Leah Salterio

The true story behind Randy’s shades

April 11, 2024 Leah C. Salterio 82 views

RandyRandy1THERE are unbelievably 10.5 million searches for “Randy Santiago, no shades” on Tiktok, but no one can find one that will see him without wearing his trademark dark spectacles.

“When I’m with friends, behind the camera, I really remove my shades,” Randy stated. “When we’re just talking at home, I don’t wear one. Sooner or later, makikita niyo rin ang Tito Randy niyo without shades. But I will never really perform without shades.”

The year was 1983 when Randy started with Cicada Band and initially, he planned to merely put an eye patch on his damaged left eye.

“In case others still don’t know, kirat po ang isang mata ko,” Randy disclosed. “I was only in Grade 2 when I had surgery on my left eye. I had to stop schooling. But the cyst returned and got bigger, so I was operated on again.

“Three times ako nag Grade 2. Hindi ako kayang ma-bully ng classmates ko kasi, mas bata sila ng two years sa akin. Lumaki ako ng mas matanda ako sa classmates ko. Walang naka-bully sa akin noon.”

That early, Randy had the monicker Ratsky, that he took on when he started his entertainment career. The monicker even became the familiar name of the music lounge and restaurant that he put up in Quezon City, where it has since closed down.

In high school, Randy tried wearing lighter shades all the way through college until he started performing onstage.

“We tried the eye patch pero nahihirapan naman akong kunin ang microphone kasi hindi naman bulag ang dalawang mata ko. Ang vision ko, 20-10.”

At Tavern on the Square in Makati, Randy performed nightly with Cicada and he found it hard to move onstage with an eye patch.

“I told my bandmates, tanggalin na lang natin ito,” he recalled singing with an eye patch. “Nag shades na lang ako. That started in 1983.”

Through the years, Randy has staged signature concerts like Private Eyes, Naked Eyes, Power Eyes. Last year, Randy staged Eye LabU when he did a US tour – Michigan, Hawaii, San Francisco Bay Area.

He was set to stage the second part this year, Eye LabU, 2 until he was given the chance to do his club-themed one-night concert, EyeCon… The Club Experience, at the 3,500-seater PICC Plenary Hall on April 12.

“Marami talaga akong Eye titles,” disclosed Randy. “Nakatago lang sa bahay. I gave EyeCon for this concert.”

However, when Randy was cast in ABS-CBN’s primetime fantasy series, ‘La Luna Sangre,’ he was convinced by TV director Cathy Garcia-Sampana to remove his shades and show his eyes.

Randy’s shades have become an asset for him. He has yet to appear in another teleserye. Although many have been convincing him to do another one again.

“Paano naman ako magte-teleserye, I am always wearing shades,” Randy lamented. “Hindi na pwede. Sitcom pwede, but teleserye, hindi bagay. Hayaan na lang natin si Rowell and Raymart to act on teleseryes.”

“Bakit nabuhay ang Hawi Boys – Dennis Padilla, Jong Cuenco, Chinkee Tan? Ang dami kasing gustong dumukot ng shades ko. Gusto nilang makita ang mata ko.”

To date, Randy has amassed hundreds of shades. The older ones were displayed at Ratsky’s before. His shades made him iconic. That became his signature get-up.

“I have sponsors who gave me shades by the bulk,” he granted. “The others were given to me as gifts.”

Pops Fernandez leads the stellar line-up of Randy’s guest artists in EyeCon. Rachel Alejandro, Gindo Padilla, Nina and Juan Miguel Salvador are also in the line-up.

Joining EyeCon are JM Yosures, grand champion of Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 4, Lyka Estrella is Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 6 champion, while Jezza Quiogue, third placer from the same season, will also perform. Khimo is Idol Philippines Season 2 grand winner.

Marielle Montellano and JM de la Cerna are winners of Tawag ng Tanghalan Duets. Anne, Elle, Denise and Dain are collectively known as the all-girl quartet and P-pop group, Calista.