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Miracle in Ballet Philippines’ GISELLE

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista
foreground Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) performed magnificently with the BP company. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) performed magnificently with the BP company. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

By the time I got to CCP, 6pm September 19, 2014 the lobby lights were dimmed. I caught Tess Rances on her cell phone and landline checking the power levels. She was calling MERALCO, calling on God, anyone who could help with the power situation. Parts of the city had already lost power as safety precaution against the floods. The lobby lights and air-conditioning had to be sacrificed for electricity on the stage. She assured me it was all systems go for the Giselle performance although the Phil Philharmonic Orchestra would not be there. Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran insisted the ‘show must go on’. There was a palpable anxiety even as people trickled in. The winds had somewhat died down but the rain was still pouring.

from left: Alexander Cortez, Lisa Macuja Elizalde, Irene Marcos-Araneta and BP Trustee Richard Upton. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Alexander Cortez, Lisa Macuja Elizalde, Irene Marcos-Araneta and BP Trustee Richard Upton. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sections of Metropolitan Manila had already been inundated since yesterday. Classes, government offices had all been cancelled. The widely anticipated NAKED TRUTH fashion show by BENCH very wisely rescheduled their mega event. BP did not have that luxury as lead stars Stella Abrera and James Whiteside were due to catch a flight back to the U.S. the very next day. It was this stormy, windy, terrible night or Abrera will not be able to perform in her country of birth any time soon. The American Ballet Theater soloist who had carved out a successful career abroad very graciously agreed to perform here. Abrera & Whiteside had to go back to similarly urgent and important rehearsals and shows there.

Their presence was part of the overall celebration of Ballet Philippines’ 45th year. BP will also have a much-anticipated musical with music and story written by Kanakan Baintagos (formerly known as filmmaker Auraeus Solito) featuring the ERASERHEADS.

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran, BP Trustee Richard Upton, former BP Artistic Director Norman Walker, former BP member (1979-1994) Perry Sevidal and Elmer Porte. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran, BP Trustee Richard Upton, former BP Artistic Director Norman Walker, former BP member (1979-1994) Perry Sevidal and Elmer Porte. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Out of anyone’s hands is typhoon Mario disrupting plans, causing destruction of homes and even loss of life. The last thing in anyone’s minds is the ballet. No one knew what to expect, they were just ready to put up the best show whether it was to an empty house or a darkened Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

from left: Myriam Carcy, Mdme Isabelle Garachon (is an upcoming BP star), Ariane Tricaud and Thery Beord. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Myriam Carcy, Mdme Isabelle Garachon (is an upcoming BP star), Ariane Tricaud and Thery Beord. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Little by little they came. They were all a great mix of people: from young ballet students and their families to the elite in Philippine society Irene Marcos Araneta, Felicidad Sy, George Yang, Joel Cruz, Madame Isabelle Garachon, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde just to name a few. All of them braved severe weather and knew how special it was to have Abrera that one night. Soon the CCP lobby was full and abuzz with excitement. Everyone was aware of the more difficult power situation. During the cocktails, instead of complaining the lack of AC they fanned themselves with expensive abanicos plegables.

from left: Phil. Italian Association Pres. Zenaida Tantoco, Dr. Joven Cunanang and Artist Sandra Fabie Gfeller. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Phil. Italian Association Pres. Zenaida Tantoco, Dr. Joven Cunanang and Artist Sandra Fabie Gfeller. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna), Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna), Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Underscoring the dangers, some members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra were stranded in Bulacan and Pampanga. So there was no live music from the prestigious ensemble. The power of the performance of all dancers that night was such that it more than made up for it. They may have fed off the crowd’s energy to make it a truly special night. As always BP’s Carissa Adea, Victor Maguad, Jemima Reyes and Emmanuel Guillermo had breathtaking performances. They were in the roles of the Peasant Pas De Quatre. Rita Angela Winder was another crowd pleaser with the very important role of Queen Myrtha. Richardson Yadao is spectacular as the villainous rival suitor Hilarion.

