Jammin’ for the Brave 44
MANILA, Philippines—It gathered many of the hugest names in the music industry. Martin Nievera, Aiza Seguerra, Ryan Cayabyab, Gerard Salonga, Noel Cabangon, Rachel Alejandro, apl.de.ap, The CompanY, The Dawn, Basti Artadi, Ogie Alcasid, Erik Santos, Arnee Hidalgo, Christian Bautista, Angeline Quinto, Frenchie Dy, Carla Guevara, Bayang Barrios, Nyoy Volante, Gloc-9, Ebe Dancel, Richard Poon, Nino Alejandro, Marvin Querido, Jimmy Antiporda, Dulce. The names of these heavy-hitting performers, musical directors and musicians command the highest respect.
They (plus many, many more) shared the stage at the Solaire Theatre on Tuesday in tribute and gratitude to the 44 SAF officers of the Philippine National Police who died in Mamasapano less than a month ago.
On a silent and barely lit stage, the singers, one by one, recited the names of the officers who died. No music, no video walls. After the 44th name, the show began.
Young Fitri Cerado started us off with “One Voice,” followed by Martin, yours truly, Jett and Basti jamming on Styx’s “The Best of Times” / “Rockin’ in Paradise.”
Then, in groups, the artists stepped forward: The CompanY with Cara Manglapus, Jon Santos and Bo Cerrudo singing a “Big Beautiful Country” medley; Angeline, Carla, and Frenchie, a “Somewhere” medley; Martin and Erik, “This Is the Moment”; Christian and Arnee dueted on a mashup of “Stand By Me” and “Lean on Me.”
Rachel and Nino Alejandro made us all believe in rock with “Don’t Stop Believin’”; Apl with two Team Apl members (Janice Javier of Season 1 and Bradley Holmes of Season 2) came together in a rousing rendition of “Where Is the Love?” Rock gods Jett and Basti did U2’s “One,” making many of us sitting on the stage risers scream like high-school girls.
The Dawn rocked the house with a medley of their hits, including “Iisang Bangka” and “Salamat.” Aiza jammed with Nyoy, Bayang and Noel plus Sessionistas Richard, Princess, Sitti, and guest artists Frenchie, Gloc-9, and Ebe on another memorable mashup, “Imagine” and “Come Together.”
Noel, Aiza, and Bayang sang a gorgeous arrangement of “Walang Hanggang Paalam,” prefaced by a story that Aiza told about a photo she saw of one officer holding flowers because he had just proposed to his girlfriend via the Internet. Liza Diño-Seguerra, danced the flamenco, then joined Aiza for “Makita Kang Muli.”
Ebe and Gloc-9 was an amazing combo on the hit song “Sirena.” Everyone jammed to Francis M’s “Kaleidoscope World.” Dulce, Ryan Gallagher and the FORTEnors rendered a soulful performance of “The Prayer.” Martin and I dueted on an old
favorite, “Used to Be.” Finally, Ogie came front and center to lead us in the finale, “O Bayan Ko.”
All that amazing-ness
The show lasted nearly three hours, but felt like it could go on forever. The performers remained onstage clapping along, headbanging, taking selfies and photos of the performances, commenting on the show, and enjoying the evening for all the amazing-ness that found itself on that stage.
However, beyond the performers and the concert, the night truly belonged to the families of the Brave 44, members of whom got to attend the concert. To these families, we humbly express our thanks for the sacrifice made and the price paid.
To everyone who answered the call, to FullHouse for producing this once-in-a-lifetime event, SoundCheck for the equipment, to our valiant director Paolo Valenciano, everyone from Solaire who allowed us to use the theater for free, to TicketWorld for waiving their service fees, to the musicians and performers who donated their time and talent, thank you!
What a huge honor to share the stage with you all. It was an experience I will not soon forget. The concert took place the day after my birthday. I couldn’t have spent my first days of being 44 years old any better.
On my actual birthday, Feb. 22, after two very competitive and stressful nights, we announced our four Grand Finalists on “The Voice of the Philippines.”
Alisah Bonaobra (Team Apl), Rence Rapanot (Team Bamboo), Jason Dy (Team Sarah), and Leah Patricio (Team Lea) will be going head-to-head this weekend.
This Sunday, we will crown a new champion.
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