DIRECTLINE By Boy Abunda (Photo - Hajji Alejandro: ĎI donít dwell on negative things that happen in lifeí)

Hajji Alejandro plays the role of Zoser, Chief Minister of Egypt in the Tim Rice/Elton John Broadway musical Aida. Zoser is the father of Radames who will stop at nothing to assure his sonís rise to the throne. Hajji is one of the voices that defined OPM. Among his hits are Nakapagtataka and Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika. In Aida, he goes on stage with his daughter Rachel who plays a very important role as Princess Amneris.

In the title role of Aida is Ima Castro. Aida runs at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza from June 24 to July 10. For show buying, fundraising opportunities and tickets, call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078. For news and updates, follow AidaofManila on Twitter. Read on.

What other talent would you like to have aside from music and acting and why?

Since I was a kid I have always dreamed of becoming a super athlete. It could be any sport as long as I can excel in it; I guess it has to do with my competitive nature and the sheer joy of winning in whatever it is youíre good at.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about being a singer?

The best part to being a singer are the many perks and VIP treatments one gets to enjoy as a celebrity. My concerts have taken me to the most beautiful places in the world. Itís pretty much like having an all-expenses-paid vacation and getting paid for it.

Are you afraid of getting old?

I have long accepted the reality that everyone grows old and dies. But what I would like is to gracefully surrender my youth. Thatís why Iím very conscious about my heath. I try to live an active lifestyle but at the same time go about things in moderation. In other words, a stress-free life.

How well do you understand women?

With all the relationships Iíve had, I confess that to this day, women have remained a mystery to me. Thatís probably what keeps it interesting. Itís an endless process of trying to understand them.

What childish thing do you still do as an adult?

I still love watching cartoons and playing video games.

How do you pray?

Every night before I sleep, I try to recall everything that happened during the day and thank God for all of them. First of all for keeping my family safe and in good health. For all the blessings as well as, at times, some painful lessons I have to learn that day to help me become a better person. Fully aware that my days are numbered, I constantly ask for wisdom and guidance that I may be able to fulfill everything He has pre-destined me to do in my lifetime for His greater glory.

If you were a song what would its title be?

Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika

What was the best thing you did for love? The worst? Why?

When Iím in love, I give it my all. My girl becomes the center of my universe. The worst thing is, since no relationship is perfect, at times my foolish pride gets in the way and I just have to let her go.

What color describes your life? Why?

Purple would best describe my life. As you know it is a combination of red and blue that makes this color. Red because itís bright and colorful, passionate especially when it comes to my music and my love life. And blue because Iíve had my share of failures and painful experiences that one might refer to as the blues. Incidentally, I was a Red Lion in high school and a Blue Eagle in college.

How would you describe your state of mind?

I would like to think that I am a very positive person. I always look at the bright side of any given situation. I donít dwell on negative things that happen in life.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is losing my voice.

What makes you laugh?

A lot of things make me laugh: my dogís antics, a funny line in a movie or play, slapstick comedy, stand-up comedy, you name it. Sometimes I even laugh at my own stupidity.

Who are your favorite singers of all time?

Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Marvin Gay, Lionel Ritchie, Peabo Bryson, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra.

What is the most romantic place on earth for you and why?

Vienna, Austria in May is the most romantic place I have been to. Flowers are in full bloom that time of year. Soft music, candlelight dinner and a bottle of red vintage wine are all you need to complete the picture.

The best gift you have ever received from a loved one?

On my 50th birthday, my son Ali gave me a huge painting for my living room. He painted a 1978 portrait of me singing at the Folk Arts Theater when I won the Grand Prize at the first Metropop. The best gift ever!

What role would you not play?

I will not play Dyesebel... hahaha! Kidding aside, Iím open to any role as long as it has great substance and challenging enough.

If you were a tree, what would you be? Why?

Iíd probably be a cypress because itís always fresh and evergreen.

What is your philosophy in life?

Live life to the fullest but be mindful of your creator.

Your biggest regret?

My Dad died at 45. I should have spent more time with him.

If you were to confess only one sin to God, what would it be and why?

I would confess the sin of pride because it has cost me dearly with my past relationships.

If you were a wild flower, what would you be and why?

Iíd probably be a makahiya flower because I can be very sensitive at times.

If you were a fictional character, who would you be? Why?

Iíve always wanted to fly so I choose Superman.

Where do you think you would go? Heaven or hell? Why?

I donít know about heaven or hell but I do know that I will return to my Creator when I die.

Who is the most beautiful person in the world and why?

For me the most beautiful person in the world is my Mom.

Write your epitaph?

Here lies the original kilabot ng mga kolehiyala. Kay ganda ng kanyang musika.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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