Singer-songwriter Bamboo Manalac admitted he is enjoying his stint as a judge on The Voice of the Philippines. The 35-year-old singer said he is still getting used to doing more than just performing on stage. “I'm not fully adjusted with the schedule. These people work a lot (laughs). It’s a lot of long hours which I have to get used to. Hindi pa ako masyado nakaka-adjust pero I’m enjoying myself the whole time. I just like the environment, the people, just working with different people every week, different arranger, musical director, singer, every week iba kasama ko so I’m enjoying that aspect of it eh. I’ve been doing this for a while so just to get something fresh for me, it’s refreshing, it’s a new day,” he shared.
Bamboo admitted he has definitely changed as a person after starting out as a vocalist for Rivermaya in 1993. “I don’t think I’ve grown as an artist, I think I’ve grown as a person. It’s the bigger thing. Like fine wine I’ve matured and I feel more at home with what I do, more accepting of what I do now. Dati I was reluctant, I would always try to pull away. But then going away from the band, being on my own without having a wall and just being out there on your own and having no one to hide behind, that’s changed a lot of things also. As an artist I’ve grown leaps and bounds because I’ve worked with lots of singers, songwriters and arrangers, and musical directors so that’s helped and informed me a lot in a way. It’s great and I’m happy to be where I’m at today doing what I’m doing,” he explained.
The Voice of the Philippines judge said he is happy to feel more connected to his fans especially through his social media account on Twitter. “I think I’ve always been a nice guy. I’ve never been like an ass to be honest. There was never that avenue to have a direct line with a single tweet. I’m the one who tweets on @bamboomusiclive. I do it personally. I respond personally. I like and enjoy that, the immediate response. It’s funny sometimes and I get pictures which are very funny also,” he said.
He is set to perform with Yeng Constantino at the Araneta Coliseum on August 17 in a concert entitled BY Request. “Yeng is an original soul. When we played that song ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ on ASAP, you can really feel us pushing each other and really figuring out the arrangement of the song and it’s a duet but it doesn’t sound separate,” he recalled. Bamboo said the show won't just feature his usual songs. “No, no that would bore me then. The whole point for myself is to have fun also so if they gave me a pop song or an R&B song, ang gagawin ko is I’m going to make it my own. Like kung 'Call Me Maybe' it better be specific yung arrangement nila. For those type of songs I’ll say maybe, big question mark. It sort of has to be within my taste gamut pa din, andun pa rin sa mundo na pinapakinggan ko pa rin. I want to be fresh. That’s the goal for the whole thing. Let’s see what happens. It’s a lot of work,” he revealed.
When he's not focused on work, Bamboo said he tries to pursue his other interests. “That’s a hard question because I’m always in music, whether I’m listening to something or playing the guitar. But if I’m not I’ll be reading a book at home or watching a film or TV show. These days TV shows are great. I watch Game of Thrones. I do stuff like that because it’s hard to sort of find my time. It’s such a busy world so when I do find time I try to find my space,” he shared.
Bamboo said that aside from sports, he is more of a homebody. “I pick up a book, watch TV and just stay home, maybe go here or there, out of the Philippines or out of town. I do sports, I play soccer and I play basketball. I stopped playing basketball for a while but soccer is really my first sport. Before all this, that’s what I wanted to be,” he added.