Wherever Ian Veneracion goes, his ‘Army of Titas’ follows | Inquirer Entertainment

Wherever Ian Veneracion goes, his ‘Army of Titas’ follows

By: - Reporter
/ 12:14 AM August 06, 2023

Ian Veneracion

Ian Veneracion

After five years of actively pursuing live music, Ian Veneracion couldn’t be happier to have finally found his audience: They’re the moms whose kids no longer need supervision, former professionals enjoying their retirement or simply older women who want to have a good time.

Ian fondly calls them his “Army of Titas.” And wherever he goes, they follow.


“I’m proud of my demographic. One time I went on tour, did a show in Davao and saw the same people from my previous date in Manila. I was like, ‘But you guys just saw the exact same show the other night in Manila!’ And I find it flattering because they enjoy the show,” he said at a recent press conference.


“I would find myself trying to imagine their expenses—their tickets, airfare, accommodations, food. And some of them would even bring their families with them!” Ian added. “I don’t understand it, but I’m thankful.”And because many of these titas run the household, it’s not unusual to see some of them attending his show with family members in tow. “That’s the advantage of having the titas … Sino ba ang nasusunod sa bahay? So when they say, ‘Pupunta tayo sa concert ni Ian,’ wala silang magawawa,” Ian said, laughing.

“So sometimes, they bring their husbands or kids. Thankfully, they seem to enjoy the show as well,” he said.

Same music taste

Needless to say, his good looks and the fact that he’s one of his generation’s biggest action stars and matinee idols are big factors to his popularity among the titas. But more than anything else, Ian feels that it’s their shared pop culture experiences that bind them together.

“The songs I perform in my shows are based on my own taste in music. And it just so happens that the music I like resonates with the titas of my generation … because we all grew up listening to the same songs,” pointed out Ian, whose musical influences include John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens.

“And they get my humor and sensibilities,” he said. “We share the same frequency.”On Aug. 12 at the Winford Resort and Casino, Ian will reunite with the titas of Manila for a one-night concert, simply titled “Ian Veneracion Live.” Directed by Vergel Sto. Domingo, the show will feature guest artists Marissa Sanchez and Zach Ponce. For more tickets, visit www.ticketnet.com.ph, or call 0927 2978027 or 0961 3600457.

“They have been requesting a Manila concert. I wanted to do a casual get-together with music and a full band for my army of titas. It’s just going to be a fun and chill night, where I will get to chat with them and try new songs,” related Ian, who revels in the spontaneity of doing live shows—something he doesn’t get from acting.


“For me, the most important thing is connecting with a live audience. I enjoy that. It’s different from doing a movie or a television series, because the feedback is instant. You and your band feel your way onstage and when the chemistry is good, you find yourself in the zone … and it feels like I’m floating.

“The audience is very much aware of that. And it just creates an energy loop in which everyone is just into the music,” he added.

Because of Ian’s natural feel for the music, putting up the show was a breeze for Direk Vergel, who’s also producing it. “It’s my first time working with him, but I have seen his past shows and I’ve seen that there’s something in him musically. I don’t really need to direct him too much because he’s gifted,” he said. “He’s a multitalented artist. I trust him. Konting plantsa lang … And I’m thankful I had this opportunity to produce his show and direct him,” Direk Vergel added.

Ian is thankful for fans’ adulation

Ian is thankful for fans’ adulation

Right time and place

With conversations about intrusive fans recently making headlines, Ian was asked about his thoughts on artists setting boundaries. Luckily, he hasn’t had bad encounters with his fans. “My supporters aren’t super bagets; they get excited, but [they don’t get rowdy]—very different from the fans back in the day,” he said.

He did stress, however, that there’s always a right time and place for everything. “If I’m eating, for instance, I can simply tell the fans that maybe we can do it later,” Ian said.

“Of course, I don’t want random people going inside my dressing room, because I could be changing clothes or what. You have to have privacy. And I don’t want people taking photos of me when I’m sleeping … I’m straightforward with my boundaries. I will say what’s OK and what’s not,” he said.

Music has always been part of Ian’s life. He started playing piano and guitar at 11. He loved singing and performing. But it wasn’t until later in his career that he finally found the confidence to pursue music.

“Back then, if you’re a celebrity, you can just have someone else’s song, record it and sell an album. But I didn’t want to do that. I had too much respect for the craft. Music has always been there for me; it’s my therapy. So I didn’t want to take it lightly,” said Ian who also admitted to having stage fright at first.

Make him fly a plane or sky dive, and he will do it without blinking twice. But give him a guitar and put him onstage and he begins to get all jittery. “I didn’t have a live band back then. But I also didn’t want to use minus one tapes. So I just brought my guitar when I had to do guest appearances in shows, like the one I did for Sharon Cuneta years back,” he related.

“I can jump off a place, but there I was, scared to go onstage,” he said, laughing. “But through the years, the more I do gigs, music festivals and corporate events, the more I get used to it. OK na. Now, I get excited more than anything.”

The 2017 ABS-CBN drama series “A Love to Last” was also a catalyst for his foray into live performing. Because the character he played was into music, Ian had to sing. “I was really nervous then. But as an actor, it’s my job to act. So I practiced a bit in the show. I was surprised the bosses loved it and I ended up recording songs for the show’s soundtrack,” he said.

“They encouraged me. ‘Why not record?’ They asked me, “ That’s how it started,” he added. “I gained confidence as I went along. So now, makapal na ang mukha ko kumanta. I’m the one who pretends to be shy at karaoke, but wouldn’t stop singing once I get started,” he said.

While acting has been his bread and butter for 40 years now, playing music, Ian said, is just as important to him. “I can’t choose one. The two things are incomparable. My system looks for the thrill of playing different characters. That’s what I love about acting—I get to be someone different,” he said.

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“But at the same time, there are also things and emotions that can be better expressed through music. And I enjoy having different outlets to express myself,” Ian said.

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