I love airports, especially now that travel is just starting to pick up and there are still not too many people at these terminals. For people who are naturally “curious and observant” like me, such a situation makes it so easy to spot personalities that we usually only see on the Internet, on television or in the movies. It also makes opening conversations with them less threatening, as there will be fewer people to see you fail, just in case you end up being cold.
On my last trip outside of the metro, which brought me to the Visayas Islands, I sat right next to a handsome guy who, like me, was waiting for his plane flight in the living room by the door of the airport. While waiting for my friend, who was then at a food stall buying us some snacks, I noticed the familiar-looking guy quietly tinkering with his cell phone and trying not to draw attention to him. I knew right away the guy was a celebrity and then I figured out, it’s “Sam Concepcion”, something I could say loud enough for him to hear it. He looked at me, smiled and said ‘yes’, which sparked a conversation that went like this:
THRILLMAKER: Hi, Sam! I am a columnist for the Manila Bulletin. Can I “ambush” and ask you a few questions?
SAM: Of course!
THRILLMAKER: The last time I saw you, you were surrounded by ladies in swimsuits at the Miss Universe Philippines final in Bohol and you were singing a really beautiful song. Tell me about this?
SAM: It’s called “Diwata”. I sang it for the swimwear competition part of the Miss Universe Philippines show. We hope to bring something that has that kind of fun energy, that makes the Diwata stand out from the beauty of the competitors. We called him Diwata because that’s what they are. They are beauty queens. We wanted to capture that in a song.
THRILLMAKER:! ! The song wasn’t just enjoyable. It actually has the potential to be iconic, just like JM Bales’ “Magandang Dilag” from last year.
SAM: Well, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to perform songs that have been going quite well for several years in Philpop. I always love doing this kasi parang, they are creations of super talented artists, producers and songwriters. You are given a vision, a creation of a producer, of a songwriter to be part of something special. This one is very special because it is for Miss Universe.
THRILLMAKER: Besides Diwata, anything new that we can look forward to in your recording career? What else in store for Sam Concepcion fans?
SAM: I also just released a song in September called “Non-Stop”. I also just finished filming a TV series called Halfworlds It’s an HBO series, and it will be launching very soon. The pandemic prevented us from releasing it earlier. This features myself and Bianca Umali. For the holidays, we are preparing for a tour with Morisette, an American tour.
THRILLMAKER: That’s a lot of plans given the time.
SAM: I’m lucky enough to continue to entertain at a time like this.
THRILLMAKER: What about the theater? I know you’re a theater babe before you hit the mainstream. Before the hard shutdowns last year, you were also in a production called “Joseph, The Dreamer” and it went pretty well. Any plans in this direction?
SAM: It was actually my return to the theater after ten years. We were going to do a replay in September 2020 but the blockages have taken place. I hope we can do it again. The theater is something I would always come back to. By the way, I just want to do a live concert again.
THRILLMAKER: I’m sure you can do it as soon as possible. What about projects outside of show business? Do you have any?
SAM: Start a good business that will thrive and something useful to the community. I still don’t know what it is, something for me to discover.
Just as he finished answering the question, the ground hostess began to make the boarding call. It was a brief but meaningful conversation I had with Sam. We took the same flight to our destination, but got lost at the baggage claim carousel. A good boy. I hope he finds the “Diwata” who will soon turn his wishes into reality.
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