Of changes and collaborations

Published June 26, 2018, 4:39 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

People say change is constant in the world. Why, even celebrities embrace the dictum.

Wille Nepomuceno (left) and Nonoy Zuñiga (mb.com.ph)
Wille Nepomuceno (left) and Nonoy Zuñiga

Take impersonator Willie Nepomuceno as an example. Throughout the years, the Master Mimic has done a good “jab” at our country’s former, present and aspiring leaders via satirical impressions. His impersonations are mostly and usually political.

However, in a recent chat with Bulletin Entertainment, Willie revealed he has swerved from mimicking people in a bid to reinvent himself as a comedian. Willie admitted he doesn’t feel motivated in impersonating today’s political leaders as it is “not as effective as before.”

“Besides, our country is full of confusion and anger now – I don’t want to add to it. And I think there’s another way of entertaining people. Many comedians today are doing impersonations so let’s just leave that to the new ones.”

Willie had been away from the limelight for three years. He admitted he suffered a brain stroke, to the point that he considers this as his second life now.

“I had a brain stroke like FPJ (the late Fernando Poe, Jr.),” he quipped, adding with a wry smile. “Good thing I didn’t followed FPJ”

Turning serious, the impersonator shared he was bedridden for a year and a half.

“They told me it was a mild stroke. Well, if that’s mild, then I don’t know what’s more than that. You know the feeling of… you just want to shout, and say goodbye to life? I also taught of retirement from that point, but thankfully, I survived and here I am, savoring the second life God has given me,” he said.

The pop icon

The music industry has changed with the times, too. Veteran singer Nonoy Zuñiga attests to this.

In a separate interview, the man behind the songs “Doon Lang” and “Never Ever Say Goodbye,” to name a few, shared that the music industry has evolved so much.

“That’s how it is, changing. I guess the important thing is to learn how will you deal with those changes,” he said.

Nonoy along with “The Voice Kids” alumna Jolianne Salvado recently released their own version of the popular Visayan pop song, “Pero Atik Ra,” originally sung by Jacky Chang.

“I’ve been in the business since 1981. It’s always Tagalog and English (songs). Is there something else? How about Spanish? I thought of Pilita Corrales,” he said. “She (Pilita) has Spanish, Visayan, Tagalog, and English (songs).”
Recognizing his Visayan roots since his mother is a Waray, Nonoy said he plans to release a Visayan album in the future.

Good friends, good show

We caught up with Nonoy and Willie at the press conference of their upcoming concert “Music And Laughter.”

The two have done shows outside of the country but this marks the first time that they will headline a concert together in Manila.

“Come to think of it, we’ve done shows together outside of Manila and we’ve crossed paths a number of times at the airport but with different destinations,” Nonoy said. “This time I am excited to do a back-to-back show with ace impressionist, Willie Nep.”

He welcomes the collaboration with the Master of Mimic because he has always been a big fan of the latter.
“Willie Nep is very professional in his ways and makes you feel at home performing with him. His impressions of Presidents Marcos, Ramos, and Erap (Estrada) are inimitable,” he said.

“Apart from that, Willie is a very good singer, just a bit shy. In fact, I sometimes go to his private shows just to watch him.”

Willie finds Nonoy “a natural humorist.”

“His (Nonoy’s) songs are easily ‘singable’ that can appeal to all ages because the themes are universal. I particularly fancy his ‘I’ll Never Ever Say Goodbye’ because everyone somehow passes through that sentimental episode in life, no matter how corny it may seem,” he explained. “But though people see him as a singer, he is also a funny person.”

Asked about the new talents they will perform on the show, Willie said in jest: “Nonoy is a very good dancer. He will perform ‘Footloose’ in the concert!”

On how the title of the show “Music And Laughter” figures in both their lives, they said: “It’s all natural.”

Nonoy said, “Music and laughter have always been part of our lives. It’s basic part of my life, in our family.

There’s always music. We are made to sing at school, at family gatherings, everywhere. Laughter is also a natural thing at our home, we are always happy throwing banters with each other. So, music is there, laughter is there.”

Produced by Grand Leisure Corporation, “Music And Laughter” happens on July 27, 8 p.m. at The Theatre of Solaire.