World leaders to be treated to Pinoy-style entertainment
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An impressive line-up of internationally acclaimed Filipino artists is set to give visiting world leaders a good time, Pinoy-style, at the APEC leaders’ welcome reception on November 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena.  

Black Eyed Peas member, Journey vocalist Arnel Pineda, concert pianist Cecile Licad, Charice, Jessica Sanchez of American Idol fame, the Philippine Madrigal Singers are just some of the artists who will headline the 45-minute show that brings together pop, classical and cultural performers.

Also performing are Asia’s Got Talent champion the shadow-play group El Gamma Penumbra, Jed Madela, Powerdance and the Ramon Obusan folkloric troupe.  

“For the leaders to see all these Pinoy artists together, I think it’s something that we can really be proud of,” Paolo Valenciano, the show’s co-director, with Louie Ocampo, told The STAR.

Some of these artists are in the middle of international tours, but are flying in just for the show, while others are not charging their usual rates because “they just want to be part of the event.”

It’s a massive production that took six months to prepare and involves a cast of performers as well as production people bigger than the actual number of guests attending the reception.

“We’ve been working on this for the past six months already. Actually, the show, the artists, the numbers, they were all ready since three months ago. Malacañang really wanted to have the best artists, the perfect songs for the occasion… Three months ago pa lang, the show was set already after intensive pre-production.”  

Due to the time limit, Paolo said the biggest challenge was “how not to make it seem like a variety show.”

He added, “In terms of production and the staging, we want to do something that (shows) we’re not copying other countries. Usually, for concerts and events here, there’s always a peg from an international artist. So with this one, we wanted (the foreign leaders) to see something that is not copied from them, but something very Pinoy, very original.”

Valenciano wouldn’t divulge the cost, saying only that “they really wanted to show these leaders a good time, and be able to highlight the local talent that we have.”

The young concert director and musician said that as a Filipino artist, “it’s such an honor to be able to be part of a project like this, knowing that for that one night, (some of the) most important people in the world are going to be in that one venue and we’re in charge in trying to get a message across.

“I think that’s the most important thing of the show that we are putting together — it’s not just entertainment, we want to get a message across to the leaders about unity, helping each other out. I feel nervous knowing that this responsibility was given to us, but at the same time, it’s also exciting.”

The artists will perform in the rice terraces-inspired stage setting by internationally acclaimed designer Kenneth Cobonpue, with a main stage in the middle surrounded by the world leaders, and other stages put up all around the cavernous arena.

The dinner will be prepared by renowned Filipino chefs Glenda Barretto and Gaita Fores.

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