In “Heal,” the coming second part of Julie Anne San Jose’s musical special, “Limitless,” the singer delivered what could end up as her career’s most “favorite performance ever.”
On a sandbar in Siquijor province, Julie Anne, wearing a red dress, sits down at an upright piano and plays one of her original songs as the sun sets behind her.
“I have never imagined myself performing my own compositions on the piano, on a sandbar. And everything was just captured beautifully. After the take, the shots were shown to me and they were so serene,” she said in a recent video conference for the documentary-inspired trilogy.
But the performance wasn’t without challenges. As with most outdoor shoots, the production team—led by creative director Paolo Valenciano and musical director Myke Salomon—had to contend with the elements and unpredictable weather.
“It was raining when the team got there and there was always a chance that it would, especially in the mornings. We had to wait all the time and come up with different plans or solutions to make sure the shoot pushed through no matter what,” Julie Anne told the Inquirer.
The piano had to be carried to the sandbar by around 10 people. Once there, they had to stay on their toes in case of a high tide and work fast to make sure they finish before the light fades.
“We were all praying. It was raining, the tides were changing. But on our final day, everything just fell into place and went well. The whole scenery was captured and it turned out beautiful. We had to go through various challenges, but it was all worth our hard work, effort and lack of sleep.”
If the first part of “Limitless”—set in the mountain towns of Mindanao—was stripped down and heartfelt, the Visayas trip is a more fun and energetic affair. “It’s like a celebration … and a little bit mysterious,” said the Kapuso star, who also immersed herself in the communities and took part in some of the locals’ customs.
“I did activities there and experienced different things for the first time,” she said. “But I don’t want to spoil anything!”
Time for rest
For the longest time, Julie Anne had been preoccupied with show biz, work and other personal matters. But doing “Limitless” gave her the opportunity to “rest and loosen up.”
“It was nice being surrounded by water, because it can symbolize healing and cleansing,” she said, adding that like most people, she’s in the process of healing.
“There are things in life without resolutions; things that just pass you by. And I have many such experiences,” she said. “Healing can take time. But the important thing is that you’re getting by and acknowledging the challenges. You can’t rush yourself and insist that you’re OK. We should start by recognizing our circumstances. Then you have to take control.”
“That’s why the first part is titled, ‘Breathe.’ First we try to breathe, pause and then try to heal,” she added.
“Heal,” which will be streamed via GMA Synergy on Nov. 20, also features two special guests, Rayver Cruz and “The Clash” 3 champion Jessica Villarubin. (Visit www.gmanetwork.com/synergy for more info.)
“It’s overwhelming because I didn’t know we would be able to do a project like this. We just wanted to do high quality content. There was risk, but also excitement. But we didn’t expect that it would turn out this well,” she said.
More than a showcase of quaint towns and scenic landscapes around the country, “Limitless” also delves into Julie Anne’s self-discovery journey, as a person and an artist. “I’m really proud because I got to sing my own songs and showcase my other skills. The show also allows us to appreciate the beauty of the Philippines,” she said.
“It allowed me to find myself and discover new things about myself,” the 27-year-old artist said. “It was all memorable and one for the books.” INQ
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