Ariana Grande breaks free, shows Manila love in concert
Chuck Smith (philstar.com) - August 23, 2015 - 9:24pm

MANILA, Philippines —  "Mahal kita, Manila," Ariana Grande repeatedly exclaimed in between songs in the Manila leg of her “Honeymoon Tour” at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

The 22-year-old singer—who had a breakthrough in the entertainment scene as a child actress before becoming a pop superstar—made sure to remind the audience how much they mean to her throughout the concert.

WATCH: Ariana Grande performs Whitney Houston hit in Manila concert

“You guys are so cute and so, so sweet,” she said. “So cute. So sweet.”

She added: “I just wanted to say thank you. I love you guys so, so much. I wanted to perform for you guys for such a long time… So I’m finally here!”

This is the first time Ariana performed in the Philippines.

“I’m happy to finally see you guys in person. I love you guys, thank you so much. And hopefully I’ll come back soon,” she said.

Ariana packed her 17-song concert with the usual hits, as well as a few surprises. She opened big with “Bang Bang.” Early in the show, she paid tribute to Whitney Houston and Madonna by performing a medley of their songs.

“This is for all of you who love Madonna and Whitney as much as I do,” she said, before singing a sampling of Madonna’s “Vogue” and Whitney’s “I’m Every Woman.”

She tackled songs from her two albums—namely, “Yours Truly” and “My Everything”—such as “Be My Baby,” “Right There,” “The Way,” “Baby-I” and “Tattooed Heart” in quick succession, before moving on to her bigger hits such as “One Last Try,” “Love Me Harder” and “Honeymoon Avenue.”

Although Ariana delivered on her promise of “Good music, good choreography and a great time”—as she said in a video clip that opened the concert—her vocal prowess served as the main focus of the show. The singer filled the venue with her famous four-octave vocal range, which earned her the moniker of “Baby Mariah.”

This was most evident when she performed Whitney’s “I Have Nothing”—a song, Ariana said, she performed on tour only once before.

Ariana ended the show with, of course, “Break Free” and “Problem.” “Thank you so much, Manila,” the singer exclaimed as she ends the show.

After the concert, she took to Twitter to thank her fans once again. “OMG Manila, thank you so much. What a thrilling night! I wanted to jump into the crowd and squeeze all of your li'l faces. Mahal kita. I love you,” Ariana said.

She added, “But really, my heart is jumping off the nearest cliff. Y'all are everything to me. Wow.”

ACIRC ALTHOUGH ARIANA ARIANA ARIANA GRANDE BABY MARIAH BANG BANG BE MY BABY BREAK FREE EVERY WOMAN HONEYMOON AVENUE HONEYMOON TOUR
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