Ogie’s concert a showcase of Pinoy talentBy Allan Policarpio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The concept was simple: Ogie Alcasid onstage, breathing life to songs he penned, songs that matter to him most, sung with artists and friends whom he considers part of his 25-year journey in show biz. And so, more than a celebration of a fruitful career, Alcasid’s recent concert, “I write the songs… Ogie Alcasid: Live!” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last Aug. 16, was an inspiring showcase of Filipino talent.
In the mold of the iconic “Hitman: David Foster and Friends” concert, Alcasid’s show featured a formidable lineup of performers shuffling on and off the stage, led by the singer-songwriter’s wife Regine Velasquez, who performed Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs.”
Alcasid then emerged from the crowd, belting “Kailangan Kita.” He mingled with excited fans as he made his way to the stage to join the ever-cheeky Rico J. Puno for an upbeat version of “May Bukas Pa.”
“Buti na lang hindi naging bastos! ’Yun ang kinakatakot ko!” Alcasid said afterwards, relieved.
Part of the fun watching was the guessing game: Who would come out next? Alcasid’s 1980s contemporaries Randy Santiago, Jamie Rivera, Rachel Alejandro and Dingdong Avanzado were all met with warm applause as they took the stage one by one in a medley of the hits “Pangarap Ka Na Lang Ba?” “Hindi Magbabago,” “Paalam Na” and “Basta’t Kasama Kita.”
And then, Alcasid’s rumored former flame, Manilyn Reynes, came out, prompting an eruption of shrieks of surprise and delight. After singing “Pangako,” Alcasid jested that seeing Reynes made him believe he could attain stardom despite his height—or, more specifically, the lack of it.
The concert also kept fans on their toes about the music genres presented. One moment, Alcasid was with vocal powerhouses Kyla, Julie Anne San Jose and musical trio La Diva, singing dramatic duets such as “Hanggang Ngayon” and “Pangarap Ko ang Ibigin Ka.” Next, he was engaged in a mash-up of “Ako’y Iyong-Iyo” and “Gayuma” with hip-hop artist Abra, or rapping in an intense performance of “Sirena” with the relentless motormouth Gloc 9, and former Sugarfree frontman Ebe Dancel.
Toward the end, after tackling his signature song “Nandito Ako,” Alcasid urged the crowd to get up and dance to The Boyfriends’ “Sumayaw, Sumunod”—laden with festive, pounding tribal drum beats, and yes, dubstep.
Lest the crowd forget that he was also an accomplished comic, Alcasid had everyone in stitches as he and boy group Down to Mars dished out songs that parodied the K-Pop hits “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman.” Alcasid sounded more Japanese than Korean; but heck, the riotous number almost brought us to tears.
With Ryan Cayabyab on the keyboards, Alcasid, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kuh Ledesma, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Velasquez elicited a standing ovation after lending world-class vocals to the songs “Ikaw ang Aking Pangarap,” “Kung Mawawala Ka” and “Sa Kanya,” among others.
Ironically though, for all the accomplished performers that night, it was the stars less known for their singing who brought the house down. Daniel Padilla made squealing teenagers out of mothers in attendance as he sang with Alcasid a mash-up of “Nasa ’Yo Na ang Lahat” and “Dito sa Puso Ko.” With the affectations of a serious, experienced performer, the adorable Anne Curtis—amid cheering and screaming—tried her best not to mangle the classic “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw.”
But the number that really sent the fans teetering on the edge was the surprise appearance of “My Husband’s Lover” stars Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo. Even more surprising was that both men actually possess serviceable singing voices—a fact that quickly became an afterthought when Dennis and Tom held hands in their duet of “One More Try.” Alcasid, pretending to be the character Lally in “My Husband’s Lover,” sandwiched himself between the two heartthrobs, and pretended to grope them. “Iba yata naramdaman ko dun, ah!” Alcasid then said, laughing.
Alcasid honored his parents, Herminio and Herminia Alcasid, by inviting them onstage to sing “Ikaw Lamang” with him. Watching Alcasid’s mom and dad perform, it was apparent where the singer-songwriter got his talent. “Congratulations for raising a son like me,” Alcasid teased his parents.
Sponsored by PLDT Home myDSL, the concert will benefit the World Vision charity and its efforts to improve the lives of Aetas displaced by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales in 1991. Other stars who graced the concert were Noel Cabangon, Janno Gibbs, Jaya, Pops Fernandez, Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff and Q-York.
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