Being proclaimed as the Aliw Awards Entertainer of the Year and voted as Broadway.com Philippines Performer of the Decade is not a small-scale feat. Undoubtedly, these achievements gave more premium and stellar to the career of romantic crooner and world-class musical theater artist Gerald Santos.
With these accolades, is Santos ready to be dubbed as the Philippine National Balladeer?
“I think that is a bit too much,” answers the singer with a shy smile with his face turning red. “I am just overwhelmed and thankful. I could not believe how lucky I am, and maybe even blessed that despite the present situation we are all in, these recognitions come my way.”
“Hard work and prayers do pay off. The things that are happening in my career right now are a product of dedication, sacrifices, commitment, luck, perfect timing, and God’s grace,” he goes on.
Santos has just joined the ranks of the late great Rico Puno, Martin Nievera, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, and Lea Salonga, who all previously got the distinction of being Aliw’s Entertainer of the Year.
“I still cannot believe it. It’s still surreal for me. It is ab honor to be in the company of the Philippines’ best entertainers. I am tickled by it. It is a surprise and shock at the same time. It motivates me to give more, to do my best, especially when I perform on the concert stage or in a musical theater production,” he says.
Santos believes that his arsenal to success is his attitude towards work, which means doing it because of love, professionalism, coming to set and rehearsals on time, knowing your lines and lyrics, treating everyone well, and keeping your feet on the ground.
“Aside from believing that you are only as good as your last performance, your dealings with other people, how you show them your respect, your professional attitude is also an important factor,” Santos continues.
Currently, Santos is in rehearsals of I Will the Musical where he plays the lead. It is based on the life of Dr. Willie Ong, with lyrics, music, and libretto written by Antonino Rommel Ramilo.
The cast of this new musical includes Paulina Yeung as Dra. Liza Ong, Jett Pangan as the father of Dr. Willie Ong, Ima Castro as the mother of Dr. Willie Ong, and Robert Seña as Colonel Ouano, to mention a few.
He is also part of the star-studded Borracho Films Mamasapano where he portrays the role of PO3 Christopher Lalan, the lone survivor of this contemporary and controversial police tragedy.
With the great success that Santos enjoys, part and parcel of it are bashers, haters, and detractors.
“To be honest, I am thankful that they are around. Para silang taga check and balance. In a way, especially the criticisms that focus on your artistry, I read it kasi nga, hindi naman ako perfect and these are reminders to help me improve. Pero kung personal na ang attack, I am just amused with the level of hatred and attention they throw at me. I am aware that I cannot please everybody and there will always detractors. I just let them with their opinions of me. I am proof that dreams do come true, especially when you put your heart to it and you add pa your optimism and professionalism.”
His biggest dream as of the moment is to get the chance to play and become Marius in Les Miserables. Meanwhile, he is set to record a Broadway album that will highlight duets from iconic international and local musicales with some of the country’s leading singing legends and musical theater greats.