Stella Abrera (Giselle) has features not unlike statuesque beauties Maricar Reyes, Marina Benipayo and Angel Aquino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) has features not unlike statuesque beauties Maricar Reyes, Marina Benipayo and Angel Aquino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera

Stella (Giselle) was worth the huge trouble. She’s tall and commands your attention the moment she appears. As a writer who is so used to spoken dialogue in theater, film, it never fails to amaze me how ballerinas are able to convey so much emotion with how they move, they’re facial expressions. Abrera does this with mastery and skill that audiences can’t help but be touched.

James Whiteside (Albrecht) lifts Stella Abrera (Giselle) effortlessly. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) lifts Stella Abrera (Giselle) effortlessly. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) has features not unlike statuesque beauties Maricar Reyes, Marina Benipayo and Angel Aquino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) has features not unlike statuesque beauties Maricar Reyes, Marina Benipayo and Angel Aquino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Her facial features are very Asian and Filipina. She reminds me of statuesque models and actresses here such as Maricar Reyes, Marina Benipayo even Angel Aquino. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with her, when she’s in her element. She doesn’t have to DO anything to mesmerize you and yet there she is floating, leaping, spinning, evoking sadness, joy, falling in love. Your vision, your whole being is transfixed on her.

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle), Mailes Kanapi (Berthe), Gilliane Gequinto & kid. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle), Mailes Kanapi (Berthe), Gilliane Gequinto & kid. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad & Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad & Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Her height and long legs doesn’t seem like an advantage but they are. The execution of ballet moves is all about the lines. Hers was a perfect execution of an arabesque and especially the Grand Jeté, which is a long horizontal jump, starting from one leg and landing on the other. Her limbs create the sought after compass like movement vis-a-vis her torso. So the lines created by her body are longer, straighter, the precision is more evident, than others.

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) mourns the loss of love. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) mourns the loss of love. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside

James is in the role of Albrecht. He shows his skills as principal dancer of American Ballet Theater and before that the Boston Ballet. The word that comes from seeing him on stage is effortless. There’s immense power needed to execute the male lead’s moves especially that of carrying his partner in the air. James does all of them with effortless grace. Even the repeated pirouettes where he spins in the air multiple times consecutively brought the house down. The usually reserved crowd had to applaud his execution of that difficult move.

James Whiteside (Albrecht) performs consecutive pirouettes. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) performs consecutive pirouettes. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

The younger female fans later on screamed with delight when he threw his sampaguita garland to them after the show. His features are similar to that of another great dancer although not of ballet. He’s like a young, brown haired, Saturday Night Fever-era John Travolta especially with his hairstyle that night. They have the same cheekbones, nose, blue eyes and cleft chin.

James Whiteside (Albrecht) is inconsolable with the loss of Giselle. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) is inconsolable with the loss of Giselle. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle) and Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle) and Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Seeing the two of them together onstage for Giselle is nothing but magical. The many attendees who overcame the weather were truly privileged. The scenes where Giselle would visit Albrecht as a spirit was even more moving than the two of them alive. They seemed to share that elusive ‘chemistry’, especially between dancers who are used to each other’s movements. There’s a soul-like quality to Abrera’s movements that makes it seem that they are closer and more bonded than the scenes when she was alive. Stager Nonoy Froilan played the role of the Duke of Courtland only for that night as well.

from left: Butch Esperanza (Leader of the Hunt), Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde) and Chin Valdez (Lord of the Court). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Butch Esperanza (Leader of the Hunt), Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde) and Chin Valdez (Lord of the Court). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Richardson Yadao is the villainous Hilarion. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Richardson Yadao is the villainous Hilarion. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna) & Jemima Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna) & Jemima Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) gives partner James Whiteside (Albrecht) a rose. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) gives partner James Whiteside (Albrecht) a rose. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Way before the dancers took their bows, a powerful standing ovation had come from the audience. During the curtain call James Whiteside made a sweeping gesture with his hand presenting Stella to the adoring crowd. An usher presented a huge bouquet of roses to her. She pulled a rose, bowed her head low and handed it to her partner. James then kissed her hand.

He then kisses her hand.

He then kisses her hand.

Here was a woman who would give a man a rose, so humbly. It was a show of affection, an appreciation in the most public, most open way possible. She was reciprocating very publicly, on stage to the world all the support and love that he gave her. The gesture was so real and sincere; it was as if they’re lovers. But whether or not they are in real life, is immaterial, the bond, gratitude is real. Their dynamic is something to behold, to which we were all privileged to see.

