Ogie Alcasid, Odette Quesada open up on their songwriting

Ogie Alcasid, Odette Quesada on writing their timeless love songs

/ 07:20 PM February 13, 2024

Ogie Alcasid, Odette Quesada on writing their timeless love songs

Ogie Alcasid and Odette Quesada open up about their songwriting process and music in an intimate press conference ahead of their joint show on Feb. 13 at the NUSTAR Convention Center and Feb. 14-15 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Image: Hannah Mallorca/INQUIRER.net

Ogie Alcasid and Odette Quesada are two of the most prolific singer-songwriters of our time, but what not many people know is that some of their timeless hits about love were written when they were not in love, and they were merely relying on their imagination.

As their familiar songs unleash a myriad of emotions on listeners, one may easily see a vision of these two crooners possibly going through a heartbreak, or riding high on the sweetness of their reciprocated love, but really, some of these compositions were penned in their most “human” state of self-expression.


Quesada said she “was not even in love” when she brought her best hits to life — including “Till I Met You” and “Don’t Know What To Say (Don’t Know What To Do).” But she finds beauty in everyday love stories as they act like some sort of a prompt on a blank page.


“Most of my songs, especially when I was a teenager writing all those hits, I was not even in love,” she said, as she narrated the backstories behind some of her timeless hits.

“I wrote ‘A long, Long Time Ago’ — which Kuh Ledesma sang — based on an interview she gave about a former love of hers. I was touched by the story so I wrote the song and gave it to her. With ‘Till I Met You,’ I just overheard a bus ride conversation between two kolehiyala girls behind me, and one of them uttered, ‘You know, I never knew what love was until I met this guy,’” she continued.

Meanwhile, “Don’t Know What To Do (Don’t Know What To Do)” by the late Ric Segreto was another song that Quesada composed after listening to an interview of Merce Henares with “Bluer Than Blue” Michael Johnson.

“It was based on an interview with Merce Henares on ‘Good Morning Manila.’ She was interviewing Michael Johnson who’s the singer of ‘Bluer Than Blue.’ When asked, ‘How would you best describe yourself?’ He said, ‘I’m a hopeless romantic.’ That line really [made an impression on me]. I turned off the TV and started writing,” she said.

“So, little prompts. Kung hihintayin ko ‘yung love baka hanggang ngayon hindi pa nag-uumpisa career ko (If I would wait for love, my career might just take off now),” she added which made everyone in the room laugh.

Ogie Alcasid (fourth from left) and Odette Quesada (sixth from left) while rehearsing for their show. Image: Facebook/Ogie Alcasid

Ogie Alcasid (fourth from left) and Odette Quesada (sixth from left) while rehearsing for their show. Image: Facebook/Ogie Alcasid

Do they write better songs when they are happy, or when they are brokenhearted?


“We always say songwriting is self-expression. It’s telling your story, right? When you’re telling your own story — regardless if you’re happy or broken or needing someone — you’re just telling your story. Is it hard? Of course, it’s hard,” Alcasid told reporters at an intimate press conference in Quezon City.

The singer created a string of well-loved songs throughout his career which gave birth to many renditions from popular singers, among them, “Hanggang Ngayon,” “Nandito Ako,” “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” and “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala,” to name a few. These songs were so popular that they became the theme song of many couples and are a staple in many videoke sessions.

“As a songwriter, I feel like it’s a release. You put it out into the world and then, it’s done. What’s hard is when you have to invent a story. You can’t feel anything. Or what if a certain someone feels what you meant? That’s the hard part,” said Alcasid.

Ogie Alcasid and Odette Quesada (centered) during an intimate press conference. Image: Facebook/Ogie Alcasid

Ogie Alcasid and Odette Quesada (centered) during an intimate press conference. Image: Facebook/Ogie Alcasid

On love, longevity

Quesada, who works as an HR professional in the US, considers love to be long-lasting. Even when it ends. “Love continues even if you’re broken up with somebody. You should be able to find a new love.”

“It’s also about loving one’s self which is the best because you don’t have to rely on anyone,” she continued.

Alcasid — who said love “makes the world go round” — chimed in with admiration on his face saying, “Ang galing niya talagang sumagot no (She’s really good at answering questions, right)?”

The singer-songwriter and “It’s Showtime” host, however, assumed a professional stance when asked about the key to having a lasting career in music. At some point, he even told Quesada that “OPM is doing really well” while praising the talents of Adie and JK Labajo.

“We’re blessed that we’re still here and we’re doing what we’re doing. To stay in the long business, there’s just no hard or fast rules for that,” he said. “Enjoy yourself and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a rough road and many times when you think that you just want to give up, just keep on doing it. Laban nang laban. Gawa nang gawa (Keep on fighting. Keep on creating).”

During the chat, Quesada said it’s “unique” seeing her and Alcasid — as singer-songwriters — collaborating on a show but it wouldn’t be possible without the latter’s wife, Regine Velasquez.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“I went to watch ‘Iconic,’ the concert of Regine Velasquez and Sharon Cuneta, in California, and Regine came up to me,” she recalled. “She said, ‘You know, I want you and Ogie to do a concert together. I already have the perfect title for it: Q&A.’ I kind of faded away for 20 years and on my 50th birthday, I said I wanted to do this again.”

TAGS: Odette Quesada, Ogie Alcasid, singer-songwriters

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.