Edgardo José Martín Santiago Valenciano, better known as simply Gary Valenciano (shortened to Gary V.), is a Filipino musician, composer, actor, producer, and gospel singer who is best known for many songs, especially those that became theme songs for movies. His energetic dance moves also garnered him the nickname "Mr. Pure Energy."
Born in the suburb of Santa Mesa in Manila on August 6, 1964, he is the sixth of Vicente Valenciano and Grimilda Santiago Ortiz’s seven children. Santiago Ortiz is a Puerto Rican woman of Italian descent who became a popular opera singer in Manila during the 1960s, and her love for music passed down to her son, Gary. He took his primary and secondary studies in La Salle Greenhills. It was during his high school days, while being on a brief stint the musical group Kundirana, that he devoted himself to music.
First Filipino to be appointed UNICEF's Ambassador of Goodwill for the Philippines on December 1998.
He has appeared several commercials, sometimes with best friend Martin Nievera.
He has also starred in twelve movies, appearing beside Vilma Santos and Lorna Tolentino to name a few. He was even awarded for such roles.
He was also involved in musical theater, playing the lead role in Joseph the Dreamer.
He was diagnosed with type I diabetes mellitus when he was 14 years old , and reports about his diabetes attacks, especially those that occur while on tour, usually worry fans, friends, and family. But his condition is said to have "put things into perspective."
His new blog at www.lifeanddiabetes.com.ph, launched in July 2009, is about his and his wife's experiences with diabetes, hoping to create more awareness, inspire diabetics and also help their loved ones cope with the disease.
Like Gary himself, his mother is also diabetic.
He appeared in the 41st "Kōhaku Utagassen," the Japanese New Year's Eve Red-and-White Song Festival, a prestigious event where elite musicians are invited to go in teams to showcase their talents to the world and battle it out with endurance and song.
His favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan.
His favorite past time is cycling.
Gary's dad, Vic Valenciano, had recently published a photographic and biographical book simply entitled, "Gary Valenciano." The book is 175 pages of pictures and excerpts from cover to cover. Gary's favorite picture in the book was when he was flying a kite, because it was of a memory of when his father had made him a second kite to take the place of a previous kite he tried to fly, but got snagged in a tree. Gary says, the photo is symbolic because it shows that if at first you don't succeed, you have to keep trying, but don't do it on your own. Instead, be with the ones who means the most to you, in this case, Gary was happy that he succeeded with his father.
Gary's first T.V. commercial was for a pop product named "Fresh Gusto," a refreshing cola drink.
He first appeared as a solo in a television show called The Pilita and Jackie Show in 1982, but he was finally noticed after his performances in the TV shows Germspesyal and Penthouse Live. He had his first solo concert, in April 1984, inside the jam-packed Araneta Coliseum. He was soon to make 21 albums, three of them released internationally, including a Christian inspired album called Out in the Dark.
He is married to María Anna Elizabeth "Angeli" Evangelista Pangilinan, with whom he has three children: Juan Paolo Martín, José Angelo Gabriel, and Kristina María Mikaela.
He was one of the 2001 TOYM Awardees for Contemporary Music.