ORIGINAL Pilipino Music icon Joey Albert has admitted that she is afraid to make new recordings these days, saying that they might not become as popular as the ones she did in the 1980s.
“Honestly pag sinasabi nilang mag-record ako ng bagong songs, natatakot ako. How do I beat my own record? How do I duplicate a better song? How does that happen?” said Albert, during an interview in “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” aired over GMA-7.
Albert is in the country for a Valentine show entitled “Celebrate Love” with American balladeer Dennis Lambert at The Theater Solaire Resort and Casino on Feb. 14, 2016.
The “Tell Me” songstress is now based in Vancouver, Canada with her family. She has two daughters. “It’s a very peaceful life.”
These days she is also celebrating love after she battled cancer three times. In 1995 Joey decided to leave local showbiz, having been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
“It was my first cancer that propelled me to make a decision and make a choice between career or children. I told myself if the cancer returned and I didn’t survive, I would have missed the opportunity to raise my children. They are only young once. I made a painful decision,” Albert said.
“Naisip ko naman tutal nakaranas na ako ng matagumpay na awit, so okay na. Malungkot s’yempe kasi ang saya-saya ng buhay dito but there are certain choices you have to make because they are the right thing to do,” she added.
“Nami-miss ko rin ang showbiz. When I was still in Manila making the decision, everybody said it was a noble decision. Pagdating na sa Canada, parang somebody just shut the lights off. The stage was so dark and I had to start all over again with a new life,” Albert said.
In 2003, Albert suffered another kind of cancer. This time it’s colon cancer. After a series of operation and chemotherapy, the doctors said that the cancer was in remission or not active. Last year, the cancer recurred and became colorectal cancer. Following another round of operation and chemotherapy, it was gone.
Despite the three cases of cancer, Albert said that she never questioned God why it happened to her.
“Ninety-percent ng mga Albert either nagkasakit or namatay ng colon cancer. I’ve learned not to ask. Isinurender ko na lang tapos fight as much as you can. Kung anong pwede mong labanan, labanan mo. Kung anong hindi mo pwedeng labanan tanggapin mo. Wala naman tayong ibang magawa. This is where we have to believe in the grace of God. Kasi there’s something beyond our control na He takes over. This is my third cancer parang nakakapagtaka rin na ako pinili na bigyan ng lakas or grace,” Albert added. “All I know is nakaranas ako grace dahil umasa ako sa Kanya.”
In giving unsolicited advice for healthy living, Albert said: “Iwasan ang hormones, oily food and sugar. Then exercise. Pero hindi ako nakatiis, bumili ako ng chicharon.”
Music is essence of being
Albert admitted that she really misses singing that’s why she accepted engagements in US and Canada.
“A lot of Filipinos want to hear OPM, so madalas kumakanta rin ako doon. So far every year, nakakauwi pa rin ko dito for Valetine shows and other shows sa Canada. Pag nawala siguro ’yung pagkanta ko, doon lalo akong magkakasakit,” she said.
“When I sing, I know I’m living my essence. Pag kumakanta ako, nakakalimutan kong lahat ng problema ko. Music is my essence of being,” Albert added.
Albert said that she couldn’t ask for more now that her songs such as “Iisa Pa Lamang,” “I Remember The Boy,” “Points of View,” “A Million Miles Away,” among others, are on the playlist of new-generation music lovers.
“It’s always in the back of my head na gusto ko lamang talaga pag nagka-anak ako, mamatay man ako, may mga awit akong masasabi nila ‘mommy ko ‘yun.’ I don’t know. I am always so aware of that immortality, leaving something behind. I am always aware of that,” she said.
An alumna of Assumption College San Lorenzo, Albert began her showbiz career when she won the Dream Girl Filipina contest on the television show called “The Party” hosted by Ariel Ureta.
Albert then became a member of the New Minstrels show band. She later went solo and recorded her first successful single called “Over and Over” in 1984. The rest is history.