“Love is sweeter the second time around.”
That is one of the sayings Rico Blanco has been putting in mind ever since signing his music catalogue with Viva Music Publishing, Inc. last Friday, July 5.
In relation, he began to recall how his former band Rivermaya used to be under Viva Records, and now some of their music, including music from his solo act, will be under the entertainment company once again.
But, that is not all that is sweet for the singer-songwriter. This contract signing solidifies his resurgence to the entertainment industry after three years of hibernation. Enjoying the life of a contented man, Rico has been a man of achievements, so far, and is prepared for this next chapter in his life.
CRAVE FOR CHANGE
Before signing his contract for Viva, Rico was asked about his break and he immediately clarified that it was not because of a burnout.
“It’s actually the opposite,” he started telling the press. “I had a little free time, and I started thinking [about] the big things in life. I realized I have more than I needed. [Although], I’m not rolling in cash, I still have only one car, [...] I realized [that] I never forgot where I started from. Every weekend, I go home to my family. They don’t want to move to a bigger house.”
It is conversations with his family and friends that Rico realized that he has more than he needs and he says he is thankful for such. However, he admitted that wanted a shift in life after seeing a friend on his return after two years of working on a master’s degree overseas.
“I can’t kid myself by inventing another goal sa industry, and I don’t mean to say it in an arrogant way,” Rico said. “Ano’ng ginawa ko? Wala. More gigs, more shows, another album. It did not really shift my life to another level. Walang paradigm shift. It was just more of the same but more good things. So, it’s not something to complain about.”
Yet, it remained in Rico’s thoughts and began to realize that it was time for him to take a break from the great things happening in his music career to focus on the things he always wanted to achieve like spending time with family and friends and travel around the country and the world.
One of the events that sparked his longing for a paradigm shift was a conversation with his mother. After seeing his pamangkins almost finishing college, his mom gave Rico an assurance.
“We’re okay na. Go enjoy your life,” Rico recalled his mother telling him.
Upon his mother’s word, he immediately took it to the sea and got his diving certification last February, something he has been wanting to do for ten years.
“Walang oras sa schedule ko [noon],” he says on his quest of getting the certificate. “Nagpaso na ’yong bayad ko sa instructor, hindi na ako naka-lesson number 2. So, the first thing I did was get that. It’s the little things: explore the country, explore the world. It’s basically what I did. In two or three years, content na rin ako sa time na ’yon. And I was able to plant seeds for the long term, in terms of what I’m going to do na non-music.”
One of those seeds was planning to live outside of Manila, specifically near an ocean, with La Union or El Nido as his base. He recalls the time when he had already become a licensed scuba diver, swimming with jack fish in the waters of El Nido, Palawan.
“It’s the little things. [...] I think we all deserve that in our lives when we work hard. There’s a time to pat yourself on the back and celebrate.” Rico explained.
With a diving certification and a plan to move next to the beautiful ocean in tow, Rico Blanco is back with a peace of mind that he knows what to do with life in the long run.
“I’m going to move to La Union in a few months,” he announced. “With technology now, it’s so much easier to work with people no matter where you are. I’m going to build a studio there, create more music.”
Yet, he knows that any day, everything he has might just disappear, so he is simply enjoying it.
“I’ll miss it, but I’ll still be happy in that room in my parents’ home in Laguna.” he said.
A PRODUCTIVE RETURN
Contrary to what is expected, the songwriter revealed that he got to write more songs during his long break, one of which was “Nagbabalik,” a song he released last Wednesday, July 3 in collaboration with pop rock band IV of Spades.
And what a perfect representation it is for Rico, who made a comeback. He reveals that it was the song that made him want to return.
“I didn’t decide to come back and think of a song,” the singer-songwriter told the press. “It was when I stumbled on the song and thought ‘Wait, there’s this song. Ito na lang kaya gawin ko with [IV of] Spades. We were thinking about which one of our older songs ’yong gagawin naming collab with IV of Spades. They already did ‘Kung Ayaw Mo, Wag Mo.’ So, sabi ko, ano pa kaya?”
Indeed, Rico Blanco is nagbabalik with all these new plans in mind and has Viva to back him up. Not only is he giving the rights of his music catalogue to Viva Music Publishing, Inc., he was also talked into writing songs for and collaborate with the many recording artists under the Viva Artist Agency. When asked who among the artists would he want to work with, he cited Sarah Geronimo and Janine Teñoso.
“In the hands of a company like Viva, I’m hoping magkaroon ng life ‘yong songs ko that I never even imagined na meron sila,” Rico said, his eyes shining. “Si Boss Vic [Del Rosario, Jr.] no’ng kausap ko, ang daming umaandar sa isip niya for the songs.”
AN EXCITING TIME
He also reveals that he has been closely working with directors and playwrights for a musical featuring his songs, but nothing is final for the said project.
One of the projects that keeps him busy, however, is his YouTube channel, which he considers his own canvas.
“It’s a blank canvass,” he explains. “The very least, I have documentation of myself na hindi pa ako naka-wheelchair, diba? It’s fun. I’m having a blast. Limitless ‘yong possibilities. It’s like a playground for my creativity.”
With the technology and social media nowadays, Rico is ready to move with the times, just like utilizing such to show his abilities. He shows excitement what social media has done to showcase the talents of rising and veteran stars in the entertainment industry, and does not lament on the fast-paced manner it brings to the table.
“You have a choice,” he says. “I can’t see myself lamenting choice. To me, choice is already a good thing. People have lots of choices now. [...] Siguro, there needs to be a mechanism na lang. But, ganyan ang mundo, nag-e-evolve, ’diba?”
And that’s what Rico Blanco proved, as he signed his music with one of the biggest entertainment companies in the country. Before he gets up from his chair and leaves the room, he says: “I’ve always embraced change. If you look back at my career, change is the constant.”
And what kind of changes will we see from Rico Blanco this time? Stay tuned!
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