Monday, December 26, 2011


Yesterday, the whole world celebrated Christmas. Most of the time were spent on get together with family and friends. Gift giving and a stretch of festive dining pampered each and everyone.

Here in Brunei Darussalam, a special gift delighted the many Overseas Filipino Workers who weren’t given a chance to go back to the Philippines to spent the holidays. I was one of the many OFWs who were in Brunei to celebrate Christmas.

Believe it or not, Yeng Constantino, the first grand winner of Pinoy Dream Academy, had her concert in the Abode of Peace.

Wanna access the backstage preparations and her fantabulous performances? Read on.

I was the host of the event entitled Pamaskong Handog: A Christmas Concert featuring Yeng Constatino. The event was organized by Prismworks Event Management.

The event was packed with musical extravaganza. Apart from the highly-anticipated performances of Yeng Constantino, there were also a front act of the 2011 Grand Winner of Who’s Got Talent Season 3 Cheenyca Ong and the quirky performance of the Jar Band.

I arrived in the venue, at Centerpoint Gadong, at around 1.30 in the afternoon. As per JC, the event manager, we have to do a rehearsal.
Cheenyca and me during the rehearsals!

When I arrived, Yeng was already in the hotel. The organizer told me that she’s still resting. So, Cheenyca, the band and I were requested to do a run through of the show.

There were sound check and the blocking on stage. For me, I just rehearsed some of the lines that will cue the performers. Plus, I was advised on some of the videos that will be played during the show.

The Censorship Board of Brunei also arrived to check on the performance. Just for your information, Brunei has always implemented to censor all the shows, local or foreign. The censorship board does that.

For a show to be approved, the music shall be checked. They ensure that the lyrics and music are not offensive. Plus, they also check if the clothes are not revealing , especially for girls.

Soon, Yeng arrived in the event venue. At first, I didn’t recognize her. I was busy with checking on my script.

The gorgeous rock princess immediately went up on stage to do sound check. She requested to adjust the microphones register and of course, the speakers.

The screening from the Censorship Board started. Yeng sang “Hawak Kamay.” She explained to the committee the message of the song. Plus, she also sang an air supply medley.

The screening session on Yeng's Concert

Some of the Censorship Board members

The censorship board also checked on her clothes.

Eventually, Yeng’s singing, music and clothes were approved.

Cheenyca followed next and the Jar Band. Everything was approved.

After we had the rehearsal, Cheenyca had her make-up. I started to change my clothes as JC wanted us to have a short run through again.

The clock hit 6 pm and the meet and greet for VIP Ticket Buyers started. The VIPs had the chance to have a snapshot with Yeng Constantino.

Of course, yours truly took the advantage. Since I briefed Yeng on what will happen on the show, right after the briefing, I requested to have a picture with her. Cool and very sweet, Yeng gave in. 

Formal Formalan!

Let's go creative!
We have two pictures: The first one was a very simple pose, while the second one was conceptualized by yours truly. I pointed at her and she gave a perky pose!

After our picture taking, I immediately went back on stage to stand by. Cheenyca arrived and we stayed in the dressing room.

The people started coming inside the hall and took a seat. Soon, the 1,000 seater hall was filled with people.

The program started and I hit the stage. I was very talkative on the stage and yes, I greeted everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Cheenyca was the first to perform. She sang some medley songs such as Fireworks, Grenade, No one, Bad Romance, and yes, her winning piece in Who’s Got Talent entitled “The Edge of Glory.”

After Cheenyca’s impressive performance, take note, she’s just 16 years old and she can play the guitar paired with powerful vocal, the band named Jar Band followed.

The audience started to get excited as the band invited everyone to sing along. During the band’s performance, Philippine Ambassador Nestor Ochoa and his family arrived and were acknowledged.

When the band finished,  it’s time to for me put a twist in the program. Since Yeng is not yet in the hall, I had to stretch the introduction. To do that, I joined the audience and asked some to sing Yeng’s popular song “Hawak Kamay.”

I was very happy coz the audience participated in my impromptu gimmick.

Soon, I went up on stage and read on the background about Yeng’s success over the past years. While I was reading, Yeng arrived and the audience got excited.

5,4,3,2,1, Yeng was on stage. And seriously, she’s very energetic, vibrant and talented. She was even very vocal in expressing her thoughts to the people.

Yeng did a Beatles medley, an Air Supply medley,  Eraserheads medley and a lot more. She also did “Hawak Kamay” while a video was being played to reflect on the devastation that hit Iligan and Cagayan De Oro. On the side, Yeng campaigned for everyone to help for the victims of the recent typhoon that affected the Philippines.

What hit me the most was when Yeng cried during her performance of her song “Hawak Kamay.” She was just filled with so much emotions for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.

Yeng moved from one stage and to the audience’s seat. And so, a lot of people screamed and got excited. Of course, the event was filled with people holding their cameras and capturing Yeng’s incredible showmanship.

The concert lasted for almost two hours.

As a host, I enjoyed the show. Not only because of the stunning performances of Cheenyca and the Jar Band, but most especially, the great showmanship of Yeng. She was just soooo packed with energy. In fact, during my question and answer portion, Yeng was bubbly and articulate in sharing her words. On top of that, she’s very witty and very down-to-earth. And that’s what I love about her as an artist.

Of course, the night won’t end without a snapshot with the Rock Princess of the Philippines. And there you have it, a very tight and uber friendly photo capped off my evening.

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