|The Cascades. The original.
QUEENS, New York. Friday night (December 14,
2007) at the La Guardia Community College Performing Arts Center in Queens,
New York the Cascades' performance was superb. It was one magical night of
mesmerizing music as they sang their originals. The Cascades that night set
forth a realization of how they became legends. That night at the La Guardia
Community College the crowd went wild just to see the legendary quartet onstage.
The crowd, so pleased, sang and danced with the legends.
The show began appropriately in the cold night
but the blazing entrance of the Phenomenal Diva; Jessa Zaragoza was still
able to deliver an unforgettable performance for her fans throwing a disco
sound. Justified by her repertoire, she does have an old soul that blends
with music of the yesteryears. She did a Shirley Bassey medley (Great Spender
and Diamonds Are Forever), as well as songs popularized by Aretha Franklin
like (You make me feel like a) Natural Woman, Chain of Fools and Respect.
After giving an amazing performance she suggested that she wanted to bring
herself closer to her audience, which she did by going (down) into the crowd
singing. It was a photo-op that the crowd took advantage of. The night won't
be complete without her singing her Tagalog hit "Bakit Pa" and a song popularized
by Sharon Cuneta - "Sana'y Wala Ng Wakas." Her act ended an hour and the
audience was asking for more.
And when the Cascades took the stage, the
crowd was in frenzy and mesmerized because they really want to see them in
the flesh. Others thought that they died in a plane crash (a long time ago),
but there they are - still alive performing their originals that spanned
their long time career of which they emphasized their strengths and are still
The venue was the perfect place for the Cascades
because it provides an intimate setting for them to connect with their screaming
fans. They started their set with the popular songs like "My First Day Alone,"
"Punch and Judy," "Dreamin'," "Shy Girl," "Lucky Guy," "Was I Dreamin'" "I
Wanna Be Your Lover," "There's A Reason." And the most popular of them all
which they nailed was "Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain." The audience
knew every song they threw. It's like going back to that old memory lane
of an era where their songs were being played in juke box and on the radio
- strikes straight into your senses and the crowd seems like stamping every
song to be theirs belonging in their era. Their latest original "All The
Way to Yesterday," which reminds them of their good old days, was great.
The Cascades did cover songs of the seventies, like Gabe's rendition of Tom
Jones' "It's Not Unusual" and Tony Grasso's "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy
Ray Cyrus, both covers made everybody singing and waving their hands to their
delight. Charles penned a song (Look At You Now) and was rendered beautifully
by John. They talked to their audience and you won't even notice that you're
singing and dancing with them. Like after the most applauded performance
"The Last Leaf", the Cascades asked the crowd to join them on the stage.
And they did, some familiar faces (I knew) didn't care - went up the stage
and warmed and fired up the screaming crowd.
They invited the audience to a song guessing.
To their surprised, the audience did their homework. They knew all the answers
and sang along with them.
Kudos to the producers who gave a good concert
The concert has been a production of UAI headed
by Baby Lantin with Linda Amodia and Ben Santos of United Home Care, which
is one of the sponsors together with Miracle Entertainment, Perlas Ng Silangan,
DNZ Travel, Daniel's Financial Services, Prime Cargo and Manny Quintal Law
Kapuso Fever Rocks Las
by Edith Montelibano
Nevada. About 4,000 fans rocked the Sport Center of Las Vegas on December
2 to witness the much-anticipated live appearance of "Marimar" stars
Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. "Crush ng bayan"
Dingdong Dantes swooned and swayed to his own rendition of "Ricky
Martin Medley" while his leading lady Marian Rivera sang the
"Marimar" theme song while doing a Bella-style samba in a sizzling
red dress during the entertainment extravaganza that was
Dingdong followed up his first song with an
"Eraserheads Medley" before introducing his "Marimar" love
interest, Marian Rivera, who walked onstage to deafening audience
applause. Marian's diminutive yet alluring and svelte-bodied frame elicited
ooh's and aah's from the mesmerized crowd.
After Marian's second song "Para Sa
Akin," the crowd went even wilder when she
called Dingdong back and re-introduced him as "the
love of Marimar's life." Together, the pair was a sight to behold and
their onstage presence electrified the arena.
