10/12/09

Lea Sings For A Cause

What's so special when a great singer performs in a small venue? It feels so intimate. Such was what I felt listening to Lea Salonga as she sang inside a packed Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center in New York last night. I've seen her previously perform on two Broadway shows - Flower Drum Song and Les Miserables - but I've never seen her this close onstage. And boy, did I see much of her backside!

The Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

Almost two weeks ago, I received an email from a Filipino group announcing a special concert by Lea. Organized on a whim by stage actor Victor Lirio, the concert was meant to raise much-needed money for Typhoon Ondoy's victims. The other typhoon - Pepeng - was yet brewing in the horizon. Lea happened to be in the US on a concert tour and she readily agreed to perform pro bono for such a noble cause. In the end, the concert generated more than one million pesos for the typhoon relief fund coursed through the Ayala Foundation USA.

Accompanied only by a grand piano, Lea's set list was culled from her current US tour. As expected, her rendition was flawless, the words were very clear and she hit the high notes with utmost bravura. She sang only one Tagalog song, Jose Mari Chan's Hahanapin Ko which she dedicated to migrant Pinoys all over the world. To spice things up a bit, audacious volunteers from the audience sang A Whole New World with her onstage. She also rendered classics from two different legends: Michael Jackson's Gone Too Soon and John Lennon's Imagine. And what's a Lea concert without a sampling of her Broadway hits? On My Own (from Les Miserables) and especially the heart-wrenching I'd Give My Life For You (from Miss Saigon) really had the crowd chorus a big bravo.

Lea Salonga before a crowd of applauding Pinoys and Americans
(including Philippine Consul General Cecilia Rebong and
Philippine Ambassador to the UN Hilario Davide, Jr.)

The venue may have been small but for such a big cause, Lea pulled off a really big performance.
Bravo indeed!

16 comments:

  1. that is a worthy cause. tis the first time i've seen lea in green, bagay nya pala. she looks so good in this color.

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  2. Lea Salonga is so beautiful, inside and out. When Lirio called she answered without hesitation, even juggling her sched so that she could appear.

    What an enchanting woman, she could sing the phone book and I'd be enthralled...

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  3. She's really nice 'no? She also performed in the Philippines for Ondoy victims.

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  4. So that's where Lea went after performing here? She performed here in Buffalo last Saturday in the University at Buffalo!

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  5. man, she is stunning in green! i wil always be a fan of her. i just have her many soothing songs/voice in my MP3.

    eversince, she never failed to make us proud.. suffice to say an excellent example for new breed of pinoy artist. txs for capturing this event and for sharing the wonderful wondmoment to us.

    ps: i heared she gonna be joining her fellow OPM singers in recording an ala USA for Africa songs - for typhoon victims back home. and bec she's outthere, she'l be doing this thru the power of technology.

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  6. she looks young as ever! who would think she's already a mom?!

    you are so lucky to have seen her this close!

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  7. she still looks stunning!

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  8. THANK YOU so much for taking the time to write about the event. More importantly, thank you for being there.

    Very best wishes,

    Victor Lirio
    Artistic Director
    Diverse City Theater Company
    One Penn Plaza, Suite 3406
    New York, NY 10119
    646-237-2560 direct
    212-239-6970 fax

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  9. i've seen her performed several times including her stint as kim in ms. saigon when they brought it to manila and man, she's really amazing! bravo to her, the organizers of this event in ny and the patrons for putting all efforts for a worthy cause.

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  10. i hope you can hear me saying bravo here too. applause to the filipina pride!

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  11. hey Nomad! My friends were trying to get tickets but they sold out pretty fast. I told them I'd pass, not really a fan... but it was for a great cause so good for her.

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  12. Lucky you!
    I never had the chance to see her live. Doing a pro bono concert shows that she is not only a great artist but also a good person!

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  13. Uy parang tumaba si Lea ah. Talagang nakatulala kapag narinig at masilyan mo siya especially so close. I'm sure ganun yung expression mo. Galingpa rin niya no?

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  14. she's a friend of the daughter of the owner of the company where i work. one of the employees had the chance meeting her and she was very nice, he said. wala daw ka ere ere.

    and to perform in a show free for the victims of typhoons ondoy and pepeng is truly admirable.

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  15. Wow... i always remember Lea Salonga as someone atop many performers in our country... thumbs up for her!

    Anyway, care to exchange links? Holla at my page...

    Joel here. =)

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  16. lea... one of my favorite singer : )

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