There’s no need to wait for Valentine’s Day to celebrate love in the concert scene. On Friday night, December 8, one of the few enduring couples of OPM—hitmakers Dingdong Avanzado and Jessa Zaragoza—will go on stage to celebrate their respective career milestones in music in a joint show aptly called “20/30 Anniversary Concert.”
Set to unfold at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) of Resorts World Manila, Zaragoza marks the 20th year of her entry into the music scene while husband Avanzado is on his 30th year since cutting his breakthrough single “Ikaw Lamang” in 1987.
“I joined showbiz as an actress, because I was traumatized when I first auditioned in ‘That’s Entertainment’ showcasing my supposed-to-be talent in singing. Pumiyok ako and I got rejected [the first time]. Since then takot na akong muling kumanta,” Zaragoza revealed during the press conference held at RWM’s Passion Restaurant
However, as everyone knows now, she became OctorArts Records’ biggest hitmaker via “Bakit Pa?” years later. Her distinct voice and style of singing spawned successive hits even when she transferred to Star Records.
“I was already happy na may album ako, na nasa cover pa ang mukha ko, and I was contented with that,” she further said.
Avanzado who was impressed with her musicality, believed she can do much more, not just as a singer-recording artist but as performer. Their work together led to love, marriage, and daughter Jayda, who is now 14 years old.
“I am her number one fan as well as her number one critic. I know she can do more not just as a singer or recording artist but also as a performer. Kasi pag singer ka, you can do four to five songs the most, but if you’re a performer you can do a two-hour show,” Avanzado said, adding that in the US, Zaragoza became just that, even doing a Shirley Bassey medley.
“People may just be familiar with her singing her hits, but many were surprised she can do covers pala, giving her own signature style to the songs,” the husband proudly stated.
Zaragoza could only chuckle as she cut in, “That’s my husband talking [about me], so it’s quite understandable.”
Asked what song defines their relationship, Avanzado was at a loss, saying it was actually a hard question. But Zaragoza was quick to say it’s “Glory Of Love,” especially with the lyrics that say, “You keep me standing tall, you help me through it all/I’m always strong when you’re beside me/I have always needed you/I could never make it alone.”
If there’s one topic that the couple is passionate about, it’s their daughter.
“As a daughter, parang friends lang kaming tatlo, pero as an artist, parang kapantay lang namin siya,” Avanzado said. Zaragoza said though that she thinks Jayda is beyond her age – both as a musician and as a teener.
Jayda’s musicality, according to them, is notches above. In fact, she’s a lot better than any of them compared to when they were starting in the business. Would they allow her to join a reality contest then?
“Joining a reality contest to make a name or showcase her talent, I think there’s no need for Jayda to do that kasi alam na naman ang talent niya. She’s making a name on her own,” Avanzado was quick to reply referring to their daughter’s YouTube channel.
Online, the young singer shows her rendition of her parents’ songs, even mimicking mom Jessa in her version of Bakit Pa? and breathing life to “Recuerdo de Amor,” the theme song of ABS-CBN daytime series aired in 2001 to 2003 by Zaragoza.
The doting mom meanwhile said they just let their daughter be and avoid putting any pressure on her.
“On her own, she packs her bags and arranges her things, we don’t need to tell her what time to wake up when she has guestings. We see her passion,” Zaragoza said of their daughter.
As a father, Avanzado said that if there’s a no-no at this time, it’s for their unica hija to entertain suitors.
“I’m somewhat protective and it’s too early for her to entertain boys. I really can’t say now when it would be appropriate for her to get into a relationship,” he said.
On Sunday, the proud daughter articulately posted on social media how she feels about her mom.
“I don’t think there are enough words to describe how proud I am of you @iamjessaz13! You are by far one of the most dedicated artists I have ever seen! Your tenacity through your struggles, perseverance and persistence are what got you to where you are today. And that to me is super inspiring and those values that you exhibit are definitely ones I aspire to have as I go forth with my own career. Congratulations mama. You deserve every bit of your success! Cheers to many more years in the industry! #ASAPPopTeenChoice2017,” she said.
Strong guest line-up
The couple is expected to sing their hit songs on concert night, which includes “Tatlong Beinte Singko,” “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal” and “Basta’t Kasama Kita” by Avanzado. Their daughter is, of course, set to showcase her powerful vocals in a special number.
The choice of the guest line-up has been done carefully, according to Avanzado, with friend and co-Kundirana (of La Salle Greenhills) member Ogie Alcasid, Xian Lim, Klarisse de Guzman, Jessa’s brother Lloyd Zaragoza, Angeline Quinto and Jason Dy.
Co-produced by Resorts World Manila and Star Events, the Avanzados are not discounting the possibility to mount the same concert in other parts of the country and the US in 2018, as fans who can’t be at the one-night only concert surely would want to watch them and enjoy an evening of excellent music too.