The eager crowd entreated the couple to smooch
by chanting, "Kiss! Kiss!" and the on-screen lovers obliged by giving each
other sweet pecks as the audience wildly applauded and gamely counted to
three. The two were showered with gifts from the audience and both shook
hands with adoring front row aficionados.
Dingdong Dantes, actor/host/model/director,
and the stunningly beautiful Marian Rivera are the lead couple on
"Marimar," GMA Network's primetime weeknight telenovela which, after
premiering in August, has since rocketed to a 49.5 percent Mega Manila rating
on November 16th, its highest ever. Having already surpassed the original
Mexican version in the ratings department, the updated version is very well
poised to join the elite circle of shows that have reached the 50% mark.
Interestingly, TV viewership of "Marimar" remains high even with an astronomical
number of online fans viewing unofficial internet postings of the series
with some episodes logging over a quarter-of-a-million hits.
Much of the excitement about
"Kapuso Fever" in Las Vegas was generated
not only through announcements on GMA Pinoy TV and print media but
also through online interaction by thousands of "Marimar" followers
all over the globe. Fans came from as far as the East Coast and the Pacific
Northwest to witness the one-of-a-kind Kapuso event. Aside from the hundreds
of out-of-towners who flocked to the event, Marian Rivera fans (who call
themselves "Marianettes") flew in all the way from Chicago, Tennessee,
Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, and Seattle.
In spite of the show's late start due to technical
delays, many were pleased to have been able to catch a real-life glimpse
of their beloved idols. Almost immediately after the event, several video
clips of "Kapuso Fever" were uploaded by
attendees to popular video sharing sites and are gaining hits by the thousands
Also on hand to entertain
"Kapuso Fever" attendees was Philippines'
Prince of R&B, JayR, whose well-applauded numbers included his
soulful rendition of a medley of Usher songs as well as his own first Tagalog
hit, "Bakit Pa Ba," which the
audience readily recognized and gleefully sang along with.
The Marian and Dingdong tandem was a tough act to follow but JayR
held his ground with the audience as he took over the stage upon the
"Marimar" stars' exit.
Ciara Sotto, former Eat Bulaga
co-host and now star of the upcoming Las Vegas revue, "Fever The
Musical," was engaging in her drop-dead gorgeous new look. She thrilled
the audience with her version of Alicia Keys' "No One" followed by
a medley of Tagalog Christmas songs, which not only brought some members
of the audience to tears but was also a perfect finale to
Before her spot number,
Ciara first performed with her "Fever" co-stars Karlyn Bay,
Rizza Navales, Autumn Belanger, Harmony Moniz and Emily
Istre. The mini-skirted ladies were introduced via live-cam video which
captured their arrival straight from a stretch limousine right outside the
venue. The camera followed the glitzy girls as they sexily strutted on to
the stage for a song-and-dance number with three leather-clad male backup
dancers to the tune of J.Lo's Latin-beat hit "Let's Get Loud," --
definitely an indication that "Fever the Musical" is one not-to-be-missed
LasVegas show piece.
Hosting chores were shared by Paco
Arespacochaga, Joseph Gelito, Jae Buensuceso and guest-host
San Francisco-based Jae Buensuceso
was poised and outstanding in a glittery, black
sleeveless number with stylish knee-high black boots,
as she displayed her awe-inspiring Pinoy Pop Superstar
championship-worthy singing vocals. Providing comic relief was LA native
Joseph Gelito who, after keeping the audience in stitches with his
antics, outdid himself with a powerful no-nonsense rendition of a Broadway
Hits medley followed by "And I Am Telling You" from
Paco Arespacochaga, who is first and
foremost a musician, showed his new-found hosting talent as a witty and
well-spoken emcee. He later joined his band, the Introvoys, and performed
select songs from their latest album "New Beginnings." Paco is the
drummer of the group with Jonathan Buencamino (vocals), Steve
Guadiz (guitar), Chot Ulep (bass), and JJ Buencamino
Not to be outdone was R&B band South
Border which featured Duncan Ramos on vocals and veteran members
Butch Victoriano, Paul Benitez and Tata Balane. It was
an absolute treat for the audience to hear the group's special rendition
of one of their original monster hits entitled "Rainbow."