Fans stayed on waiting for a closer glimpse of the cast in the lobby. When they descended on the grand CCP lobby staircase Whiteside proclaimed “We would like to thank the typhoon for attending our performance tonight!”

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) and cast descend at the CCP lobby staircase. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) and cast descend at the CCP lobby staircase. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Gilliane Gequinto (Wilis), Gary Corpuz (Peasants), Victor Maguad (Peasant Pas De Quatre), Carissa Adea (Moyna), Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) and Emmanuel Guillermo (Peasant Pas De Quatre). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Gilliane Gequinto (Wilis), Gary Corpuz (Peasants), Victor Maguad (Peasant Pas De Quatre), Carissa Adea (Moyna), Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) and Emmanuel Guillermo (Peasant Pas De Quatre). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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PEASANTS rejoice. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANTS rejoice. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Angeli Kanapi (Berthe) is playing a prestigious role previously belonged to Shamaine Beuncamino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Angeli Kanapi (Berthe) is playing a prestigious role previously belonged to Shamaine Beuncamino. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Main photo: Stella Abrera is Giselle with crown of flowers, bottom right: Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Main photo: Stella Abrera is Giselle with crown of flowers, bottom right: Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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foreground PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad & Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad & Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ladies of the Court. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ladies of the Court. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Carissa Adea (Peasant Pas De Quatre). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Carissa Adea (Peasant Pas De Quatre). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Main photo from right: Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde), Stella Abrera (Giselle), Angeli Kanapi (Berthe), Chin Valdes (Lord of the Court) and seated Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) top left: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) bottom left: Stella Abrera (Giselle). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Main photo from right: Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde), Stella Abrera (Giselle), Angeli Kanapi (Berthe), Chin Valdes (Lord of the Court) and seated Restager Nonoy Froilan (Duke of Courtland) top left: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) bottom left: Stella Abrera (Giselle). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Carissa Adea & Victor Maguad. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Carissa Adea & Victor Maguad. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Restager Nonoy Froilan (as Duke of Courtland), Chin Valdes (Lord of the Court)  & Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Restager Nonoy Froilan (as Duke of Courtland), Chin Valdes (Lord of the Court) & Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Cinemalaya Pres. Nestor Jardin, SM Hotel and Conventions Pres. Elizabeth Sy & D.O.T Usec Edu Jarque. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Cinemalaya Pres. Nestor Jardin, SM Hotel and Conventions Pres. Elizabeth Sy & D.O.T Usec Edu Jarque. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Emmanuel Guillermo & Victor Maguad. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Emmanuel Guillermo & Victor Maguad. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Top from left: Mailes Kanapi (Berthe) tries to comfort  Stella Abrera (Giselle) Bottom: Stella Abrera (Giselle) pleases Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Top from left: Mailes Kanapi (Berthe) tries to comfort Stella Abrera (Giselle)
Bottom: Stella Abrera (Giselle) pleases Ma. Celina Dofitas (Countess Bathylde). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes & Emmanuel Guillermo. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

PEASANT PAS DE QUATRE from left: Jemima Reyes & Emmanuel Guillermo. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Peasant kids. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Peasant kids. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Male peasants rejoice! Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Male peasants rejoice! Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle), Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) and Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle), Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) and Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht), WILLIS, Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht), WILLIS, Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Richardson Yadao (Hilarion) pleads with Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha). Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Richardson Yadao (Hilarion) pleads with Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha). Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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James Whiteside (Albrecht) is inconsolable with the loss of Giselle. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) is inconsolable with the loss of Giselle. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) performs moves that requires legs strength. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) performs moves that requires legs strength. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

top and bottom left: Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) Main photo from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna), Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

top and bottom left: Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) Main photo from left: Carissa Adea (Moyna), Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) are made for each other as partners on stage. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle) top right Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and bottom right: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: James Whiteside (Albrecht) & Stella Abrera (Giselle) top right Rita Angela Winder (Queen Myrtha) and bottom right: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) reappears as a spirit. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) reappears as a spirit. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) lifts Stella Abrera (Giselle) effortlessly. Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

