REDWOOD CITY, CA—ABS-CBN North America capped its year-long celebration of The Filipino Channel's 15th anniversary last September 20, 2009.
After drawing a crowd of 7,000 to Ontario Convention Center in the anniversary kick-off celebration last year, One Kapamilya Go (OK Go) attracted last Sunday almost 10,000 to the Redwood Amphitheater and Picnic Pavilion of California's Great America in Santa Clara.
As early as seven in the morning, three hours before gates opened, TFC subscribers formed long lines hoping they could still avail of whatever tickets were left at the box-office.
All early bird tickets at $40—which included access to the park's attractions and thrill rides and OK Go's treasure chest of offerings—were sold out.
Moviegoers rushed to attend the three screenings of the Star Cinema film, And I Love You So at the Great America Theatre. Meanwhile, young Filipino Americans lined up to audition for Pinoy Big Brother and Pinoy Dream Academy with no less than director Laurenti Dyogi and ABS-CBN Head of Entertainment Production Cory Vidanes overseeing the auditions.
Booth vendors—from sponsors to food, merchandise, non-profit and media—had their hands full as people flocked to check out their activities. Chokoleit, Candy Pangilinan, Laarni Lozada and Bugoy Drilon had a Meet and Greet with the fans at the TFC area.
On stage, people were entertained by the pre-show performers that included local band 5:15, Lori Abucayen and Summer Breeze, the Parangal Dance Group, DZMM and 101.9 World Caravan with Gel Santos-Relos, Rey Kilay and Rachel Alejandro, the loveable children of Veronica's Blog, Seafood Sing-Galing with Jojo Mabolo, and the Pera Mo, Pera Koshow.
The pre-show culminated with the presentation of popular California State Senator Leland Yee of Resolutions from his Office and the Office of California State assemblyman Ted Lieu congratulating TFC on its 15th anniversary, and a Proclamation from the Office of Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan that marks September 20 as "One Kapamilya Go sa California's Great America Day." On hand to receive these were ABS-CBN North America managing director and OK Go project head Chinky De Jesus and TFC director of cable and satellite Jun Del Rosario.
Last year, OK Go received numerous proclamations from Southern California-based officials and messages from then presidential candidate Barack Obama and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The Redwood Amphitheatre was jampacked by the time the main show started.
Chokoleit opened the show with a birthday cake for TFC and led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday." Fellow comic Candy Pangilinan joined him to co-host the show.
Billy Crawford fired up the audience with his performance of "I've Got A Feeling." The Parangal folk dancers joined him onstage, giving Billy's rendition of the Black Eyed Peas' hit a Filipino flavor.
MYX, the music entertainment and lifestyle channel that caters to Asian Americans, made their presence felt with a thrilling hip-hop dance number from the Kaba Modern.
Another crowd favorite was PDA star Bugoy Drilon, who sang "Paano Na Kaya" and later did a duet with fellow PDA winner Laarni Lozada.
Vhong Navarro's highly animated dance number brought laughter and joy to the adoring fans.
To mark the U.S. broadcast of Betty La Fea in October, 19 Filipinos took part in a Betty look-alike contest. I Love Betty La Fea stars Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz picked out three winners, who won $100, $200, $300 respectively. Bea and John Lloyd capped their appearance with a duet, to the delight of the crowd.
Luis Manzano took part in the "Dating Game," with three contestants vying for his attention. Then, Manzano joined his fellow Kanto Boys—Billy, John Lloyd and Vhong—in a Ricky Martin song-and-dance medley.
The crowd went wild over "Go, Go Ok," which paved the way for Cash/Bukash (in the style of the popular game Pera o Bayong). A lucky Filipina named Day Presa, from Newark, California won the grand prize: a townhouse, two round trip tickets to the Philippines plus pocket money.
International singer Charice mesmerized the crowd with her powerful medley of three teleserye theme songs, "Tayong Dalawa," "Ikaw' and "May Bukas Pa."
Bugoy and Laarni were joined by Rachel Alejandro for an inspiring medley of TFC station ID songs. Charice went back on stage to perform TFC's 15th anniversary song, "Dahil Tayo'y Filipino" with Billy Joe Crawford and the Parangal dancers.
All performers then sang "Galaw sa Tag-Araw" for the finale amid rains of confetti.
ABS-CBN Global Chief Operating Officer Raffy Lopez commented: "This celebration is all about making the community happy and that in itself is so fulfilling for us. We've had fifteen years of doing this and we're going to be
doing this for many more years. Hopefully, we'll have many more of these events."
De Jesus added: "We've kept our promise of making this a win-win event for our subscribers, supporters, partners and the Filipino community in general. People experienced the Kapamilya spirit and left prouder of being a Filipino."
(With reports from Regina Reyes, Nerissa Fernandez & Henni Espinosa)