"Kapuso Fever" entertainment lineup were
Las Vegas-based hip-hop Meccamee Dancers, the distinguished
Filipiniana Dance Troupe of Las Vegas, and the sisters trio,
ACTS. Gerald Gosioco from Gawad Kalinga gave a haunting
rendition of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," against moving GK images
Gawad Kalinga and the NaFFAA Southern
Nevada Chapter were co-presentors of GMA Pinoy TV
"Kapuso Fever" which was line produced by
Creative Concepts International and directed by Jet Montelibano.
major sponsors include Metrobank, Avida Land, Mamasita's
Sauces & Mixes, and
Xoom.com. Participating Sponsors
were A&A Travel (which raffled off 2 roundtrip tickets to Europe
and 2 roundtrip tickets anywhere in the U.S.), Aqua Imaging &
Design, Monet Salon, LGB Jewelry, Globe Express
International, Seafood City, Café Moda, Aloha
Kitchen. Media sponsors were Asian Journal, Philippine News,
Valley Balita, Philippine Times, Nevada Examiner,
Planet Philippines, Asian American Times, Asian-American
For post-event information, visit
send an email to
Pops on a sentimental journey without
by Ibarra C. Mateo, R.N.
Philippine Star, December 15, 2007
A milestone such as an anniversary, especially
a silver one, is generally expected to be a joyous occasion.
Midway in the Pops Fernandez Divalicious concert
billed as Celebrating 25 Years of Pops: The Concert Queen Revealed,
one, however, gets an uneasy feeling that the unspoken revelation was that
the concert queen has metamorphosed into the crying
queen. Is she still in love with her former husband despite their leading
separate lives now?
As we exited, a male audience member in his
30s clasping the left hand of his girlfriend with his right said:
Masyadong maraming pasaring kay Martin. (There were far too many allusions
to Martin.) Pops must learn to move on gracefully and quietly. This
reviewers constant concert companion matter-of-factly commented: Ang
daming Eye-Mo!" (referring to the eye drop medication). Perhaps, the production
staff members were equally surprised by the profuse tears that Pops shed
during the concert, otherwise they would have prepared a box of tissues on
stand-by. A ready-supply of tissues might have prevented Pops from using
her body parts in wiping away her tears. Thankfully, audience seated in the
front row gave her tissues, from time to time.
Pops, in her opening spiel, had apologetically
warned her Araneta Coliseum audience: I promised I wont get
emotional. But its hard not to get emotional when you are celebrating
25 years. What she did not categorically declare about Martin became
the tender yet anguished under-current theme of the Dec. 8 concert. Pops
not even once mentioned the name of her former co-host in the highly-rated
show Penthouse Live! during the pre-telenovela era, although video clips
flashed on three giant screens showing their happy times together elicited
strong positive reaction from the audience. Jomari Yllana, Pops current
partner, gentlemanly smiled and endured the undue attention focused on him
as the camera panned on him repeatedly.
The warning by Pops came right after the
concerts first suite which was described in the program as the
concert highlights suite, a fairly shaky rendition of the songs
Telephone, Together Again, Believe, Street Beat and Jump. This was aggravated
by Pops poor lyrics pronunciation. Mercifully, Pops enunciation
of the lyrics improved greatly as the two-hour show progressed. The
concert highlights suite, however, was a visually-appealing one,
featuring Pops in an outfit reminiscent of the ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Movie
where she portrayed the role of the vampy villainess Queen Femina. Her female
back-up dancers appeared like Playboy bunnies with tails of colorful tulle
while the male ones wore gaudy bustier.
The party for Pops 25th anniversary,
labeled by her manager Arnold Vegafria as a fashion musical,
took off after this segment.
Stage director Rowell Santiago, who is likewise
marking his 25th year in the entertainment industry, cleverly provided time
for Pops to slide into various costumes/gowns by allowing a guest-singer
to render a song or two in between the suites before Pops joined her guest
in a particular segment. The parade of gorgeous models in between suites
also gave extra precious minutes to Pops to change costumes/gowns designed
by Dennis Celestial, Ito Curata, Randy Ortiz, Puey Quinones and Maxi Cinco,
among others. Save for the concert highlights suite, musical
director Homer Flores proved that he could still be relied upon. Choreography
was done by Georcel. The use of giant screens and the stage design, however,
was reminiscent of the recent Josh Groban concert at PICC.
