Bamboo amid local stage greats

Bamboo Mañalac isn't closing his doors on stage acting even though he has never seen imagined himself dabbling into it.

"Sa totoo lang - never kong naisip. I guess singer-songwriter ako, so, it's a different ballgame, pero I think I'll never say 'never.' Binebenta na nga nila ko, ang sabi nila, 'you should do this song, or this show;' we'll never know," Bamboo told members of media at Maxims Hotel where the recent press conference for the Musikat Jam concert series was held.

Slated to run from June 1 to 8, Musikat Jam is set to showcase world-class performances of diverse musical variety - Broadway, opera, jazz and rock - by the local industry's best. Bamboo will join the likes of Bituin Escalante, Lani Misalucha, and local theater greats Audie Gemora, Pinky Marquez and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo in a weeklong celebration of musical genres.

Talig about being lined up with the nation's top stage performers and those that are theatre-trained, Bamboo said, "Sa totoo nga medyo kinabahan ako eh. I had little butterflies; I've known of these artists, but it's the first time I've sat down and talked to them, which I loved."

He added: "They exude this vibe...'yung energy nila, it was something different from what I've seen, and what I've sort of experienced in the past, so I'm excited na, I hope to learn from these guys."

On being part of the concert series, he hopes that "sana may mapulot naman ako; something from them, from this whole week of experience."

Bamboo's repertoire will include "a few hits from the past," and also material from his album "No Water, No Moon."

"I'll also add a few surprises, a few covers there, na I know people will appreciate, and it will be fun, not only for them but for myself," he added.


Bamboo is also one of the mentor-judges on ABS-CBN's "The Voice of the Philippines." When asked about what he looks for in a talent, he said, "When they asked me to do it, what I said (was), I wanted to find a game-changer: someone with a true, original voice. That was my goal. A true singing artist..."

Bamboo is "a big fan of the show (US version)," and is "grateful" to be part of the Philippine edition.

"Naniniwala ako sa show eh, 'yung meaning nung show na, maghanap ng totoong boses - true voice - ng totoong artist, so 'yun ang goal ko eh, sana mangyari," he said, adding with a laugh, "Team Bamboo manalo!"