WANDERLUST| Joey Albert sings her timeless hits

FILIPINA singer, composer, musician and erstwhile TV host and actress (she was once part of “Iskool Bukol”) Joey Albert performed some of her greatest hits in a one-night-only concert last Saturday, Decemebr 4,  at the Garden Pavilion of the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

The show, which ran for about two hours, opened with songs for the millennials in the crowd with The Voice of the Philippines contenders, young Dabawenyo singer Yaro Veloso, who churned out acoustic renditions of Ed Sheeran’s “So in Love” and Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old with You” and the Cebuano Jem Cubil, who serenaded the crowd with his version of One Direction’s “Night Changes”, Michael Buble’s “Everything” and “The Way You Look Tonight”. Cubil capped his set with Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

The trip down memory lane commenced when Albert stepped on stage with jazzy interpretations of “What You Won’t Do for Love” and “Betcha By Golly Wow”, a nod to the sound of the 80s.

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“Certain music plays soundtrack to our lives. It takes us back to that particular special time,” she said as she shared her bouts with cancer. Albert was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1995, then colon cancer in 2003, both treated with chemotheraphy. Unfortunately, her colon cancer recurred early this year.

“I am happy that I am doing this show here in Davao, the first after my chemotherapy last November. I was afraid that I might not be able to sing again. But here I am,” she said with pride and gratitude. “Somebody in heaven still doesn’t want me there,” then sequed to Charlie Chaplin’s athemic “Smile”.

Multi-awarded singer and composer Wency Cornejo, who admitted that it was her first time to meet Albert here in Davao, shared the stage with her as they sang the former AfterImage lead vocalist’s his signature song “Habang May Buhay”. While Albert took a respite, Cornejo wowed the crowd with his hits songs (and videoke favorites) “Next in Line” and “Hanggang”.

Albert returned on stage with her medley of Manila Sound, a stash of some of the 70s biggest hits from Hotdog and Apo Hiking Society. Then came the anthology of her well-loved songs from her catalogue, such as “Million Miles Away,” “Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin”, “Iisa Pa Lamang”, “I Remember the Boy”, and “Without You”, all written by her ex-beau,the talented composer Louie Ocampo.

“While some singers were given titles – Asia’s Nightingale, Songbird, Asia’s Queen of Songs, etc., I never had one. But I sang some of the best songs, thanks to my former boyfriend,” she said with jest.

One of the songs she performed that tugged the hearts of the audience was also the song she last recorded before she relocated to Canada in 1995.

“After recording ‘Sa Yo Lamang’, a theme song for Richard Gomez’ movie for the Manila Film Festival in 1995, I left my singing career here in the Philippines. I never thought that song would soon have a life of its own,” she reminisced.  “Sa Yo Lamang” eventually won as Best Movie Theme Song in the said film festival, and is now a staple hymn in church services.

Before she left the stage and bade her Dabawenyo audience goodbye, Albert thanked every one for their support.

“All throught the years, you have seen my strength and my weakness. You have been my rock,” then rendered a grand sing-along with possibly her most popular single, “Tell Me”.

Proceeds of “Timeless” will benefit the House of Hope/Davao Children’s Cancer Fund, Inc. The show was presented by Advantage Seal, Inc., Braganza Events and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao. Sponsors include A&L Cargo Forwarding, MX3, Philippine Airlines, Show image and Solis Tropical Fruits, Perry’s Group of Companies, Abayan Trucking, Andreas Andrea Print shop, Cataneda Printing Press, Davao Integrated Port ans Stevedoring Services, Grand Guld Container Yard, Inc., JS Biliran Aqua Source, Jenson Land Realty and Development Corp., Noecil Fresh Food Products, Pearl Farm and Beach Resort, Polyair Foam International Corp., and SITC Container Line, CO LTD.

ABS-CBN, 95.5 Hit Radio and MINDANAO TIMES are the show’s media partners.

Posted in Lifestyle