Gary Valenciano On The "New Normal" For Him, Plus His Realizations From The COVID-19 Pandemic
He says, "I spend my time during this lockdown making sure that I answer the call that I’ve been given—that is, to inspire, to encourage, to uplift, and to build up people who care to listen"
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we knew it. And as we try to get by day by day and get used to the “new normal,” we’re constantly faced with uncertainty and the challenges that come with this unprecedented crisis. The situation is unsettling in so many ways, with the lockdown causing long-term anxiety for many.
But for Gary Valenciano, staying at home during these trying times can bring a different kind of joy, and that’s what he and his family choose to focus on. “What I enjoy most about staying home is that I’m home,” he explains. “I realized I’m a homebody. I like spending time here where music is really bringing life to my soul.”
His home is now his playground. And Mr. Pure Energy considers himself lucky to be able to move freely—physically, mentally, emotionally, and creatively—within the boundaries of his home. For him, one way of coping with the negative effects of this pandemic is to strive for a sense of normalcy in his daily routine, achieving this by keeping himself busy and making sure he’s productive somehow. “I’m busier now than I was then. I’m allowing my creative juices to flow as I spend my time during this lockdown, making sure that I answer the call that I’ve been given—that is, to inspire, to encourage, to uplift, and to build up people who care to listen,” he says.
Even when he’s at home like the rest of us, he knows he can still reach out to his fellow Filipinos and send them a message of hope through music. His work in ASAP Natin ’To continues virtually, he keeps himself open for collaborations that could help in COVID-19 relief efforts, and he makes the most of this time to create new music. Through music, the instrument he knows has the power to move people, he hopes to bring light and positivity to people's homes.
Living under quarantine has been a life-changing, humbling experience for Gary. It gave him time to reflect not just on himself but the situation of the Philippines and the world as well. He says, “It makes me understand what others may be going through at this time. It has also taught me that moments of frustration were all meant to train me for what was about to come.”
View this post on Instagram
This song was actually written by singer/songwriter Twila Paris. I first heard it in the mid 80s. I never thought that I would ever get to record it, but I always wanted to and I’m glad I did. Today, after I released it in 2001, this song that is over 30 years old is still creating an impact on people’s lives. Be blessed everyone. You’re not fighting this fight alone. #AsapNatinTo #PantawidNgPagIbig #WarriorIsAChild Psalm 23:4 NIV Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me
Gary also realized, now more than ever, the importance of patience and trust in God’s perfect timing. Learning from his past experiences, he knows it’s best to shake off negative feelings by putting your faith in God during these dark times. He tells Metro.Style, “I’m not always that positive. I suffer from negative feelings, too. But I don’t allow it to settle in me. I try to fill my head with the word of God, that in all things, He works for the good, of those who love him, and are called according to his purpose. You might hear me speak a lot about God, but in today’s times, how can you survive without Him?”
When negative thoughts start to crop up, it’s music he turns to, aside from prayers. “I’m listening to music that grips my soul and makes me feel that it’s okay, I’ve got it and I’m gonna be fine,” he shares. Instrumental music is his weapon of choice.
When asked about the message he wants to share to everyone today, he offers a passage from the Bible, from Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future...’ Allow ourselves even just that little opening in our hearts to believe or feel these promises coming to pass. Watch, wait, then see. Keep believing as the process and the journey continues. If science and medicine are going to take time to come up with a solution to this virus, there is one who can keep us protected through it,” he ends.
Check out Gary Valenciano's performance for Metro Safe & Sound: The Unplugged Music Video Series on Metro.Style's YouTube channel.
Photos from @garyvalenciano