The Rebirth of Gary Valenciano
A WINNING LIFESTYLE
Gary V. has been performing for more than 25 years. While his mother is from Puerto Rico, he is one of the leading Filipino recording artists and concert performers in the United States. Gary started his career at the age of 18 while playing at high school variety shows. His wife, Angeli, was modeling and singing. Her manager took an interest in Gary and began promoting him. After seven months, Gary cut his first record, became a hot item on TV and spokesman for major advertisers like Coca-Cola, Sony, Toyota, etc. He soon found himself in demand in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Australia, the U.S. and Canada mostly because of requests from people in Filipino communities asking for Gary to perform in their area.
When Gary was 14, his parents separated and he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Active in several diabetic foundations, he believes God heals and Gary says he will see the manifestation of his healing when God wants to show it to him. For the last 30 years, Gary has experienced God’s faithfulness while managing this disease. A couple of years ago, Gary nearly died from a hypoglycemia attack (when sugar levels in the body drop dangerously low).
“Sugar does provide necessary fuel for the body even in diabetics,” says Gary. In this case, Gary had jet lag and took his insulin without eating. His eyes rolled back into his head and his jaw locked. Fortunately, Angeli woke up at 3 a.m. and sent a text message for everyone to pray! Then she pumped glucose into his mouth and Gary swallowed! He says it takes discipline to take care of himself and also relies heavily on family members who help guide him to pace himself. “Many times I have to say ‘no’ to people,” says Gary.
Gary’s music stays at the top of the pop charts, but he also sings Christian songs. There is a large population of Muslims who live in the Philippines. Gary says that if you looked at the CD collection of most of the Muslim homes, you would find several of his CDs. He finds this amazing because he always has 2 or 3 songs on his secular CDs which are overtly or indirectly about the Lord. While few Muslims go to any concerts, Gary’s motorcades before his concerts are always warmly received in Muslim areas.
AFFECTING THE GENERATIONS
Gary and his wife came to accept Christ after dinner at Angeli’s sister’s home in 1985. As they were leaving, Gary noticed a Bible on the table. When his brother-in-law asked if he knew who Jesus was, Gary said “the Son of God.” (Gary had some religious training.) But when asked what would happen if he died that day, Gary stopped cold. Try as he might, Gary could only see heaven and hell. All his good deeds, benefits, etc., seemed pointless. Both Gary and Angeli accepted the Lord that night. They knew there was a difference: Gary’s career insecurities left and his spirit lifted.
Gary and Angeli have been married for 24 years and have three children: Paolo, Gabriel, and Kiana, and all of them are musically talented. Paolo is interested in film and directing and is also the lead singer of Christian rock band, Salamin. Gabriel is a professional dancer. Kiana is an award-winning singer. Sometimes, Gary’s kids join him on stage as his special guests.
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