Home and happily jet lagged | Inquirer Entertainment

Home and happily jet lagged

By: - Columnist
/ 12:10 AM November 13, 2014

THE AUTHOR (center) and the Il Divo take a bow at the Budokan in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Il Divo

THE AUTHOR (center) and the Il Divo take a bow at the Budokan in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Il Divo

MANILA, Philippines—It’s so nice to finally… finally be able to say I am home. The last few days of adjustment haven’t been easy (this bout of jet lag felt like having been punched in the face and sleep-deprivation at the same time), but being homebound for a few days isn’t bad. Thankfully, there isn’t any work scheduled for me until this weekend, when my duties on “The Voice of the Philippines” resume.

At this moment in time, my team is composed of only four members: Timothy Pavino, Jem Cubil, Leah Patricio and Miro Valera. Once Blind Auditions are over, each coach will have 14 team members going into the Battle Rounds, which will be recorded very soon. On the road, I’ve been watching each episode as it airs live (or via TFC or iWanTV online), and it’s been exciting, seeing how things unfold, even though we were, in fact, in the thick of the action. Oh, the magic of editing!


Thanks, Il Divo


However, before writing in earnest about “The Voice” (and there will be plenty to write about, for sure), I wanted to use this space to express my thanks to Il Divo.

The tour began on my birthday, Feb. 22, 2014, in South Korea, and kept on going through Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines (I didn’t join them for the stops in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong), and then to the United States, Canada and Mexico for the spring, and finally through much of Europe, including the United Kingdom. It was a heck of an amazing trip around the world, with stops in many cities I had either never been to, or imagined ever seeing—hence all the pictures that occupy a large chunk of my smartphone’s memory, both in vibrant color and dramatic black and white.

The touring life isn’t new to me (I toured with “Cinderella” in 2008, and in concert in the US and Canada), but this one was probably the most extensive and physically challenging. It was amazing that I got sick only once (in Japan, where I met a kindly elder otolaryngologist in a hospital in Tokyo), despite the travel and show schedules.

One part I hate

It was grueling; there was plenty of moaning and groaning due to sleep deprivation, early-morning flights, late-night car rides, and general malaise. Add to that being away from our families for extended periods, which is probably one part of the touring life I hate. Video chats do help, but it’s not the same. As my daughter would say, “But still.” She’s right.

Doing this work is like being in the military, but on a smaller scale. Traveling and being away for weeks, even months, can be difficult. I’m thankful that I have an incredibly supportive family, but the life is definitely not one that everyone can handle. It can be a lonely road on which an artist travels.


That’s one reason I am thankful to the boys of Il Divo, and their entire touring staff and crew. Over the many days, weeks and months, it stopped feeling like I was touring with one of the biggest musical acts on the planet (Il Divo, over their 10-year existence, has sold millions of records and traveled all over the world, filling stadiums and arenas with adoring fans), and was instead going around the world with family.

We ate together; lugged suitcases together; rode planes, trains and automobiles together; watched weird cartoons on plane rides (thanks, David); exchanged looks only we could understand; and sang together day in, and day out.

So, to Carlos, David, Urs and Seb, and your entire army behind you, you have my humblest and sincerest thanks for the opportunity to share all those stages with you. It has been a privilege and pleasure to sing beautiful music with you, and get to know your adoring public. (Thanks, Divos, you have all been amazing!) I hope our paths cross again someday.

Coming soon: The Battles

This is one part of “The Voice” that I’m so looking forward to and dreading at once.

By now, we know how this goes. Two artists go into the ring and vocally duke it out. However, we have something different added to the mix for Season 2: The Steal. Every coach gets two steals, to add members discarded-from another team to his/her own team, for a grand total of nine artists each. The nine artists will then duke it out again in the Knockout Round to help the coaches whittle their teams down to six. These six go on to the Live Shows which will start on Jan. 24, 2015.

It may be easy to pledge your allegiance right now to the artists that have made it thus far, but hang on. I would advise you to wait, as there are still many more vocalists whose talent and skill will make your jaws hit the floor. There are many more musical styles and genres you might not have thought you liked, until one of these singers changed your mind.

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TAGS: “The Voice of the Philippines”, Il Divo, Lea Salonga, Music, Television

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