Gary Valenciano is no stranger to so-called rivalries.

His decades long tenure in showbiz taught him so much about it.

In an interview, he shared how he had to deal with a certain “competition” that kept him on his toes all these years.

“It was this guy name Martin Nievera,” he said with a smile. “He’s like, my ‘forever competitor.'”

“He’s a balladeer and I do a lot of upbeat songs but people would compare us a lot all the time,” he added. “But it was the kind of competition that brought out the best in us.”

Gary believes competition is important for an artist.

“Otherwise we get lax. We get overconfident – we can sit back and settle with ‘Okay na yun,'” he said.

He feels the same way with his show “ASAP” being pitted against “All Out Sundays.”

“We’re not looking over our shoulders para makita namin kung anong ginagawa nila. And I think they’re also doing the same thing. They just know that ‘Hey, there’s another show at the other side and we just have to be on our toes all the time.’ I don’t care what others would say but at least in my book, in my heart, I’m not in ‘ASAP’ to show who’s better. I’m in ‘ASAP’ to be at my best. And I think, in a subconscious way, the artists in ‘AOS’ feel the same way so, that means we’re both helping each other without even knowing it.”

Just recently, Gary found himself collaborating with an “All Out Sundays” regular, Asia’s Limitless Star Julie Anne San Jose.

They have recorded a song called “Di Ka Akin” released under Universal Records.

According to Gary, he was impressed with the beauty of the song, more so after learning that Julie Anne herself wrote it.

He was also captivated by her voice.

“It wasn’t just a good song, that’s a given already, but it’s also with an excellent artist,” he said. “That’s why I said yes immediately.”

For the OPM icon, working with a young, versatile artist like Julie Anne is a great opportunity that does not come very often and shouldn’t be missed.

Of course, Gary has collaborated prior with so many other artists, all of whom have gone to carve illustrious careers on their own.

How does he feel about him being sought by many in the industry as collaborator?

Gary feels honored about it but there’s “pressure.”

“Being looked up to is great, of course, but when they care enough to seek you out, to work with you and listen to you even if you are somebody who has lived many yesterdays ago, it’s a huge honor. I love it that I could serve people this way. But there’s pressure too, in that, you want to make sure that you are able to impart something that is not just good for the moment but something that would last. Something that they can treasure their whole lives.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (