I saw the poster on Facebook and I was so excited because I have seen Sheila Valderrama-Martinez on stage several times already and I know she’s absolutely amazing. She made me cry when I saw her in Dani Girl two years ago and having her do a concert here in Bacolod just made me feel like the shows I was missing at home was sort of reaching out to me here.
I invited my family to come and watch but Dad was going to be in Manila but my Mom and brother, Jubal, could make it so I brought them with me and I was planning on paying but my Mom decided to pay the tickets as a birthday treat.
I was really hoping for a lot of songs from musical theatre but Sheila Valderrama-Martinez has such a wider range that that. She sang jazz standards, Pinoy jukebox classics, and some show tunes and the night, set against the backdrop of The Ruins in Talisay was just a gorgeous sight to behold.
It was my first time at The Ruins and it’s funny that I’m from here and I’ve never been. But it’s one of those things where you keep saying Oh, I’ll go next week, I’m always here but then you never end up going. Inertia really hits me hard here in Bacolod and I just never go out of my house and it takes something like friends coming over or a good show to get me out of the house. I just want to stay in bed the whole day when I’m here, and that’s even if I’m not sick. Bacolod and our house here just has that effect on me.
So it was wonderful to finally see The Ruins and then to have the added bonus of Sheila singing her heart out. I was so shocked that I knew quite a bit of the songs in her repertoire, considering I’m not really a collector of jazz standards, but she sang songs that I knew and liked quite a lot, especially At Last. She wowed me with her version of Kapag Tumibok ng Puso, which she gave a playful jazzy style to it and actually made the song more than just bearable, it made it really adorable and when she sang her medley of Pinoy jukebox classics, I went mad for her version of the Sampaguita song and her big ending with Aegis’ Basang-basa sa Ulan.
I was shaking in my seat because it was so wonderful.
And then there was a section of songs from musical theatre which began with a duet with the always-incredible Audie Gemora. They sang Sun and Moon from Miss Saigon.
She then did the song Astonishing from the musical adaptation of Little Women and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables and while she was amazing throughout the whole section, because the band was stripped down to a guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, it was given a pop arrangement by the remarkable Musical Director Rony Fortich and it did it’s job but I’ve heard Sheila sing a full string section and I sort of wished that it wasn’t a pop rendition of these songs.
But I’m not going to be greedy because it’s so wonderful to hear these songs sung well and the venue was just right and it really felt like a bit of home came to me.
It was a wonderful night for me and I had just planned it as a night for my brother and my Mom and myself but my Mom turned it into a birthday celebration and that made it even extra special.