The main dining area of Waterside
A weekend of good food and good music
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Good food and good music make a very good weekend experience. Solaire’s Waterside is the venue for it. It is called Weekend Jam.

“It was a group effort,” Audie Gemora, the resort-casino’s director of entertainment, said of the musical treat (served with good food). “Before we had a bar called Eclipse... and they made it into another gaming area. Napaka-successful ng gaming sa Solaire. We’re No. 1.” Patrons, who have also known the casino-hotel as home for Broadway musicals and Original Pilipino Music (OPM) concerts, look for its brand of entertainment. So the brand and marketing group, spearheaded by the entertainment team, took the challenge, explored possibilities and found Waterside, a bar restaurant that offers Latin-inspired food (of course, with Latin vibe).

The Weekend Jam at Waterside commenced two Fridays ago with the performer-musician tandem of Emcy Faustino and Dix Lucero. Guests were treated to different music and songs from Aquarela do Brazil, Two for the Road, Together Again and Angels, to Shaker Song, Mas Que Nada, Pretty World, a Carole King medley, Sunlight, Ipanema, Bridges, Betcha by Golly Wow and a Carpenters medley. They also enjoyed a musical “suite” of ballads like Trouble with Hello is Goodbye, So Many Stars, Love Dance, Last Time, Follow Your Road, Inseparable, Through the Fire, Fallin’, One Hello, Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang, Tuliro, Araw-gabi, Minsan Pa, My Foolish Heart, My Funny Valentine, A Time for Love, You Go To My Head, Nearness of You, Misty and Sometimes.

Audie Gemora, Solaire’s director of entertainment, champions Original Pilipino Music and sees the importance of creating venues for artists

The night’s repertoire showed that the Weekend Jam’s music need not be Latin, but a good mix of oldies but goodies that appeals to the older and younger sets. According to Audie, a new set of artists will be featured and his group is experimenting on something that is palatable to people. If Weekend Jam works, Audie’s team will add more days to the musical event. Given his performing and talent management experience, Audie will come up with thematic evenings that guests will enjoy and cherish long after performances.  

“There are many exciting developments in Solaire,” said Audie who referred to Solaire North and a cruise center, among others. This means one thing: “There’s a lot of opportunities for entertainment,” he added. “We just don’t wanna lose our edge. As far as entertainment is concerned, we’re leading. So we just have to continue doing that.”

While listening to music, patrons had a gastronomic sample of tapas (Pork Belly Skewers and Gambas Al Ajillo), Paella Valenciana as main dish with meat platter (Peruvian chicken, ribs and chorizo), as side dishes (Smoked Garlic Mash and Aji Creamed Corn and Jalapeno), with Brazo de Mercedes and Chocolate Coffee Cream Slice as desserts.

The Weekend Jam set-up reminds one of the Tavern on the Square days of veteran singers Zsa Zsa Padilla and Gary Valenciano as lounge singers. Audie shared that these artists had puwestos (roughly translated as nightly segments) that allowed them to sing songs live before an audience.

Emcy Faustino (above) and Dix Lucero as Weekend Jam featured performers

Also in the pipeline is The Gigs for the younger ones, said Audie. A portion of Solaire’s Tent will be devoted to this. It features not-so-big stars but their talents are as good as what the current crop and the established have.

All this speaks of Solaire’s commitment to promote Pinoy music and talents and to create venues for them. Presenting musical entertainment is also its strength. Again, The Theatre is known as the venue that has brought back OPM acts. “When I joined the company, aside from the Broadway musicals that transferred from CCP to here, I really wanted to push for OPM and the only way to do that — I felt at that time — was to gather all the icons,” said Audie.

Among the big names that graced the resort-casino stage were Sharon Cuneta, Kuh Ledesma, Celeste Legaspi, Basil Valdez, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha, Pilita Corrales, Rico J. Puno, Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano. Solaire has been championing the OPM. “So, I’m hoping to get Dulce... but after that, I think we have to start grooming the younger ones,” shared Audie.

Aside from that, Solaire has also tapped solo artists and bands from different musical generations for retro concerts (‘90s Live, ‘90s Overload and Into the ‘80s). This effort reminds the new generation of concert-goers and listeners (the younger millennials and the Gen Z) about the rich contemporary music history they have.

(Experience Weekend Jam at Solaire’s Waterside every Friday and Saturday night. For reservations, call 888-8888 or visit

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