Arts and Culture

Lea Salonga, Tabernacle Choir give surprise ‘Bahay Kubo’ performance

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The world-famous Tabernacle Choir staged the first night of its concert with guest Filipina artists Lea Salonga and Ysabelle Cuevas, and two additional Filipino choir members, last night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

Among the concert’s highlights were Salonga’s rendition of a song from the Broadway musical “Baby,” and her performance of her brother Gerard Salonga’s orchestration of “Hahanapin Ko,” one of her personal favorites that she has performed many times locally and abroad. She offered the song from “Baby” to fellow moms as the song is about reminiscing the joys of pregnancy; while “Hahanapin Ko” was dedicated to overseas Filipino workers missing their loved ones from home.

Can’t get enough of Lea’s performance, the audience asked for more, to which they finally got when Lea got up onstage to join the Tabernacle Choir at the finale. The acclaimed Filipina Broadway singer and actress joined the Utah-based choir mid-way into singing the popular Filipino folk song “Bahay Kubo.”

With music direction from Mack Wilberg, and music accompaniment from a live orchestra, the 320-member, all-volunteer Tabernacle Choir stages its first ever concert in the Philippines following Lea’s successful guesting with the choir for the group’s 2022 Christmas special. 

The 177-year-old choir, reportedly one of the world’s largest with over a thousand volunteer singers, holds an annual holiday concert voted as the most popular Christmas special in America. — Video by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

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