Time to reflect | Inquirer Entertainment

Time to reflect

By: - Columnist
/ 06:28 AM June 12, 2014

Behind me are (l-r): David Miller, Sebastien Izambard, and Urs Buhler. Photo credit: STUART MERSER.

ALAMOSA, Colorado—The pace here is far slower than it has been for the last few months. My days are spent with family. (Rob spent many summers with cousins at their grandparents’ farm in the town of Blanca, some 32 kilometers away.)

In Taos, New Mexico, we had the most wonderful Mexican lunch at a restaurant called Orlando’s. We ate homemade burritos, teriyaki, and tonkatsu at Rob’s Uncle Kenji’s home. We enjoyed the cool, clean Colorado mountain air and the most delicious spinach, ever.


The languid pace allows me to catch up on much-needed sleep and reflect upon the past four months being on the Il Divo tour, which started in Seoul.

At the beginning, many pleasantries and polite remarks were exchanged. Much respect went back and forth during rehearsals and backstage conversations. As time went on, the tone became more casual, which I truly enjoyed. My initial observations didn’t change much: David is the funnyman; Carlos, the ladies’ man; Urs is analytical and sharp; Sebastien, sensitive and emotional. They are so different from one another, yet they complement each other once together. Simon Cowell created something very special when he brought these four together.


For the whole tour, up until the very last stop in Providence, Rhode Island, our relationship was friendly and cordial. However, it got jacked up many notches with a stunt that David, Seb, and Urs pulled while I was singing “Defying Gravity” in the first half of the final show.

Routinely, before the song began, I would deliver a little spiel that went something like: “This next song comes from a show that I’ve loved since it opened on Broadway in 2003. If you happen to be as big a fan of the show as I am, you may want to grab a broom.”

Wicked jesters 

This last time, as the song came to its climax, David, Seb and Urs, brooms in hand, descended from the stairs on stage left, crossed behind me, then exited up the stairs on stage right. I was completely oblivious to what was happening. Only when Stuart Merser took me aside after I left the stage did I learn what the three had done! I couldn’t stop laughing.

I tried to figure out a way to reciprocate. The only thing I could come up with, was to keep them onstage after we sang “A Whole New World” and say that they certainly knew how to make a girl feel special, and that I would miss them very much until the fall, when we see each other again in Europe. It ended with a big group hug. It’s nice being sandwiched by these four; I felt very much loved.

To Il Divo, their entire staff and crew, and all the fans who came to watch “A Musical Affair,” I give my thanks.

Fun summer for Nic 


The tour was also a chance for Nicole to see a lot of the country. She took more plane rides than she ever had. She saw plenty of dressing rooms and back stages. We got to take in an aquarium, a museum, and much of Disney World, plus lots of swimming pools in the hotels that we stayed in.

We got to catch up with family—Salongas, Imutans, Chiens and Hayashidas. She got to hang out with cousins, aunts, and uncles in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Dallas and Toronto; meet new friends in the Bay Area, Tampa, and Edmonton; and walk in a British Columbia forest. Not once did she watch the concert; she opted to play the video game Minecraft.

She learned that being inside the Embassy of the Philippines meant she was on Philippine soil, something that was never lost on her.

She has become more independent and confident, and one very cool human.

Moving on 

Tomorrow, I head to Washington, DC. Maybe Nic and I can check out another museum. Sunday evening, I will participate in a benefit concert, “After the Storm” at the Kennedy Center with Charice, apl.de.ap, Darren Criss, and many more. Day after that, we all head home. School will start anew for Nic (she’s in second grade now), and I get to work on “The Voice: Kids,” preparing my team for Battles. I haven’t begun to figure out a strategy, map out harmonies, or divide songs.

Ah well, there will be opportunities in the easy pace of the next few days. I’d better take advantage of the calm before life gets busy again, go outside and enjoy the gifts of nature that abound in this beautiful state.

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TAGS: Backstory, Colorado, Entertainment, Lea Salonga, Music, Nicole
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