James Whiteside (Albrecht) lifts Stella Abrera (Giselle) effortlessly. Rita Angela Winder is the leader of the Wilis: Queen Myrtha. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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foreground Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) performed magnificently with the BP company. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) performed magnificently with the BP company. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) as a spirit departs from James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) as a spirit departs from James Whiteside (Albrecht). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) with the whole BP company receive a raucous standing ovation. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) & James Whiteside (Albrecht) with the whole BP company receive a raucous standing ovation. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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top left: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) & Chin Valdez, main photo: Stella Abrera, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad (Peasant Pas De Quatre), Corinne Siniguian (Wilis) and Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

top left: Jemima Sanielle Reyes (Zulme) & Chin Valdez, main photo: Stella Abrera, Emmanuel Guillermo, Victor Maguad (Peasant Pas De Quatre), Corinne Siniguian (Wilis) and Carissa Adea (Moyna). Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: James Whiteside, Stella Abrera, Jemima Reyes, Chin Valdez, Richardson Yadao, Emmanuel and Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: James Whiteside, Stella Abrera, Jemima Reyes, Chin Valdez, Richardson Yadao, Emmanuel and Carissa Adea. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fans try to take selfies with Stella Abrera. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fans try to take selfies with Stella Abrera. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Stella Abrera (Giselle) had a successful first performance in her country of birth. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Stella Abrera (Giselle) had a successful first performance in her country of birth. Ballet Philippines’ 45th year was celebrated with a special staging of GISELLE from September 19, 20 & 21, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Photo by Jude Bautista


RWM’s Pledge to Help

Mig Ayesa made a splash in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Mig Ayesa made a splash in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

After the spate of natural calamities that hit the country late last year, Resort’s World Manila together with Concert Producers Christine and Mark Manalang of Ultimate Production organized KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA. The benefit concert headlined by Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Lani Misalucha, David Pomeranz, Mitoy & Draybers, Christian Bautista, Karylle Tatlonghari, Mark Bautista, Dulce and Fortenors, The Company and so much more was able to raise 8 million pesos in cash and pledges.

from right: RWM Pres. Kingson Sian, Ultimate Production bosses Mark Manalang, Christine Manalang and RWM VP for Ent Sviatlana Burkun. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from right: RWM Pres. Kingson Sian, Ultimate Production bosses Mark Manalang, Christine Manalang and RWM VP for Ent Sviatlana Burkun. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Paolo Onesa, Klarisse De Guzman, Mitoy Yonting, Janice Javier, Morisette  Amon and Myk Perez. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Paolo Onesa, Klarisse De Guzman, Mitoy Yonting, Janice Javier, Morisette Amon and Myk Perez. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

 

Dulce in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Dulce in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

The immensely successful concert last December 3, 2013 was followed by an even bigger concert: Voices for Visayas last January 15, 2014. It was a show that combined the best of Philippine music with the most awarded dance troupes.

from left: Senator Bong Bong Marcos with Voices organizer Manny Miñana. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Senator Bong Bong Marcos with Voices organizer Manny Miñana. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Regine Velasquez touched audiences with YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Regine Velasquez touched audiences with YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Concertgoers were also able to buy #HELP.PH t-shirts for 200 pesos whose proceeds also go to the PDRF. Help.ph allows users to donate amounts ranging from P5, P10, to P1,000 by texting. (example: HELPPH 10) to 5353.

Pops Fernandez shakes it with HOT LEGS DANCERS in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Pops Fernandez shakes it with HOT LEGS DANCERS in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

TV5 Megastar Sharon Cuneta sings SMILE to Yolanda survivors. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

TV5 Megastar Sharon Cuneta sings SMILE to Yolanda survivors. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

KATY cast w RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS foreground from left: Gimbey Dela Cruz, Aaron Ching and Nomherlito Cipriano. They can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

KATY cast w RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS foreground from left: Gimbey Dela Cruz, Aaron Ching and Nomherlito Cipriano. They can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Megastar Sharon Cuneta, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Leo Valdez, Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Jed Madela and Kuh Ledesma shared the stage with the BAYANIHAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY, BALLET PHILIPPINES and DOUGLAS NIERRAS’ POWERDANCE and PHILIPPINE MADRIGAL SINGERS. Voices for Visayas also held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila was able to raise a total of 18 million pesos.

from left: Senator Bong Bong Marcos, RWM Dir. for Sponsorship Anna Chua, RWM Dir. of Business Mgt Gaming Kris Mayo. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Senator Bong Bong Marcos, RWM Dir. for Sponsorship Anna Chua, RWM Dir. of Business Mgt Gaming Kris Mayo. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

