Gino Padilla

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Historical Background Of Gino Padilla

by Jefferson Gomez

Gino Padilla was one of the country’s top pop icons in the 80’s. His first album, entitled “Shifting Gears”, made him famous during the time. As a matter of fact, “Closer you and I”, one of the songs in Gino’s Shifting Gears, won the Awit Award as record and song of the year (the year the album was released). His album was certified platinum.

He bade goodbye to his recording career in the mid 90’s. When he finally decided that he would not leave the music industry, Gino had a hard time from staging a comeback as a singer. Luckily, his cousin, Zsa-Zsa Padilla, helped him to get this comeback. His first appearance in the Philippines again after a long time was in a Zsa-Zsa Padilla concert. But, as expected, this would not really pump up that much Gino’s career. Fortunately, Megastar Sharon Cuneta helped Gino with his album named “Hands of time” which was released last 2007. Sharon Cuneta produced this album for Gino. The album was a great hit. It was in demand in the whole country. This album made him famous once again. Up until now, Gino continues to woo people through his concerts and compositions.

Interview with Gino Padilla

conducted by Carlos Abesamis and Jeff Gomez

Your anticipated comeback album is already out in the market. What or who would you say is/are your inspiration/s for this album? Would you like to elaborate?

My inspiration for this album is my family – wife, son and daughter. They are the very reason of my existence. They inspire me to do good and to give my best all the time.

Why did you decide to name your new album “Hands of Time”? Any particular event which you would say contributed to naming this?

We decided to name the album “Hands Of Time” because it represents the culmination of years I had in the business. It’s reminiscent of the good times we had during the 80’s. Back then, we had big concerts, big venues, bright colors, and a lot of support coming from local companies like Pepsi and Levis! We called ourselves the “New Generation”, defining music with a lifestyle that is good, clean, fun and full of high spirits. Hands of Time is also one of the songs in the album that talks about a love that is sweeter the next time around. Basically, the selection of OPM’s and remake represents the growth and maturity of a person that love and passion never stops as long as you are still on life’s journey.

Mrs. Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan produced your newest album. Your cousin, Ms. Zsa Zsa Padilla was said to be instrumental in getting you into the business. Mr. Francis Magalona, Ms. Zsa Zsa Padilla and Mr. Rannie Raymundo even joined you in your album in singing some of the songs. With so much support coming from within the music industry, some would say that your music is appreciated by those who are said to be “heralds” of music themselves. How do you feel about all this support? Would you say that you were never worried of being “phased out” knowing that you have so much support?

I’m very fortunate to have their support. My cousin Zsa Zsa Padilla, who started me in the business, Sharon Cuneta who jump started my career again (after being dormant for 3years 2001-2003) I stopped singing after my manager past away last 2000. He was my Brother-In-Law and best friend. I think that if an artist has real talent or potential, it’s going to be hard to put him down, underrated but still talented. Now, the thing about still being in the game is again your gift in singing. If you cannot convince your family or friends with your voice, no one is going to give you support much less hire you.

For a while, you went outside of the limelight. A source says that you went on a few advocacy campaigns for the Department of Health and Philippine Information Technology, would you like to elaborate more on these? What types of advocacies did (or still do) support?

Well, after 2 albums and a couple of Noon Time shows (Lunch Date Channel 2/1991-93 & Chibugan Na Channel 9-1995). It’s time for me to turn to public service in which I had a good time! I recorded and endorsed “Ang Kidneys Mo Ay Buhay Mo”, a renal disease prevention advocacy campaign under NKTI-PIA & DOH (1997-2000). A program about how to take care and maintain healthy kidneys! It was an adventure that took us to different parts of the country. Kids were the main focus because you develop this during your early years. The song-jingle was also a hit with school kids and teachers alike. A line in the song goes….. ‘Kung sobrang mag-asin sa pagkain, yan ay dapat mo nang baguhin.ang pag-inom ng tubig laging gawin…Ang Kidneys Mo Ay Buhay Mo ‘. We also brought our panel of doctors from National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) who answered technical questions and a mascot named kidney kid who wowed the audience with his hip dance moves. The program was so successful that they went to the barangay level districts in Metro Manila and most of the Provinces to teach and disseminate information about taking care and managing kidney problems. They invited me again for their launching of their book that is a training manual last December 2008.

On to your history, some would say that your Pepsi commercial with Tina Turner in 1986 sparked the Philippine’s interest in you. This in turn made you decide to promote yourself in the local market. We would like to get your opinion on this. Would you have tried to expose yourself in the Philippine’s music industry even if you were not discovered by Pepsi?

