Culture

Paolo Valenciano Reimagines the Meaning of Success

The young events director lives up to his famous last name by going down his own path.
Paolo Valenciano Reimagines the Meaning of Success
Photo by Shaira Luna.

Paolo Valenciano has had huge expectations thrust upon him—expectations that are synonymous with his last name. As the eldest son of Gary Valenciano, he has a legacy to live up to: a name that’s recognizable by its initials alone, and the legacy of one of the greatest performers in local show business. The pressure fell upon Paolo’s shoulders early on, he admits, and it influenced his pursuits when he started to build his own career.

“I feel like I got into so many fields in the entertainment industry,” says Paolo. “I started in theater, I got into music, I took up hosting, I got into acting, I did stage management—everything.”

But he eventually realized that these initial endeavors were not exactly what he was looking for. “I was terrible at everything,” he recalls, laughing now in retrospect. And while there was certainly a struggle, he does note that it eventually led him down the right path. “I kept doing all these things, until I was 27, 28 years old, and I was going through an existential crisis, trying to figure out who I was,” he says. “Then I found my calling.”

That calling came through from another icon of show business, Jericho Rosales, who took a chance and asked Paolo to direct one of his first concerts. This put the young Valenciano on a path he would continue to take and prioritize for years. “It was through him that I started to figure out how to use all these skills, the experience of trying to learn these skills, to put together [a show].”

Today, Paolo is an award-winning concerts and events director, who’s helmed shows for acts like Bamboo, Toni Gonzaga, Sarah Geronimo, Sandara Park, Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, and of course, Gary V. He is in control of arena-scale events and music festivals, and has been recognized internationally for his work. He’s currently working on a tribute concert for the maestro Ryan Cayabyab, and on the concert tour of IV of Spades. He’s grown to become one of the most dynamic live directors in the local industry, and he says he owes it all to the failures he had to weather before he even started directing.

“I feel like my exposure to all these different things gave me an advantage when I would work on events and concerts, because it opened my eyes and changed my perspective when it came to working on concepts,” he says, explaining that his past experiences have also taught him how to prioritize. “Because I took up hosting, I know how to handle a host. Because I performed on stage, I know what performers’ issues are, what their problems are. Because I took up literature in college, it’s easy for me to communicate with my scriptwriter.”

The diversity of Paolo’s experience as a performer-of-all-trades paid dividends when he started taking the lead and becoming in control of the shows he directed. “I [used to live] with a lot of regret because of all the things that I tried to accomplish and I failed at. But it was only in recent years that I realized that it gave me the edge that I think I have over other directors.”

But even as he’s found his own stride, Paolo admits that he still works to live up to his last name. “I feel like a part of me is trying to protect the legacy of my father. There are ridiculous expectations of my family,” he says, thinking back to the times when he tried his hand as a performer. “I didn’t get the talent of singing, dancing. I didn’t get the height!” he laughs. “But the best thing I can do is that we maintain a certain standard in everything that we do.”

Paolo with his wife, Sam, plus Smart Communications Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan at the Smart Signature launch

Paolo’s story is a testament to the value of being empowered to reimagine your own choices, to steer your own career, and to break free from expectations and preconceptions. He fuels his aspirations with a postpaid plan that empowers him with the same kind of freedom. Because his work as a director has made Paolo even busier than before, he needs round-the-clock connectivity that can help him with fast-paced decision-making. He’s hooked to a Smart Signature Plan perfect for his needs and has helped him live a worry-free lifestyle.

Smart Signature Plans was recently launched at an exclusive event graced by Smart Postpaid VIP subscribers and celebrities at The Fifth at Rockwell, where Paolo was named as one of its ambassadors, along with Erwan Heussaff and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

Learn more about Smart Signature Plans from this website and catch the highlights of the recent exclusive launch event of Smart Signature by following @ReimaginePh on Instagram or by following this link.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Smart Communications.
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