The rain did not deter Filipinos from crowding the Quezon Memorial Circle last night, June 30, to celebrate the country's new President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, through a victory concert party.
The night's theme was unity—big stars from both the Kapuso and Kapamilya networks performed for the enthusiastic crowd composed of people of all ages and from all walks of life.
The program started at 6 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m. A heavy drizzle fell at around 9:30 p.m., but the audience endured the rain and stayed until the end.
Security was tight at the venue. Even the press was heavily restricted from interviewing the performers and the VIPs.
High-profile guests included the Aquino sisters—Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, Viel Aquino-Dee, and Kris Aquino—Kris's son Baby James, President Aquino's girlfriend Shalani Soledad, and members of his new Cabinet.
The best and brightest performers included Gary Valanciano, Regine Velasquez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid, Billy Crawford, Kyla, Jed Madela, Jay-R, Nina, Gabby Concepcion, Kamikazee, Zaijian Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, Arnel Pineda, Coco Martin, Jake Cuenca, Gerald Anderson, Kim Chiu, Matt Evans, Erich Gonzales, Empress Schuck, Andy Eigenmann, Matteo Guidicelli, Jovit Baldivino, The Gigger Boys, Melisa Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Pokwang, Pooh, Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, Mariel Rodriguez, and many more.
Even President Noynoy Aquino became a performer when he arrived towards the end of the program. He sang two songs: "Watch What Happens" by Sergio Mendes and "Estudyante Blues" by Freddie Aguilar.
President Aquino first serenaded the audience with "Watch What Happens," a love song that he said he "did not practice." He pulled it off confidently, however, and made everyone wonder who he was dedicating the song to.
The song "Estudyante Blues," on the other hand, was President Aquino's encore. His close friends who were onstage sang along with him for this song.
President Aquino left the venue after his performance. A ten-minute fireworks display ended the victory party.
PERFORMANCES. Several cherished performances in the victory concert party featured extraordinary duets.
Stars from competing Sunday variety shows Party Pilipinas and ASAP, for instance, sang together.
In one segment, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Gary Valenciano sang "Muli" and "Kung Mawawala Ka." Another segment featured Kyla, Jay-R, Nina, and Jed Madela singing "Because of You," "Time of My Life," and "Angels Brought Me Here."
Pilipinas Got Talent winner Jovit Baldivino also sang a surprise duet with Journey frontman Arnel Pineda. Jovit first sang Queen's "Too Much Love Will Kill You" before singing Journey's "Faithfully" with Arnel.
After the duet, Arnel sang Bon Jovi songs "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer."
Child stars Zaijian Jaranilla and Xyriel Manabat also sang a lovely duet of Aiza Seguerra's "Sana'y Pag-ibig na Lang."
Kapamilya love teams Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson and Melisa Cantiveros and Jason Francisco sang Boys Like Girls's "Two is Better Than One."
Billy Crawford sang Ne-Yo's "Because of You" while The Gigger Boys danced onstage.
Comedic duo Pooh and Pokwang sang a hilarious interpretation of Aegis's "Sinta."
Kapamilya hunks Coco Martin, Gerald Anderson, and Jake Cuenca also sang Eraserheads's "Ligaya."
The band Kamikazee sang two songs: "Martyr Nyebera" and "Unang Tikim."
Regine Velasquez's rousing version of "I Will Survive" was notable for stopping the heavy drizzle during the concert.
Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, and Mariel Rodriguez hosted the program.
HONORED. Several performers expressed hope and gratitude because they were part of the historical concert.
"I'm so honored. Very privileged. Sana any time they need me for this kind of event, I will be there," Arnel Pineda told the press in an ambush interview after his performance.
Pokwang also expressed her joy. "Nakakatuwa na nakasama kami sa ganitong concert," she said.
Her partner said likewise. "Totoo 'yan," said Pooh.
Jake Cuenca was as thankful. "Bihira ang pagkakataon na ito, at saka lahat ng ito ay para sa suporta namin kay Noynoy Aquino."
Regine Velasquez was also happy. She recalled her performance of "Hindi Ka Nag-iisa" during the inauguration that morning, and said, "Nahihiya nga ako kasi nasa likod ko si President Noy habang kumakanta."
CLICK HERE to watch the video clip of P-Noy's performance