One year ago, May 6, 2018 to be exact, Gary Valenciano underwent a six-hour open-heart surgery.
Nagsimula ang lahat nang makaramdam siya ng severe chest pain after ng 35th anniversary performance niya sa ASAP show ng ABS-CBN. After magpa-check-up, dinisiyunan agad ng mga doctor niya sa St. Luke’s Medical Center sa Taguig na kailangan na niyang mag-undergo ng by-pass procedure dahil may 95% blockage diumano ang main artery patungo sa kanyang heart.
Few days after, on May 12, kinailangang ibalik si Gary sa ICU (intesive care unit) dahil nahirapan itong huminga. It turned out, may allergic reaction siya sa mga bulaklak na padala ng mga well-wishers niya.
He was on his way to recovery nang may maramdaman naman siyang pain sa lower back niya. Una ay inakalang muscular pain lang ito, up until a imaging examination showed na may six-centimeter malignant tumor naman na naka-attach sa kanyang kidney. So, they had to slice part of his kidney in another surgical procedure.
But as we’ve said, that was one year ago. Today—after months of rehabs and extensive exercises—humahataw na naman sa performance stage ang iconic artist na parang walang nangyari.
In fact, he had just concluded his sold-out North American concert tour— He’s Back: Gary V US Tour—last April. In the said concert series—which brought Gary to the following cities: Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, (April 12), The Town Hall in New York City (April 14), Creative Arts Building Pittsburg High School in Contra County, California (April 20); Saban Theater in Los Angeles (April 21), Snoqualmie Casino in Seattle (April 26), and in Morongo Casino, Resort, and Spa in Cabazon (April 28)—pinahanga ni Gary ang mga nanood sa kanya dahil good as new ang na-witness nilang Gary onstage.
Pero sa kalagitnaan ng kanyang US tour, pumanaw ang kanyang 84-year-old Puerto Rican mother na si Grimilda “Mamita” Santiago-Oriz noong April 18 (Manila Time). Pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and H1N1 Flu ang mga karamdamang itinuturong naging dahilan ng pagpanaw ni Mamita na matagal nang naka-base sa Orlando, Florida.
But Gary, a true trooper who is a hundred percent dedicated to his craft, still delivered outstanding performances in every city despite his emotional predicament. The show must go on ang pina-iral nitong patakaran. Despite his grief, he went on to finish the tour na umani ng mga papuring reviews online.
Bukod kay Gary, nagpakitang-gilas din ang mga guests niyang sina Fearless Diva Jona, Ness Rica, and Suklay Diva Katrina Velarde.
Some of the celebrities and noted personalities who were spotted watching the series were philanthropist Loida Lewis in New York; Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres, popular blogger Joel Mondina of Pambansang Kolokoy and Paolo Valenciano in Morongo; Kiana Valenciano, Louie Reyes, and Ivy Violan in Los Angeles; and songwriter Cecile Azarcon-Inocentes, who penned two of Gary’s hits “Reaching Out” and How Did You Know,” in Pittsburgh.
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