In a poignant tribute, Pops performed Dito
in memory of her father, the late Eddie Fernandez. Before singing Dito and
before saying that the number was for her father, Pops announced while holding
back tears: This song is dedicated to a man, a very, very special man
who I wish was here. Hell be proud of me, prompting the audience
to shout in joy, mistakenly thinking that she was referring to Martin. The
erroneous idea immediately evaporated when video clips of a young, pre-enhanced
Pops and her father were suddenly implanted on the screens.
To keep the tension high and the guessing
whether Martin who also had a show simultaneously with Pops although
at a different venue would make a surprise appearance, Dito was followed
by the suite duets no more that presented songs such as Almost
Paradise, Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You, With You Im Born Again
and Maybe. These songs, lovingly described by Pops as the theme songs
of my life, were part of the Martin-Pops standards in the Penthouse
Live! directed by the exalted Fritz Ynfante.
In between singing lines of Tonight I Celebrate
My Love for You, Pops said Puede naman po palang kantahin nang mag-isa.
(It is possible to render this song alone.) After Almost Paradise,
Pops asked the audience: Okey pa ho ba tayo? (Are we still doing
fine?) These two lines further fueled the audience expectation that
somehow Martin would be able to lend his presence.
Then came With You Im Born Again, a
back-up singer who definitely sounded like Martin sang a few lines hidden
from the stage, prompting the audience to go wild until he showed his face
and body to prove the frenzied audience wrong. With a big smile, Pops kidded
the audience: Natakot kayo? Ako rin! (Were you anxious? I, too,
was.) Whoever thought of and executed this segment should be commended
highly. The audience just went for it.
Kuh Ledesma, in the most elegant gown of all
the gowns worn by the female singers in the concert, graced the stage with
Pops in the Motown suite (Stop in the Name of Love, Aint No Mountain
High Enough, Baby Love and Im Gonna Make You Love Me). Gary Valenciano
and Pops sang Youre My Everything. Their production number showed the
two in their excellent dancing forms.
Sharon Cuneta in a forgettable black
gown but made up for it by dripping with diamonds, even lending an earring
to Pops joined her in the Bacharach suite (Say A Little Prayer, Ill
Never Fall in Love Again, Make It Easy on Yourself and Thats What Friends
Are For). Rappers Jay-R and Kris Lawrence who sang Beautiful Liar and Beautiful
Girls and sons Ram and Robin held their ground against the veterans.
KAPUSO FEVER Dazzles Las
by Jush Andowitt
On this cold Sunday winter morning of December
2, 2007, all roads led to the Sports Center of Las Vegas for KAPUSO
FEVER, the first ever Entertainment Festival and Christmas Fair following
the successful entry of GMA Pinoy TV in the world's entertainment capital!
As early as 9:30
a.m., men, women, and children had started to line up by the entrance of
the Sports Center to join the KAPUSO FEVER celebration featuring Filipina
Marimar Marian Rivera and Pinoy Sergio Dingdong Dantes, the lead stars of
Marimar, the phenomenal and highest-rated primetime telenovela in the Philippines
today. The festival was a colourful, impressive, dazzling celebration of
culture and live entertainment which drew thousands of people from across
Guests during the half day festivities witnessed
the best in Filipino entertainment while they visited the different booths,
shopped at the Christmas "tiangge", enjoyed the sumptuous Filipino food,
took home the GMA Pinoy TV bag giveaways, Kapuso Abroad magazines, premium
items, and won the raffle prizes like the 41 gift bags filled with Mama Sita's
sauces and mixes, the two domestic round trip tickets and two round trip
tickets to Europe from the corporate partners, event sponsor, and local
Due to technical problems, the show started
late but it was definitely worth the wait.
