In a heart-filled jamming session for online benefit show “It’s Sharetime,” Louie Ocampo shared the stories behind the popular songs he wrote, the most heartbreaking and intriguing, as well as the feel-good ones.
ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Foundation’s “Tulong-Tulong sa Pag-Ahon: Isang Daan Sa Pagtutulungan” campaign, which aims to provide aid to victims of Typhoon Odette, recently opened its 8th phase featuring the It’s Showtime family via virtual fund drive titled “It’s Sharetime.”
In its second episode last March 11, Kim Chiu and Amy Perez led the pack in doing trending challenges and games, plus Tawag Ng Tanghalan hurados Yeng Constantino, Nyoy Volante, Jed Madela, and ‘Maestro’ Louie Ocampo joined in the fun.
At some point, Louie granted requests to reveal the inspiration behind his works, starting off with the ‘hugot’ piece “Tell Me.” He took us back to 1983, when he went to the US for a two-week concert tour, keeping a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend. At first, they managed to beat the distance and homesickness, thanks to long-distance calls.
While at the airport waiting for his flight to the Philippines, he called his girlfriend to tell her he’s going home. But he noticed she was cold. “Sabi ko, ‘Bakit parang you sound different. Parang hindi ka excited?’ Sinabi ba naman sa akin, ‘I don’t love you na, eh.’”
“Eh, kahapon kasasabi mo lang ng ‘I love you.’ Tapos noong isang araw, ‘Sana this will never end.’ Anong nangyayari? Biglang sinabi niya, ‘I have to go na.’”
He was stunned at how someone who just told him sweet promises yesterday can suddenly have a change of heart. “Pagdating ko sa eroplano, iyak ako nang iyak,” thus the intro which says, “There are nights when I can’t help but cry. Then, I wonder why you had to leave me.”
But the girl’s wish they’d last forever was stuck in his mind, building the chorus, “What did I do to make you change your mind completely when I thought this love would never end,” which was also the final part of the song. “Wala akong maisip na last line kasi heartbroken talaga ako,” said Louie.
Then, he met Joey Albert, who finished the piece with “but if this love’s not ours to have, I’ll let it go with your goodbye.” Even if it was one of the shortest tracks during the ‘80s, it’s undeniably full of emotions, mostly that of pain. “Sobrang sakit,” as how Louie describes the song – and the breakup.
“Kahit Isang Saglit” is another classic from the Maestro, still sparked by a painful experience. He wrote it after his wife’s miscarriage. It was their first baby, hence they were devastated, “We felt so bad pero sabi ko you have to be strong and God has better reasons for everything.”
Translating the pain into a song, he remembered how it felt to hear the baby’s heartbeat, birthing the line, “Sana ika’y muling makita ko, damhin ang tibok ng puso mo.”
Then, there’s “Si Aida, Si Lorna, o Si Fe” interpreted by Marco Sison. This song which talks about a handsome man’s dilemma of choosing between three ladies wasn’t plucked out of a personal experience. Sometimes geniuses also like to play with their imagination, “’Yan ‘yung one of the times na gumawa ako ng kanta na walang istorya.”
Louie just played with the piano during one of his random jazz sessions in his studio. He finished the melody and thought, “Sige gagawin ko kunwari tungkol sa tatlong babae tapos kunwari pabling ako tapos hindi ko alam kung sino pipiliin ko.” Even the names Aida, Lorna, and Fe just came out of the blue.
When Marco came up to him asking for a possible single, he thought “Si Aida, Si Lorna, o Si Fe” would be great, “Kahit alam kong hindi bagay sa kanya. Sabi niya, ‘Bakit ‘yan?’ Sabi ko, ‘Maniwala ka, magiging hit ‘to.’ Tapos naging hit nga.”
It was also Maestro Louie who came with the melody of the Regine Velasquez hit “You Are My Song.” He said it was a commissioned project for Regine’s movie “Wanted Perfect Mother” and was completed by Martin Nievera’s lyrics.
“Ikaw” has quite a similar story, having been created for a special project under Johns Hopkins University. It was just an instrumental piece until fellow master composer George Canseco made the lyrics six months later. Then, it became the theme song and title of a Sharon Cuneta film.
As if these stories are not enough to blow our minds, Louie further showcased his great skills by playing his very own “Foster In Mind” on the piano.
The episode also featured concert-like performances from Yeng, Nyoy, and Jed. Plus, musical games! Yeng and Nyoy battled it out in the “It’s Tune-time” Challenge wherein they’d marry the lyrics into a different song’s melody.
The hurados also took on the “Put Your Finger Down” Challenge with questions related to their experiences as singer-songwriters, like if they’ve ever written a song for an ex. Louie and Nyoy have. It’s “Tell Me” for Louie and “Ha?” for Nyoy.
How about a song for a co-celebrity? It’s no surprise Yeng put a finger down. We all know her song “B.A.B.A.Y.” was inspired by her ‘past’ with Ryan Bang.
In this portion, the TNT hurados shared that they learn from each other and from the contestants even. Louie admitted to picking up lessons from the younger mentors, “Even if you call us the seniors, nag-eenjoy talaga kami and we learn from everyone. Sa totoo lang, it’s your generation that inspires us to keep going.”
Next, if they’ve ever had a sudden urge to go to the toilet in the middle of a performance. Louie revealed he had, during Martin’s concert wherein he’s the musical director. He said Martin had to lengthen his spiel and announced to the audience that his musical director is going to pee.
Even seasoned performers like them also experience stage bloopers. Nyoy is guilty of forgetting the lyrics, that’s why he has to have a teleprompter just in case. Yeng also shared that there’s a time she performed in a mall show despite her throat’s bad condition. She struggled to reach the high note, so she passed on the microphone to the audience.
The episode didn’t run out of jokes and trending dance challenges as well. Kim and Amy led the pack in dancing the most requested “Paru-Paro G” and “Boom Shack-a-lak” trends.
Join the next batch of It’s Showtime hosts in the next episodes of “It’s Sharetime” interactive benefits show, live streamed at 8 p.m. on FYE Channel on Kumu, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page and YouTube channel, iWantTFC, and SKYcable Channel 955 HD and Channel 155 SD. The DSWD Authority/Solicitation Permit No. of this campaign is DSWD-SB-SP-00026-21, which is valid nationwide until May 28, 2022.
For information and other ways to donate, visit the official pages of ABS-CBN Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or go to https://foundation.abs-cbn.com.