Christian Bautista finds himself at a crossroadsBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Singer Christian Bautista, vice president for special projects of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mangaawit (OPM), is convinced that mounting an annual music festival featuring only Filipino performers would boost the industry.
There’s nothing bad about foreign music artists coming here for concerts, Christian said, “but too much of it can make us forget our own identity … We’re a free market, but there should be balance.”
He believes there’s a need to allot one season—like Valentine in February or Christmas in December—just for Pinoy performers. “We’ll see if OPM can do something about this. This situation is similar to parents getting what’s best for their child,” he said, adding that OPM will need everybody’s cooperation for the idea to take off.
He observed though that local artists are not really struggling these days. He pointed out that albums of young singers like Daniel Padilla and Angeline Quinto have been topping the sales charts of record stores.
In October 2011, Christian spearheaded an event dubbed “OPM Fair” in which Freddie Aguilar, the Apo Hiking Society, Asin, Nora Aunor, Jose Mari Chan, Pilita Corrales, Juan de la Cruz Band and Hotdog were honored with the Dangal ng OPM award.
As to the rumor that he’ll be signing up with TV5 in August when his contract with ABS-CBN expires, Christian said, “I don’t want to keep talking about (the rumor) because I will only hurt both channels. I will only make a decision when my contract expires. As an artist, I have to consider several things … how to be relevant and interesting.”
The 30-year-old singer broke into the scene via a stage musical, Trumpets’ adaptation of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” in 2002. After placing fourth in the reality talent search “Star in a Million” the following year, he signed a record deal with Warner Music Philippines.
To celebrate his 10th anniversary in the business, ABS-CBN will be airing a TV special named after his first hit single, “The Way You Look at Me,” Sunday at 11 p.m.
He admitted he’s currently at a crossroads: “I still don’t know which direction my career is headed in the next 10 years. I don’t want to keep doing the same things …”
How to keep things exciting, for him, “could mean doing a new stage play or a TV show. It could happen here or in another country. I could also lie low for a while and concentrate on my business.”
Christian has a degree in landscape architecture at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He co-owns a “small business” with his best friend in his hometown, Cavite.
All these years, Christian said it was his family and friends that kept him grounded. “Yes, lumaki rin ang ulo ko (I became swell-headed), but they were there to make sure I come to my senses. My mom once said, ‘Spend time with your family. You only come home to sleep!’ One of my grandmothers used to always check on me. When I asked her why she did this, she said, ‘because I care for you. I’m concerned.’ I know better than to displease them.”
Christian’s mom, Jo, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 while he was in Indonesia. He said it taught him valuable lessons: “I became closer to my family and make time for them. I learned to trust more in God. Luckily she didn’t need chemotherapy. She’s OK now.”
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