Sharon Cuneta back to singing in new show
MANILA, Philippines - "The Mega and the Songwriter" premiered on Saturday night, September 14, and Sharon Cuneta at last fulfills her dream to return to what she does best - singing.
The new weekend show on TV5 hit the air waves amid the predominant atmosphere of the soon-to-conclude "The Voice of the Philippines," from the Megastar's former home network, ABS-CBN.
But for Sharon, this program, which she co-hosts with Ogie Alcasid, is a bold and confident entry on prime-time television.
“More than being an actress and TV host, I was a singer first and it remains to be my first love," the Megastar told a contributor for Rappler.
“I started singing at age 12. Remember 'Mr. DJ'? Kahit sino naman yata alam iyon! [I guess everybody knows that]” she laughed.
"Mr. DJ" is the Rey Valera pop classic and Sharon Cuneta signature song that opens their 1978 project, "DJ's Pet." This album is now a landmark in our country's pop culture.
"Mr. DJ" also has other song gems, such as Valera's "Naaalala Ka" - Sharon's dreamy and almost eerie rendition as if sung by a teen stalker - and Vic Sotto's sad yet swinging "Mahal Mo Pa Ba Ako?" - a prototype of the "Manila sound" of the 1970s.
Here's 'Mr. DJ,' recorded by the Megastar (who used to be promoted as Jukebox Princess), then 12 years old:
From here, Sharon's music-acting-TV career went skyrocketing.
In Philippine cinema, she became noted not only for her vibrant, spontaneous acting - in movies like Laurice Guillen's "Tayong Dalawa" and Lino Brocka's "Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita" - but also for her enchanting theme songs.
Here's Sharon with the theme to Danny Zialcita's 1983 romance, 'To Love Again':
Her musical variety show "The Sharon Cuneta Show" lasted 11 years in two TV networks.
“The first 'Sharon Cuneta Show' was on IBC 13 in 1986," recalled the Megastar. "It ran for two years before we transferred to ABS-CBN 2. It ended in 1997.
“Sabi nga nila [As they say], 'The Sharon Cuneta Show' was the last of the musical-variety shows. Naunang nawala ‘yung 'Superstar' ni Ate Guy [Nora Aunor] and then ‘yung 'Vilma' ni Ate Vi [Vilma Santos]." ("Superstar" and "Vilma" ended their last seasons ahead.)
"Huli na akong nawala." (Mine was the last to end.)
“Kaya it’s so nice to be back doing this. We got very good feedback and we trended on Twitter during the premiere telecast.
"Kaya we are so thankful for the support.”
The Megastar is excited to have her good friend and new Kapatid co-star Ogie Alcasid as her partner in the show.
“It’s exciting because there’s songwriting involved," she said.
“Ogie will make a new, original song every week and I will sing the requests tweeted by our audiences. There will be times when I will sing Ogie’s songs and times when he will sing my songs.
“We’re also going to feature YouTube sensations. So it’s going to be different but not too different to the point that it will alienate our followers.
“I like the fact that our show will relax televiewers on a Sunday evening, with great music from our totally talented guest performers - plus Ogie’s songwriting talent and my whole musical history and catalogue, as well as some of the new things that I do in my concerts.
“They get all of that plus a lot of laughter from Ogie and myself.”
Ogie has a unique place in popular culture as a comedian and romantic singer-songwriter - two contrasting yet complementary sides about the star, whose elegant songwriting includes "Nandito Ako" (in this link, sung by Lea Salonga) and "Pangarap Ko ang Ibigan Ka."
Sharon had always wanted to work with Ogie, but they used to be in different TV networks.
“I had the pleasure to work with Ogie when he was my guest during my concert tour in 2005," the Megastar said.
“We went to do shows for the TFC subscribers in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. All throughout Ogie was such a breeze to work with. At pinapatawa niya ako parati [He always made me laugh]."
“Ogie is a very decent guy, trustworthy and a good friend. He has always been there for me.
“That’s why when Ma’am Wilma [Galvante] asked me what show I liked to do, I immediately said that a show with Ogie will be perfect.
“Since pareho na kaming nandito sa TV5, might as well magtrabaho na kami together, ‘di ba?"
(Since we're both in TV5, we might as well do a show together.)
"True enough, the next day Ma’am Wilma called and said na buo na ang concept ng [we've come up with a concept for] 'The Mega and the Songwriter.'"
The show promises to carry on the music for weekend television. - Rappler.com