Martin Nievera, Jessica Sanchez to headline 3-day San Diego ‘Phil-Am’ fest

/ 02:23 AM May 30, 2015

“American Idol” star Jessica Sanchez

SAN DIEGO, California – Singer-songwriter Martin Nievera and Chula Vista, California native and “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sanchez will take center stage at the 2015 Philippine American Celebration on June 5-7 in Balboa Park.

Nievera, the award-winning “Concert King” of the Philippines, performs June 5 as part of the celebration’s opening night performances. Local phenomenon Sanchez headlines a full day of music, dance and comedy on June 6.


Sanchez wowed audiences across the country with her powerful vocals and commanding stage presence on the eleventh season of “American Idol.

The Philippine American Celebration festivities take place at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the House of Pacific Relations lawn on Friday, June 5 at 12-9 p.m., Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday, June 7 at 10 a.m. -5 p.m.


The celebration offers a full array of traditional and contemporary music and dance performances and much more featuring the talents of local, national and international Filipino artists.

The House of the Philippines will host festivities during the week of June 8-12 with daily cultural performances and activities for all ages culminating with a flag raising ceremony to mark 117 years of Philippine independence.

In addition to Sanchez and Nievera, the celebration’s lineup of singer/songwriters includes acclaimed Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Charmaine Clamor, “American Idol” alum Marvin Calderon Jr., and pop singer Amy Monzon.


“Concert King” Martin Nievera

The Harana Men’s Chorus, whose performances are known for their eclectic arrangements, and the Philippine Chamber Singers, which highlights the work of Filipino composers, are also scheduled to appear. The Philippine Chamber Singers has been described by CBS Los Angeles as one of the best vocal groups in Los Angeles.

Artistic director Gelo Francisco shared that he is “looking forward to performing in this community outreach opportunity,” making this a regional celebration.

Friday’s opening night performances include a special collaboration between the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) of Los Angeles and company members from Barangay Dance Company and Likha Pilipino Folk Ensemble of San Francisco; Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts and Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts of Los Angeles; and BIBAK Youth, PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company, and Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center of San Diego.

Samahan dance master, Reina Chiong, described the energy from the collaboration among the local groups as “epic” and a demonstration of how the community’s Filipino American organizations can learn from, build on, and leverage such collaborations and community partnerships.


Traditional dance performances continue throughout the weekend, with Philippine American dance companies hailing from San Diego to the Bay Area performing a variety of pieces highlighting the great diversity of cultures and traditions of the Philippine Islands.

They include a special joint performance by Los Angeles-based Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts and Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble of San Diego, whose directors have studied extensively in Mindanao through research tours.

Actress Ellen D. Williams will emcee on Saturday along with well-known comedians Ron Josel, Joey Guila, and special guest Rembrandt. On-air talent from local and regional stations will also emcee throughout the weekend, including NBC 7 San Diego’s Melisa Mecija and Liberty Zabala; KGTV 10’s Marie Coronel and Robert Santos; and Giselle Tongi of “Kababayan Today” from Los Angeles.

The event, organized by the Balboa Park Centennial 2015 Philippine American Celebration Committee, is envisioned as a celebration of Philippine and Filipino-American arts, culture, history, innovation, and commerce and a reminder of the ties between the United States and the Philippines that have existed for over a century.

The 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition celebrated the great technological progress that allowed for the completion of the Panama Canal, which created a key passageway for international maritime commerce, and highlighted the city’s position as the first American port north of the canal on the Pacific coast.

Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, Manila served as a major world economic trade center between China, Spain, and the Americas, and historical records indicate that Filipinos aboard the Spanish galleons were among the first New World settlers of the Americas, including California.

For a full schedule, please visit Interested sponsors are encouraged to email or call (619) 400-7140.

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TAGS: “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sanchez, 4th TeeUP High Golf Tournament, Balboa Park San Diego, Charmaine Clamor, Giselle Toengi, June Philippine independence day celebrations, Martin Nievera, Philippine Independence Day, Philippine-American Celebration, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, The House of the Philippines
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