If there was one big revelation in the primetime fantasy series Imortal, it had to be Rico Blanco and his portrayal of antihero Lucas Teodoro.
His television acting debut was nothing short of a baptism of fire, but Rico impressed a lot of people as he held his own against the likes of Angel Locsin, John Lloyd Cruz and a cast of very talented artists. His transformation from a once timid character to a heartless monster in the end wasn’t brought about by the heavy prosthetics but by an actor who truly understood his persona’s emotional journey.
But the transformation of Blanco did not end with the series finale. The singer-song writer says his first foray in TV not only made him appreciate our local shows, it also taught him a lot of valuable lessons in dealing with people.
“The Imortal experience was very humbling, he began. “For one, I think I’ve become way more patient than I could have ever imagined,” said the pop-rock icon during a lunch meeting with the press at the Mango Tree Bistro at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.
The conference coincided with the release of the special limited edition of his “Your Universe” album.
“Before, I couldn’t even stand waiting for 30 minutes,” he recalled. “But after the experience of having to endure four to six hours of putting on those prosthetics– and just thinking of how much longer the rest of the crew has to stay after each shooting day—it somehow changed my perspective.”
Blanco says he also learned to appreciate the efforts of local production companies in creating TV shows.
“Most of us with no idea of what its like to work on TV are often quick to judge. But after working on this project, I can say for a fact that we have really talented actors, directors and production crews. We are a third world country and we don’t have economies of sale and the fact that we are trying to produce one show after another with Filipino content and putting bits and pieces of our culture in these shows, I think that is very comendable. Now when I see something on TV, I now think twice before judging it.
Does he now consider himself more of an actor than musician?
“No. I think I am still pretty much who I am– the kind of person who just wants to try different things all the time.”
But when one of the television reporters commended him for his “critically-acclaimed” performce in Imortal, Blanco appeared to have been floored by the remark.
“Well that’s… wow! It is actually the first time I heard that—”critically.” Blanco said. “Well if ever that’s true then that’s a “first” because I don’t think I was ever critically acclaimed for my music.”
It may seem strange coming from one of the few remaining survivors of the rock band resurgence in the 90’s and continued to be successful even after leaving his band Rivermaya.
He has in fact recorded, written and produced more local and regional number one hits than any other musician since 1994; and has sold over a million albums in the Philippines and Southeast Asia during the period.
When he released his album in other Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong his single “Neon Lights”, quickly gained the no. 1 spot in the Hong Kong charts beating other artists such as Justin Bieber, Wonder Girls and Mika.
To chronicle Rico’s successful career in the last couple of years, Warner Music Philippines releases a two-CD limited edition of Rico’s 1st album Your Universe. The first disc has the original release of the album while disc two has a fresh lineup of six tracks that highlights his newest song “Kahit Walang Sabihin,” the song from the hit teleserye “Imortal.” The other tracks are from Rico’s various projects – “Bangon” was written for the victims of Ondoy, but it’s still being played on the radio and it’s still relevant as it was when it was first released, speaking to all victims of natural calamities in the country. “China in Me” is one of the songs included in the Southeast Asian release of the album along with the chart-topper “Neon Lights” and its Funk Avy remix, which debuted at No. 1 in Hong Kong’s top radio chart, Music Bus Hong Kong, and an acoustic version of one of his biggest hits “Your Universe.”
SESAME STREET KID
While taking a much deserved vacation from both singing and acting, Rico says he will be continuing his work as a Sesame Street ambassador.
A self confessed Sesame Street Kid, Rico says the project came about as he expressed his desire to share the values and experiences he had from the classic television show.
Rico says he was thrilled at the opportunity to become the face and voice of the local campaign .
As a part of the “Sesame Street Kid Ako” project, Rico will be working on rock versions of two classic Sesame Street songs –“Lonely N” (Lowercase N song) and “The Ladybug’s Picnic” which he will be performing at mall concert series.
His favorite Sesame Street Character?
“Oscar the Grouch,” he says. “Because I am a lot like him in the morning,” he joked. “He’s funny, but in a way he teaches us how to deal with grumpy people. His seemingly bottomless trashcan/house on the other hand is such a wonderful device for stirring the imagination and creative thinking. You only hear sounds and that makes you think about just how much stuff he has inside that can of his.”
Grab a copy of the limited edition 2CD version of “Your Universe + Kahit Walang Sabihin” from your favorite record bars nationwide. Text KWS to 5677 to get “Kahit Walang Sabihin” on your mobile phones or text RICO to 5677 to get hits from his album.