When it comes to the Philippines’ roster of definitive and enduring male artists, the names Christopher de Leon and Tirso Cruz 3rd are way on top of idols who began their careers in the 1980s onwards. To date, Boyet and Pip, as their famous nicknames go, remain in demand in any and every genre available to television, cinema and, of course, the world wide web. They are known not just for high-caliber acting but also for their musical talent.
Now, when there’s Boyet and Pip, the name Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz is never far behind either. Albeit a revered longtime director of many of the most iconic TV shows in local history, big man Bobot was just as big a box office star as his good friends were in the 1970s. Like them, he had hordes of fans swooning over his love team with Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos, who later became Boyet’s perennial leading lady, just as Boyet’s first wife, Superstar Nora Aunor, became Pip’s. They each recorded albums too, which duly became the most memorable hits of the day.
To keep going with this trip down memory lane, Bobot and Boyet’s names, of course, also summon those of the late great actors Jay Ilagan and Johnny Delgado. Collectively, they comprised the illustrious Bad Bananas, who, in the late ’80s and ’90s, got together now and then for friendship and their love of music on TV specials, industry event group appearances and a movie here and there. While the other half of the group prematurely took their final bows, the connection, and most especially their love for music, is alive as ever with Bobot and Boyet, who are grateful to have reeled in Pip in their pretty exclusive club.
Apparently, this big named trio has been the class act Filipino communities in the United States always looked forward to watching before the pandemic. Never not busy, the concerts they mounted there just happened when they did because of their schedules but were always hot tickets.
Finally, this very class act is performing on home ground come February 3 and 4 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) in a show dubbed “Some Kind of Valentine: Unlimited Love, Music, and Laughter.” Bound to be a fun and sophisticated night out on the town for friends as much as lovers — especially those from these men’s storied generation — Boyet, Bobot and Pip are excited to revive the timeless classics of Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, Barry Manilow, as well as their own, a few days just before Valentine’s.
A show that will definitely stand out from the traditional bevy of concerts this season, here’s another reason why the NPAT is the place to be for pre-Valentines. Did you know that no less than sisters Charo and Malou Santos — yep, two of the power women of Philippine entertainment — willed for the trio to perform in the US and now at home.
With seasoned international concert producer Flor Santos’s Dreamwings Production working out logistics, contracts and what-have-you, it was the seasoned actress with her fellow top executive sister who dove deep into creatives.
As “Mommy Flor” recalled at a media gathering for the show this week, “We [the Santos sisters] all became friends and they knew I produce concerts here and abroad. Ang galing ni Tita Charo kasi siya talaga ang nag buo ng konseptong ito dahil ina-idolize po niya itong tatlong icons natin sa showbiz. She remembered the very first Bad Bananas concert and wala na kaming pinagusapan after that kundi the three of them.”
Co-producers for all of the trio’s shows, Mommy Flor further revealed that no less than the Charo Santos-Concio would determine the playlist every time and more so now for the upcoming Philippine debut of Boyet, Bobot and Pip as concert artists come the first weekend of February.
“Si Tita Charo din with Tita Malou who handpicked Lovi Poe to be the queen among these kings for the two-night concert and siya talaga ang number one nila from a list of 50 down to the final Top 7. Kaya I can promise that we’re going to give you a show na hindi basta basta,” she excitedly added.
Ever the face of elegance in show business, it isn’t a surprise that Lovi — who really started out as a singer before becoming one of the day’s most sought-after actresses — enjoys the same music as the revered actors. The big band era of the standards and the ballads of the ’70s make up a huge chunk of her personal playlist.
“The songs they chose to sing, really ever since, I’ve been listening to that kind of music,” Lovi said at the same event. “It’s such an honor for me to be performing with Sir Christopher, Sir Tirso and Sir Edgar, so we’ll be doing songs altogether and duets individually.
The trio cannot be happier to share the stage with Lovi with a self-effacing direk Bobot Mortiz saying, “Mag-e-enjoy kayo dahil nandito si Lovi. Yung klase ng songs na kinakanta namin, bagay na bagay kay Lovi. Siguro nung sumikat ang mga kantang ito, wala pa siya sa mundo. Pero kapag kinakanta niya, ang tingin ko, bagay na bagay sa kanya, kaya natutuwa ako.”
Still very much the funny man the leader of the Bad Bananas is known to be, direk Bobot added, “Tapos yung fans namin, siguro madami pa sila o yung iba, huhukayin namin para mapanood yung show!”
Admittedly, these showbiz icons are aware their concert is pegged a notch higher than the rest because of their stature. Far from conceited, though, they’d rather shrug off such comments with direk Bubot always ready for the punchline.
“Marami talagang bibili ng ticket kasi bawat isa sa kanila may kasamang caregiver!”
By the end of all the banter at the mediacon, it was Lovi who guaranteed the show would meet the growing expectations over a Christopher de Leon, Edgar Mortiz and Tirso Cruz 3rd grouping.
“They’re not just accomplished artists and icons in show business, but they are such gentlemen in real life, all of them happily married and all of them such professionals to everyone they work with. Kaya nga class act talaga sila and for sure the show too,” she ended.
Directed by Alco Guerrero, ‘Some Kind of Valentine’ will also feature performances from Kanisha, Mel Villena and the AMP band. Tickets are now available at Ticketnet and SM Tickets.