The Sport Center vibrated with loud shrieks from
the audience when Dingdong got up on the stage, greeted the crowd, and rendered
these songs: Ricky Martin's Living La Vida Loca and She Bangs. Several thousand
fans clustered shoulder to shoulder, and endlessly cheered when Marian took
center stage, danced the trademark Marimar moves and sang the theme song
The audience ecstatically requested Dong to
kiss Marian and went rapturously crazy when the two stars obliged to their
fervent requests. They kissed twice since the audience would not settle just
for one. The crowd jubilantly cheered and applauded wildly as Marian and
Dong exchanged banter with each other ala Marimar and Sergio and gleefully
answered some questions thrown at them by the adoring crowd.
All throughout, Marian and Dong were simply
bursting with energy and élan, and undoubtedly, the undisputed loveteam
to beat in Philippine Television. The appearance of the two Marimar lead
stars was the most anticipated and applauded portion of the show.
time, the audience could care less if they waited hours just to see their
favorite TV couple on stage!
Marian and Dong also shared the stage with
Philippines' Prince of R&B JayR. He gave such a soulful rendition of
his first Filipino hit song "Bakit Pa Ba?" which had the crowd gaping in
awe and ardent fans screaming for more!
Aside from Marian, Dong, and JayR, singer-actress
and recording artist Ciara Sotto together with the cast of soon-to-be-launched
Las Vegas musical "Fever", 2007 Pinoy Pop Superstar North America champion
San Francisco-based Jae Buensuceso, Los Angeles native singer-comic Joseph
Gelito, Meccamee Dancers, ACTS with Ann, Christine and Timmy, Filipiniana
Dance Troupe of Las Vegas, Gawad Kalinga's Gerald Gosioco, R&B band South
Border with members Butch Victoriano, Paul Benitez and Tata Balane featuring
Duncan Ramos, and Introvoys with musician/drummer Paco Arespacochaga and
members Jonathan Buencamino (vocals), Steve Guadiz (guitar), Chot Ulep (bass),
and JJ Buencamino (keyboards), zealously took turns in entertaining the crowd.
The star-studded entertainment extravaganza
and Christmas Fair was delightedly hosted by Paco, Joseph, Jae, and Ciara.
KAPUSO FEVER, a dazzling and spectacular
celebration, was made more colourful by the involvement and in association
with Gawad Kalinga / ANCOP and NaFFAA Southern Nevada Chapter.
KAPUSO FEVER, directed by Jet Montelibano,
was presented by GMA Pinoy TV and line
produced by Creative Concepts International. Major
sponsors were Metrobank, Avida Land, Xoom.com, and Mama Sita's Mixes &
Sauces. Minor sponsors were A&A Travel Service and Seafood City.
Participating sponsors included ANA Travel, Aqua Imaging & Design Inc.,
LGB Jewelry, Globe Express International, Café Moda, Aloha Kitchen,
and Monet Lu/Beau Monet. Media sponsors were Las Vegas Asian Journal, Philippine
Times of Las Vegas, Philippine News Las Vegas Edition, Nevada Examiner, Las
Vegas Valley Balita, Planet Philippines, Asian American Times, and Asian-American
See how KAPUSO FEVER came, conquered, and
heated up Las Vegas making it not only the world's entertainment capital
but also home of Kapuso (1 in heart), check
for pictures. For more information, please log on to
Gary V at John Hancock Hall,
by Archie D
A phenomenon like Gary V happens once in a
lifetime. His passion in music is immeasurable and his performance is beyond
"priceless". Award winning Composer Archie Dairocas, hosted the Press Conference,
admitted that in 1992 his huge hit "Kasayaw" was a Gary V influence as he
suggested everybody to listen to the chord progression of "Sana Maulit Muli"
and "Kasayaw's" chorus, play both along you will hear the resemblance. Though
it both have different melody lines you can try singing it simultaneosly
using the same chord progression.
Boston, full packed, was more than a great
crowd, Gary V interacted with them like a
simple conversation in the living room. One fan
raised a very loud-squeaky-hi-pitched-long tailed voice with an exclamation,
"Gaaareee, I love you more than my kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The crowd went ballistic
with laughter plus Gary answered with, "What did you say? We ought to have
a long talk regarding this issue".........It was one of the unforgettable
lines of the night where people call each other after the show. Gary had
a big heart, so inspired that he had a 45 minute encore. The crowd just did
not want him to leave. The tear jerker was the emotional song "Sana Maulit
Muli"...and one Caucasian dude yelled, "I can't help my wife loving you
Gaaaareee". ...and the crowd just went on and on and on as Gary highlighted
the family aspect in life. The show was produced and promoted by Elizabeth
and Rommel Arca of Heart Entertainment with Genesis which is Gary's domain.
