Nerve condition not a hindrance for Wency Cornejo | Inquirer Entertainment

Nerve condition not a hindrance for Wency Cornejo

By: - Reporter
/ 12:15 AM March 08, 2020
Wency Cornejo

Wency Cornejo

There was something different in the way singer Wency Cornejo spoke at a press conference he attended recently: The left side of his face and mouth drooped and couldn’t seem to fully enunciate some of his words.

But before reporters could even ask if something was bothering him, he took it upon himself to address “the elephant in the room.” “Maybe you’re wondering why I’m talking like this—I have Bell’s palsy right now,” he revealed at a media event for the upcoming concert “Playlist 2: The Best of OPM.”

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Wency, the frontman of the alternative rock band AfterImage, was diagnosed with the condition about a month ago. He will turn 53 on April 2—just a day prior to the show. And his birthday wish, he said, is to make a full recovery before he hits the stage.

“I’m getting better. And I’m hoping that the universe gifts me with healing,” said Wency, who will be joined onstage by Joey G (Side A) Jay Durias (South Border), Meds Marfil (True Faith), Jinky Vidal (Freestyle), Nina, as well as younger musical acts, like This Band and Janine Teñoso.

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Wency admitted that he has trouble pronouncing some vowels and consonants. But while singing is tougher than usual, it certainly isn’t impossible. “I had played three shows since I got Bell’s palsy, so I know I can still perform. It’s just a little more difficult,” he said of his condition, which is characterized by temporary weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles.

Perhaps it’s just age starting to catch up with him.

“With age definitely comes weakness of the body!” he quipped, drawing laughter. “Back in the day, I always performed with high and boundless energy—I would jump and run around onstage. But I can’t do those things now because my knees, hips and now even my neck are starting to ache!” he said, adding that even his vocals need extra care these days.

“You have to learn to control your voice, so it lasts longer during shows,” he added.

But despite the physical setbacks, Wency’s spirit and hunger to please audiences remain.

“I still get scared whenever I go up onstage because I want to give people their money’s worth. I know I have to give the best I can, regardless of who’s watching me or if it’s a small bar gig or a concert at the Big Dome. And this time, it’s more daunting because of the physical limitations.”

“But my heart is in the right place,” he stressed.

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Luckily, his catalog of work with AfterImage is strong enough to stand on its own—“Habang May Buhay,” “Tag-Ulan,” “Tag-Araw,” “Mangarap Ka,” “Next in Line” and more.

“When we sing the songs people love and expect to hear, you see their eyes light up. You don’t have to run around or do all sorts of vocal acrobatics to please the audience. Just hearing the songs make them happy—music has that impact,” Wency pointed out.

Mounted by Viva Live, “Playlist 2” will be held on April 3 at Araneta Coliseum, with JP Panizales as director and Jay Durias in charge of the musical arrangements and productions (call 8911-5555).

“I was invited to join on account of the songs we have recorded and performed. And I believe I’m also the most talkative in this bunch. So expect a long show because I tend to meander and talk about so many things,” he jested.Asked if he has plans of releasing new material in the future, Wency said he and some of his bandmates are in the process of brainstorming for song ideas.

“We’re in the planning stages, and I hope something comes out of it. We have to come up with something this year because I can’t remember the last time we did. Hopefully, we’re in the studio by April or May,” he related.

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TAGS: Bell’s Palsy, Music, wency cornejo
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