Mig Ayesa sings to survivors in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Mig Ayesa sings to survivors in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

RWM has been the consistent venue partner for these successful fund raising concerts. January 29&30 NPAT also hosted another once in a lifetime show: DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? Lead star Lea Salonga was joined by Australian stage star David Harris and internationally acclaimed French Soprano Marie Zamora. The super musical is a combination of legendary producers Boublil-Schonberg’s ‘greatest hits’- LES MISERABLES, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre, The Pirate Queen and La Révolution Française.

Pilita Corrales and Chad Borja sang the Visayan classic USAHAY. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pilita Corrales and Chad Borja sang the Visayan classic USAHAY. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Klarisse in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Klarisse in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Christian Bautista & Karylle (who is recently engaged to Yael Yuzon of Spongecola). KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Christian Bautista & Karylle (who is recently engaged to Yael Yuzon of Spongecola). KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Beneficiaries: Log on to beneficiaries’ websites to donate or for more information: PDRF- http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalinga- http://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Beneficiaries: Log on to beneficiaries’ websites to donate or for more information: PDRF- http://pdrf.org/index.htm , Gawad Kalinga- http://gk1world.com/ , Habitat for Humanity Phil- http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Our very own Rachelle Ann Go, Jon Joven, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Jed Madela, Cocoy Laurel, Michael Williams and Leo Tavarro Valdez all lent their voices to  the stellar cast. Proceeds will go to the benefit of Habitat for Humanity’s project for Yolanda victims.

Lani Misalucha in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Lani Misalucha in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Rannie Raymundo, Renz Verano, Richard Reynoso and Chad Borja. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Rannie Raymundo, Renz Verano, Richard Reynoso and Chad Borja. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

(Center) RWM Pres. Kingson Sian w from left: Miss Resort’s world 2012 finalists Gabrielle Runstrom and Diane Ramirez. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

(Center) RWM Pres. Kingson Sian w from left: Miss Resort’s world 2012 finalists Gabrielle Runstrom and Diane Ramirez. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

RWM President Kingson Sian said, “Resort’s World Manila has always been the home of high quality shows from King and I to Cinderella and soon Priscilla Queen of the Desert. So it’s only natural that in time of need we use our strength in coming up with these shows to help our countrymen.”

TRIA is one of the top regular performers in Resort’s World Manila. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

TRIA is one of the top regular performers in Resort’s World Manila. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

 

Mig Ayesa sings to survivors in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Mitoy Yonting, Paolo Onesa and Myk Perez — The VOICE finalists serenade survivors. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Sian was very thankful for the countless artists who’ve lent their voices in these shows, “We have a wealth of local talent that is world class. They’ve proven that they’re also quite generous and caring in the use of their God given gifts. If it weren’t for their kindness, the generosity of our many patrons and sponsors we would not be able to put up these shows which then raise money for these worthy causes.”

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KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

Bituin Escalante sang Waray waray and Balot Penoy with Mitch Valdes. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bituin Escalante sang Waray waray and Balot Penoy with Mitch Valdes. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

A recurring theme in both KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA and Voices for Visayas is Pinoy Pride. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA had El Gamma Penumbra, the renowned light and shadow dance group were able to pay homage to national heroes like Rizal and Bonifacio and even famous travel spots. The Draybers with Mitoy Yonting even had a rap medley of Francis Magallona’s greatest hits MGA KABABAYAN KO and Man from Manila. THE COMPANY performed GANYAN KAMING MGA PINOY. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA T-Shirts whose proceeds benefit Yolanda victims can be bought at Resort’s World Manila.

(center) Irene Marcos Araneta and friends. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

(center) Irene Marcos Araneta and friends. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pops Fernandez shakes it with HOT LEGS DANCERS in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Pops Fernandez shakes it with HOT LEGS DANCERS in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

from left: Voices organizers Nanette Medved Po & Manny Miñana. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Voices organizers Nanette Medved Po & Manny Miñana. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

(center) Isay Alvarez Seña behind her from left: Gimbey Dela Cruz & Aaron Ching. Isay & Gimbey can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

(center) Isay Alvarez Seña behind her from left: Gimbey Dela Cruz & Aaron Ching. Isay & Gimbey can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lani Misalucha & Mitoy Yonting in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Lani Misalucha & Mitoy Yonting in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

from right: Janice Javier, Klarisse De Guzman and Morisette  Amon-- The VOICE finalists serenade survivors. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from right: Janice Javier, Klarisse De Guzman and Morisette Amon– The VOICE finalists serenade survivors. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors, would not have been possible without these generous sponsors.