Gary has to take care of his health because the fact is that his artistry
level is rare in this generation and everybody knows that. Nobody, I mean
Nobody has not yet portrayed even a pinch of a Gary Valenciano's talent.
Ka Freddie captivates
Fil-Am crowd in Hollywood
by Joseph de Veyra
Balita News Service, Sept. 4, 2007
HOLLYWOODDespite the absence of Ara
Mina, who was supposed to be one of the guests on the show, Freddie Aguilar
was still able to deliver an unforgettable performance for his Filipino American
fans. Fondly known as Ka Freddie, he performed to a packed crowd
at Music Box in Hollywood on August 19. The venue was the perfect place for
Ka Freddies performance because it provided an intimate setting for
the artist to connect with his fans.
Ive always been
an activist, he said in this exclusive interview. It is no secret
that if we get rid of corruption, our country will be in a better state.
So is he disappointed that musicians today
dont have a political voice? I guess its the effect of
the changing times, he said.
"Bayan Ko, one of his hit songs, was
played over and over again by the opponents of the Marcos regime during the
1986 EDSA Revolution. After he gave an amazing performance of the song, he
sang the last stanza a capella. Ang sarap ng pakiramdam ng Pilipino,
[kahit] mahirap na, masaya pa rin, he said when the crowd cheered after
Ella V., one of the guest performers, opened
the show with her hilarious and not so wholesome antics. There
was one instance wherein she invited an African American onstage and simulated
doing sexual acts to him. The Asian Treasures star sang
Pagdating ng Panahon, Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang and
Bongga Ka Day. What Ella lacked in singing talent, she
made up with her comedic flair and enthusiasm.
When Ka Freddie took to the stage, the crowd
was in a frenzy. He started his set with his classic songs like
Mindanao. He was also a very spontaneous performer. When someone
from the back requested for Kamusta Ka, he immediately performed
Age seemed to catch up on the legendary singer,
but only for a moment. After singing two consecutive songs, he said:
Sandali lang po iinom lang po ako ng tubig. Tumatanda na kasi tayo.
That night, he performed two consecutive shows to accommodate everyone who
wanted to watch. Ka Freddie may have aged through the years but his legacy
shall live on forever.
Lahat ng gusto ng Anak taas
ang kamay, he said to the delight of the crowd. His plucking introduction
alone was enough to send shivers down ones spine.
His performance of Anak showed
why he is considered a legend. This song became a worldwide hit, released
in 56 countries and in more than 26 different foreign languages. It has sold
over 30 million copies worldwide. As a result, the song immortalized Ka Freddie
as one of the few Asian artists to achieve worldwide fame.
When asked who among the current crop of singers
has the potential to be great, Ka Freddie mentioned only one name: Bamboo
Mañalac. He is very original when it comes to his music. Unlike
majority of the bands today, he gives his take on issues through his
songs, he said.
Ka Freddie told BALITA about his performance
in Pala Casino, San Diego. The producers were pessimistic about me
performing in Pala because they said mahirap punuin yan, he said.
Apparently, many Filipino artists have performed there and only a measly
number of people showed up. Thats why I was so happy when I saw
we had a full house.
He added, There was even this couple
who told me that they drove all the way from Colorado just to see me
Ka Freddie revealed that his fans keep his
passion burning through the years. With a lot of time on his hands, the folk
singer continues to compose songs.
Another highlight of the show was when Ka
Freddie invited his two sons John and Jericho to perform with him. They performed
Estudyante Blues together. Jericho, 18 years old, played the
electric guitar to perfection while John, 22 years old, rapped during the
latter part of the song. Both will release separate albums.
In an interview with BALITA, Jericho talked
about how it was to be a son of someone considered as legendary. Being
the son of Freddie Aguilar is great. He is very cool as a father, he is just
like a kabarkada, he said. Interestingly, this father-and-son tandem
has a lot more things in common besides talent. I dropped out of school
this year to concentrate on my bands (which is ironically called Anak)
album, Jericho said.
