By Oliver Carnay
Night of the Champions in
SFO - with Erik Santos
The "Night of the Champions" presentation last September
24 at the Civic Center Plaza, right in the heart of San Francisco, California
(with the huge Cathedral illuminated as the night backdrop) was different
from the rest of the champions' U.S. tour, mainly because Erik Santos joined
Sarah Geronimo, Mark Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, and Christian Bautista on
this one single chilly night.
As early as 3 PM (the show started at 6 PM)
more than 3,000 mostly TFC subscribers flocked to the open-air plaza venue.
With no chairs to sit down, Fil-Ams waited and watched the two-and-a-half-hour
Headliners Erik, Sarah, and Rachelle Ann Go
opened the concert by singing "We Are the Champions," followed by a solo
of Rachelle singing a Mariah Carey signature and the Tagalog "Kay Tagal Kitang
Hinintay." Christian Bautista had "The Way You Look at Me" and "Hands to
Heaven" before doing the duet song "You and Me/We Wanted It All" with Rachelle.
Rachelle, of course, belted out "Don't Cry Out Loud." Mark Bautista was next
with a Gary V hit, "How Did You Know." The female champs tried to outdo the
males with "Bulaklak," "Pamela," "Otso-Otso" and other "kwela" acts like
Erik Santos paid tribute to his idol and sang
Martin Nievera medley before
his signature "This Is the Moment." Mark Bautista and Sarah did a duet, "Broken
Vow." Sarah borrowed her idol, Regine Velasquez's "spirit" and did Regine's
medley of pop songs before singing Alicia Keys' current hit single and finally,
her Celine Dion signature song. The finale number consisted of danceable
tunes. Pretty much, based on previous reviews, the repertoire was all the
same except this particular "Concert at the Park" in San Francisco (see more
Where Are They Now?
After watching the Night of the Champions,
with the invitation of my good friend Rina Alcantara, we proceeded to Edna's
Ichiban Library in South San Francisco, wherein we happened to have a chat
with current headliners Dessa and Bobby Solis.
Many have been wondering about the career
of Dessa, "the powerful
voice" from the roster of talents of The Backroom, Inc.
(managed by Boy Abunda). Well, the Divette is currently based in Los Angeles
and is four months pregnant by a young L.A. talent manager, Jay Inoue. Dessa
figures her blessings, moving to the mainland as a wise move. She is focused
on raising her child in the U.S. and being with her new-found love, Jay,
who has big plans for her as an international star next year, after the birth
of her second baby (she has another child from an Italian boyfriend). Dessa
has just recorded a new collection of well-loved songs (including "Saan Ka
Man Naroroon," "Alone Again Naturally," "Point of No Return," "Respect,"
"Never Fall In Love Again" and many others, with "Come In Out of the Rain"
as an additional bonus track) currently available by contacting SEATM Productions
At Ichiban's Library, such talent Bobby Solis
mesmerized us with a fresh cabaret-style showmanship, a must to see during
weekends at SFO's Library (which is patterned after the famous The Library
in Manila). The divas playing every night (Bona, Bubbles, Kyhmme, Jesse,
and Nomer Yuzon-a part-time steward and Ichiban performer) are all very
entertaining with their funny antics while hosting the nightly karaoke.
Miriam Pantig alternates with Dessa on some days. Check out Edna's
Ichiban Library web site at
Last Labor Day weekend,
during the first annual Asia Pacific Trade and Expo in Las Vegas (held at
the Stardust Hotel), look who I happened to chat with - it's Leni
Santos! Leni Santos is more memorable as the original villain actress
from such soaps Flor de Luna and Anna Liza, and was paired to Rey "PJ" Abellana.
Now based in Las Vegas and married to one of the Salvador clan, with two
kids - Nikka and PJ, although Leni misses acting and other showbiz gigs,
she is not remorseful about migrating in the U.S., "I work as a loan officer
in one of the most prestigious mortgage companies here in Vegas and I enjoy
helping out my husband and being a mother to my two kids," said the cheerful
and dimple-faced actress. "Actually, I was supposed to do another soap opera
when I left Manila in 2002 (her last was 'Sa Puso Ko, Iingatan Ka') but when
I came here, my husband persuaded me to try to immigrate here. I like it
here, but if anybody is interested with my service I'm open to act again.
Of course, I also miss showbiz a lot!" she noted.
(More pics at
E-mail at email@example.com)
With more than a decade of experience in
the entertainment industry OLIVER CARNAY is an accomplished international
Fil-Am writer, Publicist, Talent Manager, Project Consultant, Booking Agent,
Event Organzer, Photographer, Concert Line-Producer, movie associate producer,
and Concert Booking Agent.
Oliver has written for major publications,
domestic and international, including Asian Journal Publications
BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend Balita" and "Go4Women
Magazine," available online at
ASIAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE'S JOURNAL (circulated in northern and southern
part of California), Philippine and other Asian Headline newspaper
- circulated in Sacramento, San Francisco and its vicinities) also published
in northern and southern parts of California.
In San Diego: FAME Magazine and
PHILIPPINES TODAY. In New York / New Jersey he writes an entertainment
column for CAROUSEL PINOY ENTERTAINMENT
He is a contributor for BUZZINE Magazine
www.siklab.com, PARA TODOS
Magazine, and other L.A. based publications.
He is the Los Angeles correspondent of
Global Pinoy Entertainment Corporation (GPEC) which publishes S Magazine
(circulated in Manila, all over the United States and Europe) and PINOY
GAZETTE (published in Hong Kong and Japan.
He is an active member of the National
Press Photography Association (N.P.P.A.), Press Photography Association
of Greater Los Angeles (P.P.A.G.L.A.-see
www.ppagla.org for member
listings), and is under the directory list of the Motion Picture Association
of America (M.P.A.A.) covering movie Premieres, junkets, and other major
Oliver is the Publisher of
an online entertainment newswire magazine. Always a pioneer in bringing first
rate news about Fil-Am talents in Hollywood as well as introducing them to
the Filipinos and Fil-Am communities in the U.S. and in the Philippines.
Oliver Carnay is the proprietor of
International Artists Production Company established in 1995 where
he had produced, directed concerts and stage plays.
Oliver Carnay is in full blast as a Talent
Manager and Publicist. He is the proprietor of International Artists PR
& Talent Management
full-service publicity and talent marketing company, which represents a roster
of multi-ethnic actors, musicians, directors, writers, and other celebrated
artists in Hollywood. Oliver Carnay takes pride in being a member of the
Talent Managers Association