THRILLMAKER: A dash of Basil

Basil Valdez

He’s been around the Philippine music industry since the 1970s.  A lot of us, now in our 40s and 50s, practically grew up singing his hits which include such great pieces like Nais Ko, Paraisong Paisukat, Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang, Salamin ng Buhay, Ngayon, and Lead Me Lord, among others.  Of course, he is most remembered for giving life to the song of unending, everlasting love, “Ngayon at Kailanman,” which, understandably, has become a wedding staple.   

Quite recently, or at least the last time we heard of him, he got all of us worried when he was reported to have been facing some serious health concerns.  Well, it seems he’s now over that hump as he looked bright and healthy when the Thrillmaker bumped into him a few weeks back in the dressing room of Resorts World Manila’s Newport Performing Arts Theater where he will soon be sharing the stage with Inspirational Diva, Jamie Rivera, in a concert entitled “Love and Light.”

So how is Basil Valdez, really, especially health-wise?   “I have been blessed to have been able to overcome the physical difficulties or the illnesses.  I’m okay na.  I exercise practically every day, I’m okay,” was his reply.

While scoring some wins as far as his physical well-being is concerned, Basil also faced other challenges during the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.  “It was tough because I’ve got family and friends who have passed away,” he admitted. 

While having to overcome the pain and sorrow of losing some very important people in his life, turning to the entertainment industry for some much-needed distraction was also not possible at that time: “Walang performances, walang audience.  That’s what we missed.  It is, indeed, a blessing to be performing here at Resorts World now, with a live audience.”

With author and Basil Valdez

His comeback to the entertainment scene, which will happen on April 30, will see him perform his biggest hits.

“I’m doing all original songs paying tribute to four or five different composers.  First, my musical director for the past 45 years, I’m singing the songs of Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, the late greats George Canseco and Gerry Paraiso.  I’m also doing the songs of Willy Cruz and Arnel de Pano.  So, five composers,” he shared.

Asked what he thinks of today’s breed of performers and musicians, his reply was: ““Hindi mo mai-compare kasi ang daming magagaling na artists ngayon.  Hindi ko masabing mas magaling kami.  Ang dami ring magaling ngayon.  Sana tangkilikin ng mga Pilipino ang sariling atin.”

While still intent on continuing with his journey in the entertainment world in the years ahead, Basil is clear with the legacy he’d like to leave in the music industry.

“I’d like to be remembered as a good interpreter of the songs of great composers,” he said.   “It’s a blessing na napo-promote yung kanta ng magagaling na composers. Remember, I’m just a vehicle, ako lang ang nag-interpret nitong mga songs na ito.  I hope that they acknowledge that these were composed for me by great composers.