Freddie ended the night with Pulubi
and Tawanan Mo Ang Iyong Problema. In the end, Ka Freddies
performance was well-appreciated by the crowd. In fact, even the senior citizens
who watched the show had hand-held cameras with them. With his immense passion
and musical sincerity, Ka Freddie simply captivated the Fil-Am community.
(E-mail author at
Kuh Ledesma in Boston
John Hancock Hall, Boston - Jun 23, 2007
Kuh's concert Pinoy rendition
by Gretheline Bolandrina
Like the many Filipinos that gathered from
all over New England, everything about Kuh Ledesma, By Special Arrangement
Live in Boston at the John Hancock Hall was Pinoy.
(Except that the show started on time!)
Pinoy inspired (and designed?) outfits. Pinoy
charm, warmth and sincerity. And performing with her daughter Isabella, sharing
the spotlight with a loved one, very Pinoy.
Pinoy songs, though she opened with an English
number I Think I'm in Love, she followed with Ang Ibig Sabihin Nito, Dito
ba? and Bulaklak. Pinoy manners: "Magandang Gabi po sa inyong lahat." Kuh
said, "It feels wonderful to be in Boston." Her second visit but the first
for her daughter Isabella who wowed the audience with L. O. V. E., Fly Me
to the Moon and Cheek to Cheek.
Pinoy glamour and choreography (very minimalist),
as mother and daughter sing together (Anak, On My Own). Perfect pitch (and
harmony on three duets) on all 21 songs that they enthusiastically and
dramatically presented. The most applauded being Kuh's Ako ay Pilipino, Bayan
Ko and Silayan which she saved for the very end.
However, it was in between songs that Kuh
Ledesma, the person, the mother, the friend seemed to really emerge from
the celebrity image. She shares her pain, her joy and her faith. The music
is professionally delivered and the message comes from the heart and pierces
the soul. (The large video projected images on stage also helped a lot).
Isabella from the get go lets her hair down
-- so to speak -- she graciously shares the spotlight, already a star in
her own right. Her mere presence in the show picks up the energy and improves
the atmosphere. She's got a knack for being a stand up comedienne, pulling
smiles, giggles and laughter. But the apple doesn't truly fall far from the
tree; Kuh jokes about telling Isabella not to get married yet or else Kuh's
age will be easily in question.
Truth be told, the Pinoys in Boston, and besotted
fans from all over New
England, everyone from the lolos and lolas
to the Fil-Am teenage girls couldn't have cared less about age. Kuh's powerful
voice and soulful renditions were all that mattered. Her encore, "Till I
Met You" was a perfect pun for one Fil-Am I overheard, who crooned, "Till
I met Kuh!" Another Pinoy trait, quick with words.
Another high quality production by Boston's
Filipino Talent, LLC who wishes to thank Masaje Body Spa (Medfield, MA) and
the Abraham Family of Sudbury for their generous support. Also, Jervin and
Nik Erasquin of JNJ Turo Turo Authentic Filipino Cuisine (Quincy, MA) where
a private post-concert gathering was held. The producers also wish to extend
their appreciation to Parker Fisher and Cassie McCarthy for belting out Lupang
Hinirang and The Star Spangled Banner respectively, and Maricel Santerre
for opening the show. Mabuhay ang Pilipino!
GMA Pinoy TV Stars: A Big Hit At Phil-US
GMA Pinoy TV
The votes are in:
GMA PINOY TV stars DENNIS TRILLO, GLADYS GUEVARRA, and ARA MINA were a
spectacular hit at the PHIL-US EXPO 07! If you missed them at the expo,
get filled-in on what happened through the pictures below. For those who
were lucky enough to be there, I invite you to take a few moments to reminisce...
Kapuso stars Dennis Trillo of Super Twins
and SOP, Gladys Chuchay Guevarra of Magic Kamison and Eat Bulaga,
and Ara Mina of Bubble Gang and Lupin graced the two day festivities of the
Phil-US Expo 07 at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center
at Raritan Center, Edison, New Jersey on May 27 to 28, 2007.
