Beyoncé wants a taste of  Pinoy culture

STARBYTES - Butch Francisco -

When Beyoncé Knowles and her management group — she is a corporation by herself — announced this year that she was going on an Asian tour, various Filipino business organizations jumped at the opportunity of putting up a concert for her here in Manila.

Beating everyone else to the draw were Globe and MTV Philippines, which will jointly stage on Wednesday, Nov. 7, The Beyoncé Experience Live in Taguig 2007 at the Bonifacio Global City Open Field.

The deal for the concert was finalized around end of August when MTV Philippines’ Francis Lumen flew to San Diego to talk with Beyoncé‘s group and at the same time watch her concert there.

It was an overwhelming experience for Francis — watching the multi-Grammy winner perform live and seeing such elaborate set-up with a whole multitude of an all-female dance group.

Now, how do they duplicate that for the Beyoncé Manila concert? They are determined to — promising even to surpass that. The Beyoncé show is now being touted as the biggest concert event of the year — as in really big.

Already, we see the grand preparations for The Beyoncé Experience Live in Taguig 2007 — starting with those giant billboards all over the metropolis. The excitement is also palpable among Beyoncé fans (and there are droves and droves here in the Philippines, especially among young celebrities), who all want to buy tickets to the concert (available at TicketWorld — call 891-9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph).

However, it is also quite heartening to know that Beyoncé, too, is very excited to visit Asia, including the Philippines. There are no impossible demands imposed on the organizers from their negotiations — she just wants to be able to perform and visit this side of the world.

No, not even the Glorietta (bombing?) incident bothered her a bit and everything will go according to the original blueprint. Of course, the local organizers are beefing up security and have long been coordinating with the PNP and the officials of Taguig, including the office of the Mayor, the Hon. Freddie Tinga. It’s a gargantuan task, actually, because they are expecting some 40,000 people to converge that night and Bambi Verzo of Concertus is advising everyone to come in early so they don’t miss any part of the show.

Beyoncé and her group are flying in (after a concert tour of India and Thailand), on Nov. 6 in her own private plane. Sorry to disappoint media men, but there is no scheduled press conference for her. “She will most likely be very tired,” some of the organizers point out.

Beyoncé will check in at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where she and her entourage of 80 will probably have two floors to themselves. For her entertainment, Beyoncé would like to see something cultural or something that represents our culture. “Unlike other foreign artists, she doesn’t want to just fly in and fly out of the country,” adds Bambi Verzo. Don’t you think it’s so sweet of her to want to immerse herself in our culture? Perhaps they will put up an ati-atihan performance for her — or anything that is inherently Pinoy. With regard to Beyoncé‘s diet, there are no specifications. Maybe she’d also like to try our adobo.

Like Josh Groban, who found time to go to Embassy Bar, Beyoncé hopefully would also go out of her way to visit our local watering holes. She may just have the time of her life, who knows?

Beyoncé leaves the following day — again in her private plane — and before the organizers could even catch their breath, they’ll be preparing for the next big concert scheduled for early 2008. They don’t want to tell us yet, but they promise it’s going to be along Beyoncé’s league.

And Josh Groban? He’s determined to come back. Don’t they just love us?

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