His worst heartache

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ENGELBERT Humperdinck

Every year, Inquirer Entertainment helps readers pick a show for that special day, by asking the concert artists to talk about their gigs … and romance.

‘Engelbert Humperdinck Live!’

February 15, 8 p.m. Smart Araneta Coliseum; call 911-5555

What’s your most unique and unforgettable romantic relationship?

I’ve had two—one with my wife, Patricia, and the other with my mistress, “music.” Both are the keepers of my heart.

What’s the worst thing you did after a breakup?

I can’t discuss the worst thing I ever did … only the hardest thing. Since I am obviously still married, the worst heartache of my life was over the woman who loved me first and probably loved me the most—my mother.

When I lost her, I followed her wishes and carried on with my shows. It was the hardest thing I ever did. Under that spotlight, there is no hiding from raw emotions.

Is Valentine overrated or does it deserve its special observance? Tell us why.

I know there are those who say that every day should be Valentine’s Day, but the reality is that it’s only that way for a very few. Life and all its hurrying get in the way, and sometimes the heart is left unattended. So, as it is with birthdays and anniversaries, we supercharge our hearts and souls when we set aside a special day to celebrate the love we have for one another.

I like the idea of the old-fashioned love note written on a card that’s been carefully selected. I have decades worth of cards saved and tucked away for a rainy or lonely day. The bottom line is that if there is honesty behind the words “I love you,” “Goodnight” and “Good morning, my love” every day, then I will have to concur with (Richard) Rodgers and (Lorenz) Hart, that in that way, “Each day is Valentine’s Day.”

How do you keep your love life interesting and exciting?

The main ingredient to my love life is music. Shakespeare wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on…” I believe music has fed my life and my love. I look at things very lyrically and I share my heart with the world through song.

But the fact that I am gone from home a great deal is a big factor in keeping things fresh and exciting. We make a big deal out of farewells  and homecomings. I guess, in that way, we don’t take each other for granted, because the road is always calling and we make the most of the time we share together.

What, in your opinion, is the most uniquely written love song and why?

I could write a book on this subject since love songs have been my life. But at this moment in time, with the recent loss of the wonderful Etta James, I would like to pay homage to “At Last.” Every heart longs for a soul mate and, if you are lucky enough to be blessed with one in your lifetime or live with the passion and expectation of finding one, that song plays your heartstrings like no other. And what I love the most is that from the very first line, she comes out and says it all!

I think my all-time favorite love song, though,  is Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love.”

You were here over a year ago. Why do you think your fans in the Philippines will want to watch you in concert again?

Everywhere I go in this world, if I meet someone from your country, I am treated and greeted with great respect and appreciation of my music. I am always asked when I shall return, even after I have just finished a show. I feel as if I have an open invitation, whenever I leave the Philippines, to return. The journey is well worth the warm reception I always get from the audience, and it is one of my favorite destinations.

Every year I change my show and I also have a very exciting recording project in the works … lots to share at this very appropriate time of year. Have heart, will travel!

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