The GMA Pinoy TV stars performed before a
jam-packed, standing-room-only, multi-cultural audience. Their individual
spot numbers were not only show-stoppers but spectacles that electrified
the already enthusiastic audience.
Gladys brought the house down and rocked the
convention center with her impeccable comic antics proving that she is the
sexiest diva comedienne of this generation. As Chuchay, the funny yet charming
character we all loved in Eat Bulaga, she was so hilarious and hysterically
funny that she left the audience rolling with laughter.
Dennis rendered several songs from his self-titled
debut album like All Out of Love, Lumilipad, and Love Is All That Matters
validating his newest moniker as the Crush ng Bayan. Everybody
loves this soft spoken debonair. His appeal left fans breathless that parents
of young ladies unabashedly asked him to be their son-in law.
Aras rendition of Ay Ay Ay Pag-ibig
and her version of Hawak Kamay made the crowd scream and sway.
The festival, aimed at celebrating and promoting
the great Philippine culture while creating an ideal networking event for
businesses, was a combination of exposition, trade, and entertainment.
PHIL-US EXPO 07 was brought to you by
Topnotch Electronics and GMA Pinoy TV. And, if you thought the thousands
of people who attended the PHIL-US EXPO 07 this past Memorial Day weekend
was big, wait until next year. Plans are already set in motion to leave an
even bigger impression! For more Phil-US Expo 07 photos, visit
Dennis Trillo, 1st Time In The U.S.A
With the end of Super Twins,
Dennis Trillo is taking
advantage of the brief reprieve from his busy schedule to go to the US. He
will have some shows there courtesy of the GMA Pinoy TV. Dennis promised
that he will take advantage of the opportunity to go around New York and
enjoy the sights.
Unang-una kong gagawin pagdating ko
ng America ay hahalik ako sa lupa tapos magpapa- picture ako. Kasi talagang
pangarap kong makapunta doon, according to Dennis.
Martin Nievera Livens Up the New
by: Steve Tuminello
Monday night at The Palms
hotel on the break in "The Lounge", I had the pleasure of meeting Martin
Nievera and Celia Geronimo through my friend Gabriel "Santana" Falcon,
percussionist with Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns. We were invited to see
"Martin Live" the show at the Planet Hollywood in the Miracle Mile.
I learned than Martin Nievera is a big star
in the Philippines and the large Fillipino presence in the audience was a
testimony to his popularity in his native country.
Martin opened strong with his 9 piece power
band with many familiar faces. Three of the Fat City Horns players Nathan
Tenouye on trombone, Danny Falcone on trumpet and Gerry Merra on saxaphone.
Gabriel Falcon on percussion and vocals, Mundo Juillerat on guitar, George
Bryant on drums, Ricardo "Cocho" Arbe on second keyboards, Adrian Garcia
on bass and Musical Director/keyboards, Lorenzo "Lorrie" Ilustre.
Martin had the audience in the palm of his
hand with his quick wit and versatile singing style. He even did some singing
impressions like Johnny Mathis. Dave Siefkes, Editor of Las Vegas at its
Best, really enjoyed the audience interaction. Martin actually turned the
lights up on the audience and had some dialogue interaction with Dave.
Martin, while interacting/interrogating with
two Fillipino audience members who had
been married for over 17 years was
able to develop enough personal information to spontaneously compose an impromptu
personalized song for the couple. He is truly amazing with his adlibs between
songs. His audience inclusion guarantees that no two shows will ever be the
Female Vocalist, Jenevi Bakch came out front
from singing backup and was featured while Martin took a brief break. She
tours with Wayne Newton when not on stage with Martin Nievera. The show which
is only one hour from start to end concluded after a fifteen minute encore
tribute to Broadway.
After the show Gabriel Falcon introduced me
to two friends that were in the audience. Music producer Steve Arnold and
Kathy Rich, daughter of famed drummer Buddy Rich were in the audience with
"Martin Live" is definitely a repeat for the
staff at Las Vegas at its Best.
Shows at the Steve Wyrick Magic Theater inside
The Miracle Mile (formerly Desert Passage) at the new Planet Hollywood start
at 5 PM every day but Friday.