‘Becoming Ice’: The singer-songwriter learns to manage fear and depression
I’ve learned to embrace what I have. I’ve learned to live in the moment,” said singer-songwriter Ice Seguerra, who has been managing clinical depression for over a decade now.
“Yes, I have depression. It’s there, it will always be there, but because I’ve embraced it, I have also learned to live in the moment. If I’m happy today, then I would make the most out of it,” Ice told Inquirer Entertainment over lunch recently. He added that he was “feeling good” on that particular day, too.
Through the years, he has managed to pull through “little by little—it’s not even a day-to-day thing, but sometimes, every five minutes. There was a point when it was so bad that my wife told me, ‘OK, Love, for today, your goal is just to turn on the lights at 1 p.m.’ If I’ve managed to do that in a day, then it’s an achievement because there were times when I even failed to do that, too” Ice admitted.
Ice’s wife is actress and former Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño.
After having gone through some of the darkest times in his life—such as the death of his father in 2020, becoming jobless during the pandemic, and experiencing a huge financial blow when he was a teenager—Ice said he is now able to “manage fear a lot better.”
“It’s normal to have fears. I try my best not to let those fears eat me up. To be honest, there were times when I really couldn’t explain what I feel, when I would just feel cold all of a sudden. When this happens, I’m just glad that my wife is there, or my friends are just a phone call away,” Ice said. “Just like last Thursday when I felt so agitated because I’m producing a concert and I had to personally deal with the business side of it. I hate filling up forms! I hate numbers! It’s my waterloo, but I just can’t ignore the marketing aspect of production so I can focus on the creative side.”
“Becoming Ice” is his 35th anniversary concert at The Theater at Solaire on Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.
A hard blow
For someone who has been working since he was 3 years old, Ice said becoming jobless and idle for over two years as a result of the pandemic was really a hard blow. “I felt so worthless because I am unable to contribute financially to the family,” he recalled. “Being a breadwinner was such a big part of my identity that when I was no longer able to portray that role, I felt so worthless. I never heard anything from my wife or from anyone, but I would criticize myself.”
What’s worse was that when he was “super down,” Ice said he would stop being creative. “I would have no energy, and at the same time, I would have to deal with anxiety. That particular situation I was in really pulled me down,” he pointed out.
Another “down moment” was when Ice’s daddy, Dick Seguerra, succumbed to cancer in November 2020. “When he passed on, I decided not to take my meds for depression because I had wanted to go through grief like a normal person. I felt like it was something that I shouldn’t skip. Sometimes, I’d be OK, but during the weirdest times, I’d suddenly feel like crying,” he recalled.
“I felt so much better when I dreamed of my dad a few weeks after he died. The setting was at the province. He was playing mahjong while doing videoke with his friends. Those were his two favorite pastimes. That’s when I knew he was OK and that I didn’t have to worry about him,” said Ice. “I’m also happy that I was given the opportunity to have intimate talks with him before he died. Not everyone is given that chance with their loved ones.”
Ice also recalled the time he experienced a hard financial blow when he was a lot younger. “My family trusted a relative to handle our finances. We found out a while later that the money I tried to save was all gone,” Ice recalled. “It was hard to recover at that time because it (financial crisis) happened when I was a teenager, when I was going through what we call in show biz as the ‘awkward stage.’ Even when projects were few, I never stopped working. My dad still had a job then, but it was me who felt more responsible to make both ends meet.”