There was a Kilabot ng Mga Kolehiyala and years after he got that “title” for driving college girls wild during his concerts, Hajji Alejandro hasn’t officially relinquished it even now that he is into his late 60s. Times have changed and kolehiyalas don’t go as crazy over singers as their older counterparts used to. (Trivia: Did you know that at the peak of Tom Jones’ career, women would throw underwear at him? Yes, there was that kind of adulation, believe it or not, which thankfully wasn’t accorded a local singer who enjoyed being tagged Kilabot ng Mga Matrona.)
Now come Ogie Alcasid and Ian Veneracion starring in Virtually Yours, Kilabotitos set for March 26, the concert that was postponed due to the pandemic.
“Ogie and I are excited about this concert,” said Ian. “Bitin na bitin kami because we had already rehearsed for it and done promo. Show schedule na lang ang kulang. Finally, matutuloy na rin! It’s going to be a different virtual concert. Hindi lang ‘yung parang bahay-bahay set-up. It’s not going to be like that. It’s a full concert complete with a band, props and everything. It’s legit, the real thing.”
“I have produced Ian’s solo concert called Ian in Color at the Music Museum more than two years ago,” recalled Ogie. “I was a guest in that show. Virtually Yours is our first concert together.”
But first, how did they become known as Kilabotitos?
“There’s a story about it,” related Ogie. “Two years ago, after a meeting at La Creperie, Ian’s favorite restaurant, there was a group of titas (aunts) waiting to have their picture taken with Ian, talagang magpapakamatay magpa-seflie kay Ian. Nasali ako. They also had their picture taken with me. I teased Ian, ‘Wow, you really are a tita killer,’ the Kilabotita. Those titas were the people who grew up watching our concerts, nanonood ng teleserye ni Ian at ng dating shows kongBubble Gang and SOP. By the way, you don’t have to be old to be a tita. There are titas who are only in their 30s.”
Their Virtually repertoire consists of songs from the ‘60s (The Beatles, etc.), ‘70s and ‘80s, the same songs that titas love to listen to, songs they are familiar with and can hum (or even sing) along with, not new songs that will make the titas wonder, “Anong kanta ‘yon; sino ang kumanta n’un?” Songs that they miss during this pandemic.
“Mga James Taylor type of songs that I listened to in high school, songs that a lot of people still love to listen to, especially during this pandemic. Actually, they don’t create that kind of songs anymore,” added Ogie. “Ian is younger than me but he also loves songs of that era.”
“Ogie and I are on the same wavelength,” agreed Ian. “We have the same sensibility. Hindi naman nagkakalayo ang edad namin, eh.”
It was Ogie who hit on the idea of him and Ian doing a concert together.
“I really just enjoy the tugtugan,” said Ian. “Wala lang, sound tripping lang. So when Ogie said, ‘Mag-concert tayong dalawa,’ ako naman, ‘Sige, why not?’ Si Ogie, totoong singer. Bata pa ako napapanood ko na siya sa mga kantahan.”
“Uy,” Ogie reminded Ian, “dahan-dahan ka, ha. Bata pa rin ako napapanood na kita sa TV. Nauna ka sa akin.”
“Ah,” countered Ian, “you mean Joey & Son? But I was a kid at that time.”
That kind of camaraderie (along with some people around them) characterizes their friendship and is evident in their concert.
“You know what I like about Ian,” shared Ogie. “It’s like this…I have collaborated with several singers, I’ve seen other collaborations, at parang kinakabahan sila. But not Ian. He doesn’t get nervous. He loves the stage and that’s obvious. Enjoy na enjoy siya! And he loves to sing. Si Ian, he would say, ‘Akin na ‘yung mike, akin na ‘yung gitara, kakanta na ako.’ Makapal ang mukha niya, hahaha!!!”
“I feel so welcome in the music industry,” admitted Ian. “Thanks to Ogie…and to Regine and Miss Zsa Zsa who also appeared as guests in my concert…who were so supportive. As you know, I am an actor naman talaga and I’m just trying out music because it’s something that I really love, something that I’ve enjoyed my whole life.
“It was just for me, not for public performance. It took me a long time to have the confidence to perform before a live audience. It was because of my teleserye with Bea Alonzo (A Love To Last) that I agreed to record a song. Ngayon,” he added with a laugh, “kumapal na ang mukha ko to be able to perform in public and I’m really enjoying it. Dati, hiyang-hiya ako. Now, walang nang hiya-hiya, hahaha!!!”
Asked what tips/pointers he could give Ian, Ogie said, “Do I have to give him tips pa? Mahusay ‘yan, eh!”
For his part, Ian said he is learning a lot from Ogie.
“His love for music. Seryoso ang music, hindi laro-laro lang. Ogie is meticulous with detail…from the areglo to the sound to the timpla, the mixing. He’s particular with the different aspects of the show. Everything should be in sync.”
(Note: Virtually Yours, Kilabotitos, 8 p.m. Manila Time on March 26, will be available worldwide. Tickets are available at ktx.ph, priced at P1,200 [for full concert plus a documentary on the making of the show]. With one ticket, the whole family can watch it. The concert is presented by ATEAM [Alcasid Total Entertainment & Artists Management, Inc.] and Frontrow with Katinko as gold partner and as silver partners PLDT, Pascual Lab, Potencee, C-Lium, Ascof Lagundi, Oracare and Conzace.)
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