Monday, June 18, 2012

Mall of Asia ARENA Makes History with ICONS at MOA Arena Concert

It's not actually Lady Gaga but Filipino OPM Artists who officially opened the doors of the MOA Arena as it made history with its Grand Launch Concert entitled “ICONS at the MALL OF ASIA ARENA” last June 16.

The musical, and seemingly once-in-a-lifetime, event featured some of the biggest names in Philippine music that span various generations. It was hosted by Pops Fernandez and Jim Paredes and directed by Johnny Manahan. Maestro Ryan Cayabyab served as musical director and conductor of the newly-created and awesome-sounding ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

The booming instrumental of Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika was played by the orchestra which started the night in a very upbeat mood. Pops and Jim came up on stage and introduced the first batch of songs composed by one of my favorite composers, Mr. Jose Mari Chan.

The Company sang their rendition of Let's Stop and Talk Awhile followed by Christian Bautista who crooned Tell Me Your Name. I love those songs!

Sir Joe came in last singing Beautiful Girl which garnered a lot of applause from the audience. He does create such wonderful lyrics and melodies!

Next, three divas conquered the stage belting out Louie Ocampo songs. Rachel Alejandro sang Minsan Pa; Dulce sang Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin; and Vernie Varga sang Kahit Isang Saglit. The three ladies sang together for Ikaw.

Freddie Aguilar was introduced with a lot of accolades for having his most popular and iconic song translated in dozens of languages. It was only fitting that he sang Anak up there on stage to the delight of those who were watching.

Following Ka Freddie were young singers of this generation who sang songs composed by Ogie Alcasid for various telenovelas like Binondo Girl and Lobo. Richard Poon, Juris Fernandez, Jed Madela, and Piolo Pascual rendered soulful music that has been a trademark of Ogie's.

It was a treat to find out that Mr. and Mrs. A -- or Ogie and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid -- would be singing a medley of Ogie's songs together. This husband and wife team totally entertained us with their beautiful voices.

To further break the ice from all the ballads and mellow songs, Wally, Jose, and Pokwang provided some comic relief by mimicking fellow celebrities like Gary V, Mommy Dionisia Pacquaio, and Martin Nievera. Many of us were laughing so hard, tears formed in our eyes from so much laughter.

I liked the next number which featured the G-Force dancers and Bamboo who gave an energetic performance singing Pinoy Ako. It did make us proud to be Filipinos at that very moment listening to some of the best musical talents in the country.

International sensations Arnel Pineda and Lea Salonga next took the stage. Unfortunately, Arnel bungled a few words of Ric Segreto's Don't Know What to Do, Don't Know What to Say (I should know because that's my favorite song when I was in fifth grade!) perhaps because he's nervous performing with Lea (?). On the other hand, the Broadway and West End superstar flawlessly sang Odette Quesada's (?) I Think I'm in Love before Arnel sang Side A's Hold On. Lea then sang another song, 'Til I Met You, before the two performed You as a duet.

Up next were songs by George Canseco, Willy Cruz, and Ryan Cayabyab which were performed by Erik Santos, Martin Nievera, and Basil Valdez. I am not familiar with the titles so I'd rather not guess.

The music was temporarily put on hold to give way to some words by Mr. Hans Sy, son of SM Tycoon Mr. Henry Sy. He shared his family's vision of Changing the Game, Elevating Entertainment via the MOA Arena which was built as a world-class venue for the Filipino people.

We were then shown a music video that is a tribute to the Sy patriarch featuring Gary Valenciano who was out of the country at the time.

Majority of the performers came back on stage to sing The Impossible Dream, Mr. Henry Sy's lifelong song before capping the night off with Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.

As a big fan and staunch supporter of Filipino music and many OPM artists, it was really a treat for me to enjoy listening live to so many of our country's beautiful songs. I hope a lot of such concerts would be staged in the future so more of our kababayans could also get a chance to witness Pinoy talents up close in such a huge venue.

For more information about MOA Arena, Like and follow

To see a lot of close up photos of the singers which I took during the concert, please visit the ICONs at MOA Arena photo album in this blog's Facebook fan page. Enjoy looking at the pictures of your favorite stars! :)

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