Pilita Corrales and Chad Borja sang the Visayan classic USAHAY. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pilita Corrales and Chad Borja sang the Visayan classic USAHAY. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

PRIVE Gen Mgr JM Rodriguez w actor Jeff Flores. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

PRIVE Gen Mgr JM Rodriguez w actor Jeff Flores. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

helpph ad

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Draybers in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Draybers in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

KATY cast w RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS. Gimbey Dela Cruz & Poppert Bernadas can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

KATY cast w RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS. Gimbey Dela Cruz & Poppert Bernadas can also be seen in RAK F AEGIS at PETA from Jan31 to March 4, 2014. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

David Pomeranz surpised everyone by singing Gary V’s PASKO NA SINTA KO. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

David Pomeranz surpised everyone by singing Gary V’s PASKO NA SINTA KO. KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA was a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Jessica Tan Gan and Lu Lu Tan Gan. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jessica Tan Gan and Lu Lu Tan Gan. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Erik Santos performed an emotional song THE CLIMB. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Erik Santos performed an emotional song THE CLIMB. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

TV5 Megastar Sharon Cuneta sings SMILE to Yolanda survivors. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

TV5 Megastar Sharon Cuneta sings SMILE to Yolanda survivors. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Jay Cayuca in VOICES FOR VISAYAS held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jay Cayuca in VOICES FOR VISAYAS held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Celine Fabie is both a part of the RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS and the KATY cast. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Celine Fabie is both a part of the RYAN CAYABYAB SINGERS and the KATY cast. VOICES FOR VISAYAS was held at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last January 15, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

from left: Mig Ayesa and Mitoy Yonting in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: Mig Ayesa and Mitoy Yonting in KAMI NAMAN ANG TAYA a fund raising concert for the benefit of Yolanda Typhoon survivors. Ultimate Productions and Resort’s World Manila organized the concert at the New Port Performing Arts Theater last December 3, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

IMG_7899

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRFhttp://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalingahttp://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php


Leo Valdez: Rightful Ruler of the Stage

Leo Valdez is RP’s rightful Ruler of the stage. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Leo Valdez is RP’s rightful Ruler of the stage. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

The success of Resorts World’s “King and I” has etched Leo Valdez as the lead role in the minds of most fans. Ticket sales have already convinced producers to extend the run to December 30, 2012. Leo Valdez, however was King Mongkut long before anyone ever thought of producing “King and I” locally. Physically he already sported the bald look for years. Vocally its difficult to think of anyone having a more imposing resume.

Leo Valdez is RP’s rightful Ruler of the stage. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

One of the roles he is most known for, the Engineer in Miss Saigon matches the accent and almost the nationality. Miss Saigon’s setting of Vietnam is practically the neighbor of Thailand; setting of what was then the kingdom of Siam in ‘King and I.’ The facial features and the accents of the two countries in speaking English are not exactly the same but is similar.

From left: Leo Valdez (King Mongkut), Arnel Carreon (Edward Ramsay) and Monique Wilson (Anna) “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Seeing him live in CCP’s 40th anniversary celebration in March 2009 was really remarkable. Covering that event was one of the early assignments I had, as Entertainment staff of Manila Bulletin. Being there to see that celebration was definitely a privilege that I won’t forget. It was one of those performances that remain in your mind long after the night ended. It had one of the most complete, resounding and longest standing ovations I had ever witnessed.

Shamaine Buencamino represented Tanghalang Pilipino at the CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration March 3rd 2009. Shamaine is also in STAGESHOW which opens the 4th National Theater fest on Nov 7 & 8. Photo by Jude Bautista

You know you’ve seen something special when it makes you really proud not just of the performances but of our Filipino culture and heritage. The Cultural Center of the Philippines is the epicenter of nearly all art forms in our country.  So they had to think up of a single show that would represent the prestige and honor of that title.

