are here? Is Ogie [Alcasid] here? Aga [Muhlach]? Aga where are you? Teng? Akala ko inindiyan mo ako, e.Ikaw ha. Naku, nandyan si Lavinia…Cherie [Gil], where are you? Where’s Che? Ayan nilayasan ako.

 

“Oh, my God, my sister Judy Ann Santos is here with Ryan [Agoncillo], hello bro and sis! Ba’t ang layo n’yo? Mommy Carol [Santos], good evening po. Sino pa po’ng kasama n’yo? Ate Lorna Tolentino is here, of course, Ate LT ko…Boss Vic, pahingi naman kami ng movie ni Ate LT ulit. Sa lahat po ng sumampal sa akin sa loob ng forty years, yan po talaga ang tumatak sa mukha ko. Hanggang ngayon tinatakpan ko po ng makeup. Ang lakas po sumampal niyan, Diyos ko. Ka-liit-liit...pero mahal na mahal ko po yang kapatid ko pong yan.

 

Mayor Herbert Bautista… where are you, Kuya? Kuya Randy Santiago is here…actually mamaya makikita ko lahat yan dahil pipilitin ko silang umakyat kaya hintayin natin. My brother Cesar “Chet” Cuneta, my one and only brother…Kuya, stand up naman you never show your face. He usually never makes pakita. Mas gwapo po…alam ninyo, sa family namin ako ang pinaka-pangit. Totoo po ’yon.”  

 

[Sharon and Lorna Tolentino did Nakagapos na Puso in 1986. Cherie Gil, of course, was her protagonist in the now classic 1985 movie, Bituing Walang Ningning. Her first team-up with Judy Ann Santos happened in 2002 through Magkapatid, and they had been best friends since then. Herbert Bautista was her co-star in Jack & Jill sa Amerika, which was shown in 1988. Apart from that, Herbert also became her co-host—along with Randy Santiago—in the weekly show The Sharon Cuneta Show, which ran on ABS-CBN from 1988 to to 1997. Meanwhile, Aga Muhlach, whom she calls Teng, was her leading man in Kung Ako Na Lang Sana, 2003.]

 

Indeed, the Megastar’s career is enjoying new vigor these days. Thus, the adage “life begins at forty,” may be said of her career’s journey. Her very successful and well-produced 40th anniversary concert, from the looks of it, signals the start of all things bigger and brighter.

 

Here’s to 40 more and beyond, Mega!

 

 

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