No matter what

Chillin' with Jed Madela at his The Iconic Concert Series: Jed Madela Sings Mariah Carey show sometime last year.
I can’t tell you how or when Jed Madela and I became friends, because I don’t remember. What I can tell you is why.

Jed and I are equally passionate about music. I’ve lost count of how many talks we’ve had about the artists whose albums and singles shaped our tastes. We’ve also talked about our respective forays into songwriting. When I finish a song, he's usually among the first to listen to my demo and tell me what he thinks. He can be sassy at times, but his criticism is always constructive and insightful.

I value Jed’s opinion because he knows his stuff. He wouldn’t have won the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in 2005 if he didn’t. Furthermore, I love the fact that he’s not stingy with his knowledge. Even if Jed never gave me formal voice lessons, I learned as much from him as I did from my actual vocal coach. A lot of what I know about proper breathing and vocal placement came from him.

Jed gives of his knowledge freely because he loves people. He once told me that he wants to help others as much as he can, however he can. As far as music is concerned, he wants to pass on the things he’s learned to those who want to follow in his footsteps. That’s why he threw himself into scouting and training new talent for the WCOPA. It’s also why he’s friends with many of today’s up-and-comers. Whether they acknowledge it or not, the truth is he played a part—however small—in helping them become total performers, and he did so out of the goodness of his heart.

Jed with my mother Tinna Bonifacio. This was taken a few days before she had a hemorrhagic stroke in June 2016.
Speaking of which, Jed has a really big heart. He’s seen me through a lot of ups and downs. When my mother suffered a stroke, he was one of the first to visit her in the hospital. He even helped us financially—not just once, but twice. What’s more, he didn’t ask for anything in return. That should tell you a lot about what he’s really like away from the klieg lights.

Another thing I want the public to know about Jed is that although he has been hurt many times before, he hasn’t allowed his pain to make him bitter or pessimistic, which I think is admirable. He has his own moments of weakness too, but he bounces back from them easier and faster than I do. That’s why when I’m in a funk, he reminds me to not be such a negatron and to take it easy. 

Jed is an amazing person, which is why it saddens me that he doesn’t get enough recognition. He deserves more because he’s in a league of his own. Lea Salonga once called him “boses na tinubuan ng tao” and I agree. This country is lousy with talent, but I have yet to hear a Filipino singer whose voice has as much emotion, power and range as Jed’s. Even when Jed isn't feeling well—like when he has a sore throat—he’s still so much better than other singers who are perfectly healthy. 

He deserves a much bigger spotlight than he’s getting. Someday I hope to see him on Broadway or filming a movie musical in Hollywood. I don’t know if he’ll ever get that chance, but I do know that I’ll always be supporting him in my own little way, no matter what.


The old Julian can't come to the phone right now.

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