Lisa Macuja with Nazer Salgado of Ballet Manila at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, March 3rd 2009. Photo by Jude Bautista

The best dancers, singers, actors spanning various genres were there. Lisa Macuja Elizalde enthralled audiences with White Swan Pax De Deux with partner Nazer Salgado of Ballet Manila. Excerpts from the best performances of resident companies like: Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater, The Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company were also seen.

Jed Madela at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration March 3rd 2009. Photo by Jude Bautista

The actors of Tanghalang Pilipino, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, reprised the most memorable plays and musicals. Jed Madela and Bo Cerrudo sang the classic ‘Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika’ which won the Metro Pop Grand Prize in 1978. Cerrudo incidentally is also in the King Mongkut role for Resort’s World’s “King and I”. It was such an incredible array of artists. The list is truly long and prestigious. Finding the right person to sing the grand finale to cap this unearthly show was an almost impossible task.

Bo Cerrudo (King Mongkut) sang a medley at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration March 3rd 2009. Photo by Jude Bautista

To top it all, Leo Valdez came out in his trademark ‘bald’ look, foo manchu moustache, belting out his hit “Magsimula Ka”. The song written by Gines Tan won third prize at the 4th Metro Pop Fest established by now Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos. Valdez performed the song that launched his career in the festival that discovered Freddie Aguilar, Hajji Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi and even composer Ryan Cayabyab. After covering so many concerts, musical events, I have yet to see an ovation that would equal what happened after that song, to be fair after the assortment of talent that night.

Leo Valdez looked like his 2012 role King Mongkut even at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration March 3rd 2009. He was the grand finale to an incredible show. Photo by Jude Bautista

“Magsimula Ka” was the crescendo to all of the best that CCP had to offer. The message of the song is to inspire one to create. Yes it is the 40th anniversary, but this is just the beginning. We’re going to go on. The lyrics say it all, “Magsimula ka, pilitin at tuklasin ang hanap…Madanas man ang maraming hirap…Ang mithiin mo pag naging ganap…Langit ng pagsisikap iyo nang malalasap”. In this time of economic crisis, the words have more significance. It’s an inspiring message of creative excellence from the CCP that will continue no matter what the current challenges are.

Irene Marcos Araneta & Musical Director Josefino Chino Toledo at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration last March 2009. Photo by Jude Bautista

From left: Andrew Fernando, Celeste Legaspi & Leo Valdez at CCP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration March 3rd 2009. Photo by Jude Bautista

When you watch Leo as King Mongkut in “King and I” he easily inhabits the role. Although vocally, one gets the feeling that the Rogers and Hammerstein songs don’t really stretch his range. The songs may be ‘too easy’ for someone who has such a powerful and operatic voice. Comparing Valdez to one of the most iconic actors of all time who made the film version famous, Yul Brynner is not a disservice to either one.

Leo Valdez is RP’s rightful Ruler of the stage. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Brynner’s advantage is his macho, almost overpoweringly strong commanding presence on screen, which Valdez may in some ways duplicate. Yul’s bald look and bearing made you believe he’s King. But vocally there’s no way that Brynner could compete with Valdez. In a previous interview with Ida del Mundo of Phil. Star, Valdez confessed that he took the best parts of both Yul Brynner and Chow Yun Fat’s interpretation of King Mongkut and then made it his own.

Leo Valdez is RP’s rightful Ruler of the stage. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

(Monique Wilson) Anna touches (Leo Valdez) the King’s arm for the first time. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Filling the role of Anna also had to be strong in order to stand up to someone like Valdez as an actor. Otherwise she’s going to disappear performance wise. Monique Wilson more than made up for this, who also used to be a lead actress for Miss Saigon. There’s so much amazing chemistry between Leo and Monique that you can’t help but fall in love with them as a couple. What “King and I” has done is to create the perfect role and show for Leo Valdez to be crowned as the ‘Rightful Ruler of the Stage.’

Monique Wilson is wonderful as Anna. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista

Leo Valdez (King Mongkut) falls for Monique Wilson (Anna) on the dance floor. “The King and I” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila is extended until December 30, 2012. Check schedules and other info on the official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/the-king-and-i/. Photo by Jude Bautista


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