Yes, I would have tried to become a professional singer because singing to me is a passion. I would sing everywhere, in school with my cousin Zsa Zsa Padilla, when we migrated to the U.S. in Las Vegas, Nevada and when I worked odd jobs during my teenage years. I loved singing so much that I really wanted to make a career out of it. Well, not everyone knew that I recorded a song by George Benson, “Nothings Gonna Change My Love For You”, as a cover version for a record label (formerly WEA now Universal Records) as my jump off point. The funny thing was when I finished recording that song they signed me up as one of their artist. I decided that getting a manager was the next best thing to do to handle all my affairs and I was performing in concerts already and luckily a break came along, an American executive for Pepsi Cola Phils., saw me perform and asked if I could audition for their upcoming commercial. Turns out that they auditioned already a great number of Local artists and Stars who are quite known at that time. I gave it a shot and next thing I knew, they called Pepsi Co. New York and they said, I was the One! History was made and I’m really glad I made that choice. I thank God and Pepsi/Tina Turner for that wonderful opportunity.

You’ve begun promotions for your CD and even held a few concerts already. You’ve also been re-received very well by the people and most of all your loyal fans. Were you ever afraid at the beginning if the people would appreciate your comeback? Why so?

I think there is always that element of fear when you are doing a comeback album. Hopefully, people can still remember your style and sound so you always want to give something that is an added surprise for fans and admirers that is a class of its own. A current sounding album, you looking at your best and a voice that is in tip top shape. In this business, you never know when you are up to the challenge. They might guest you in a morning show, which means that you have to get up at least 3 hours to warm up your vocal chords. All in all, the ‘Hands Of Time’, is a mixture of mostly OPM’s and a revival song. At lot of positive reactions were drawn when we did our Mall shows, it made us extremely happy to see that it was well received by the public. The sale of the album is also moving so it is still part of our team’s success. We wished it could have burned brighter if our friends in radio could have given us more support in terms of airtime.

We gather that you also create your own music. What would you say inspires you the most in writing music? Would you like to give some tips to people (singer-songwriters) who aspire to achieve anything that you have?

Anyone can write a song just as long as you are focused and up to the task. It only takes one spark of inspiration to make it into music. But it all boils down to expressing the message to your listeners, the more melodic, the easier it can be sang and remembered and the more potential it is to become a hit song.

How does it feel that you music is still appreciated by today’s generation? Songs like “Closer You and I”, “Let the Love Begin” and “I Believe in You” are still being promoted by today’s stars. Would you say that you created music that actually surpassed the hands of time?

Music to me is timeless. Music transcends all boundaries. Music is food for the soul; it knows no language barriers and is the fountain of youth. So whatever generation you are in, past, current or future, music will always surpass our so called, “Hands Of Time”!

Insights about the Interview

Jefferson Gomez

I was struck when we asked him how he feels that his music is still appreciated by many people. His answer was very unique. It was really that is something. He really does understand the true meaning of music. Based from the way he answered the question, I can say that Gino is a deep person. It is no wonder why his songs are of great success.

Carlos Abesamis

I was pleasantly surprised to have received very good answers from Mr. Gino Padilla. Despite his hectic schedule, he gave answers to our questions with time and effort. Mr. Padilla actually showed his compassion for his art and deep understanding of this compassion through his answers (I first noted this when he answered our second question). I also think he genuinely believes in Filipino talent. I was impressed with his way in answering our questions. He obviously knew what he was talking about and was very much happy to share this with us.

Synopses of "I Believe in You" and "Angel in Disguise"

by Carlos Abesamis

I Believe in You

This song originally was made and sung by Gino Padilla which was actually intended for his wife, Chichit Padilla. The song has a feel good sort of vibe and is accepted as one of Gino’s more popular works.

It is noticeable that the lyrics build up to make a storyline. The persona that the song depicts is actually professing his love for a woman. The first stanza introduces the situation to the woman. The first stanza is a description of the persona’s life before he found the girl he loved (and the second stanza says just that). As this is a story of a man’s confession of love, the main part (typically the chorus) is an exclamation of the persona’s desire to be with the woman. The chorus hints that the woman may actually be hesitant about the whole idea at first so the persona tries to convince the woman that miracles happen. The miracle actually pertains to the love that they have. In the final verses, the persona reveals how miserable he felt without the woman. It is seen that it is actually contradictory to the stereotype most stories have because the persona actually refers to the woman as the “knight in shining armor”, saying that the woman was there to set him free from his pain.

Through his lyrics, Gino Padilla actually touched the lives of many who love out in the real world. His song became a hit and what better way to explain his success by just saying that the song was inspired by his wife.

It was featured as the theme song of the 2006 movie, “All About Love”, which starred many of this generation’s stars, Bea Alonzo, John Lloyd Cruz, Anne Curtis, Luis Manzano, Angelica Panganiban and Jason Abalos. The cast, as people may notice, also contained one of the most prominent teen love teams – Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz. This shows that Gino’s works are universal and transcend the test of time.

Angel in Disguise

This song was intended by Gino to be for Sharon Cuneta. It may possibly be for saying thanks to Sharon Cuneta because of all the help that she provided Gino.

The song is all about finding hope with the help of another person. In the beginning of the song, the persona explains how hopeless he was and thoughts of giving up came across his mind. The lyrics then make a transition into how a certain person helped the persona to get back up on his feet. In the chorus, the persona then goes into praising the person who helped him. He exclaims the goodness in the person and the great significance that person has in his life. By the end of the verses, the persona exclaims how he can be all that he can be because of that person.