Pop stars give preview of concert to mark Asean’s 50th year
Singing sensation Christian Bautista and other Asean pop stars serenaded journalists ahead of a concert to be staged on Tuesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Bautista and nine other Asean performers gave a sample of their vocal talent in a press conference on Monday at the International Media Center at the Conrad Hotel Manila.
Bautista sang the song that gave him his first break, “The Way You Look at Me,” eliciting giggles from some members of the female audience.
He also sang the Asean theme song with the rest of the Asean pop stars.
Bautista said as the Philippines, as the host of this year’s Asean, must strive to prepare a venue for the member states to unite on issues despite differences in language and culture.
“We are the host of this year,” Bautista said. “We are just doing our best to communicate, have a healthy dialogue. Whatever we need to talk about, this is the venue, so we can move together as one.”
Bautista touted the role of music to express a shared sentiment that transcends the cultural and language divide among Asean member states, noting that romantic balladry is a shared common musical interest in the region.
“Sometimes, if you don’t know the music, you feel the harmony,” he said. “Music is really not just for nation building, but world building. It plays a big role.”
Bautista said he would sing “Kapit” during the concert at Bonifacio Global City, which will end the 50th anniversary celebrations and cap the weeklong foreign ministers’ meetings that started last week.
Up Dharma Down, 6Cycle Mind, Itchy Worms, Baihana Trio, The Nightingales, The Juans, Thyro and Yumi, Franco and the Cast of Rak of Aegis will grace Tuesday night’s concert with the Asean popstars.
The Asean popstars are Afiq Wafi from Brunei Darussalam, Kong Sothearith from Cambodia, Ismi Halida from Indonesia, Latchana Anoulack from Laos, Dhiya Suhaili Binti from Malaysia, Eint Chit from Myanmar, Aizyah Aziz from Singapore, Natthika Iamthamai from Thailand, and Hai Nam Le from Vietnam.
The anniversary celebration on Tuesday will start with a landmark lighting ceremony of the Asean lantern, which will be paraded from Rizal Park to the Cultural Center of the Philippines grounds in the afternoon. The 16 cities and 1 town that make up Metro Manila will also have their own simultaneous celebration, according to National Commission for Culture and the Arts international affairs office head Mary Anne Luis.
Maribel Legarda, artistic director of the Philippine Educational Theater Association, said the Asean pop stars would grace the grand celebrations because “music runs through our blood” and is a “wonderful platform” to express the Asean’s “shared heart” in music.
“It’s wonderful to have a celebration based on the arts,” Legarda said in the same press conference at the media center. “It’s a powerful way to come together and share our different cultures.” /atm
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