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Notes and Reviews
LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 22, 2007

The Cascades. The original. Alive.

Kapuso Fever Rocks Las Vegas!

Pops on a sentimental journey without Martin

Kapuso Fever dazzles Las Vegas!

Gary V at John Hancock Hall, Boston

'Ka Freddie' captivates Fil-Am crowd in Hollywood

Kuh Ledesma in Boston

GMA Pinoy TV Stars: A Big Hit at Phil-US Expo '07

Martin Nievera livens up the new Planet Hollywood

Dingdong & Jessa "That Thing Called Love"

Barbie rocks Los Angeles with a revelation

Martin & Pops concert - Still making beautiful music together!!!

Triumphant Nora Aunor Concert in Boston!

Review of Bayanihan Dance Company

Pops and Martin together again. . . On Stage

Martin & Pops - the magic lives on

The Other Side of Sarah Geronimo: A wild Success!

Viva Vina, The Other Concert Queen!

Pops, Regine and Jose Mari Chan wow concertgoers

Trias cashes in on instant stardom, but not all can

"Trial By Water" Ma-Yi Theater Review

AEGIS, they came and they conquered and it was worth the money

Love ko si Koy! Camile Velasco's NY media lunch

Tell Me, about Joey Albert

Get Intimate: Patricia Javier

Re-learning OPM with Hajji and Rachel Alejandro

Side A Rocked New Jersey!!!

Aegis Band, April Boy Regino entertained Guam

Pinoy classic Rockers rocked the Kiss Club

Diva 2 Diva at Harrah's Lake Tahoe - a certified hit!

An Evening with Dessa

Vegas Comes to Strathmore: Misalucha & The Society of Seven

The Leyte Dance Theater ……. A Knockout Performance

Megastar Sharon Cuneta brings her best to Atlantic City!

Red hot Pops and Regine set Atlantic City ablaze!

Lynn Sherman: Beyond the swing element

Society of Seven, Lani Misalucha Continue to Enthrall Audiences

Rica Peralejo at the San Jose Sheraton: Encore! What you see is what you get, and then some...

Lea and I, under the "Orange Colored Sky"

Fil-Am wins Best Director Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

Freestyle NYC concert review

Parokya ni Edgar storms into New York City!

The Greatest Hitmakers in NJ: a great reminiscence

Been There Done That But Give Us Some More! The APO Strikes Again Spring Concert Tour!

Greatest Hitmakers rock San Francisco

Banner

The Cascades. The original. Alive.

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 kicking alive.

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 in "CASCADES:"

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 Office.


Kapuso Fever Rocks Las Vegas!
by Edith Montelibano

Las Vegas, 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 "Kapuso Fever."

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 and counting.

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 "Kapuso Fever."

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 Ciara Sotto.

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 "Dreamgirls."

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 (keyboards).

 

          

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."

Completing the "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 flashing on-screen.

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.

"Kapuso Fever" 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 People's Journal.

For post-event information, visit www.gmapinoytv.com or send an email to KapusoFever@gmail.com.


Pops on a sentimental journey without Martin
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 reviewer’s 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 won’t get emotional. But it’s 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 concert’s 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. He’ll 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 I’m 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 I’m 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, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Baby Love and I’m Gonna Make You Love Me). Gary Valenciano and Pops sang You’re 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, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Make It Easy on Yourself and That’s 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 Vegas!
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 the U.S.

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 retailers.

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 of Marimar.

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.

By this 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 Peoples Journal.

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 www.joshandowitt.com for pictures. For more information, please log on to www.gmapinoytv.com.


Gary V at John Hancock Hall, Boston
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

HOLLYWOOD—Despite 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 Freddie’s performance because it provided an intimate setting for the artist to connect with his fans.

“I’ve 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 don’t have a political voice? “I guess it’s 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 the song.

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 it.

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 one’s 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. “That’s 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 perform.”

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 band’s (which is ironically called Anak) album,” Jericho said.

Freddie ended the night with “Pulubi” and “Tawanan Mo Ang Iyong Problema.” In the end, Ka Freddie’s 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 joedev187@yahoo.com)


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 Expo 07!
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.

Ara’s 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 www.joshandowitt.com.

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 Planet Hollywood
by: Steve Tuminello (lasvegasatitsbest.com/Showseen)

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 same.

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 us.

"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.