Lea Salonga reveals her stand on OPM artists’ call for "Filipino first" in the concert scene

"I would most likely support a show na alam kong masisiyahan ako, where I will be happy, where I know I will have a good time, where I know that singing would be excellent, where I know the production value is high. Ang sa akin lang, it’s fair and square, it’s competition. And if the local artists’ shows are just so good, then that’s where the money is going to go," says Lea Salonga about the competition between local concerts and foreign acts


Kapansin-pansin ang sunud-sunod na pagdating ng international recording artists sa Pilipinas upang mag-concert. Karamihan sa mga ito ay tinatangkilik ng ating mga kababayan na tila sabik sa ganitong klaseng panoorin.

Kaugnay nito, may ilan namang Pinoy singers o OPM artists ang nagpahayag na sana ay mas tangkilikin ng ating mga kababayan ang concerts ng local singers kumpara sa foreign acts. Isa raw kasi ito sa dahilan kung bakit unti-unting namamatay ang musikang Pinoy.

Isa sa ipinagmamalaki nating singers ay si Lea Salonga, na kilala rin internationally bilang stage actress.

Special guest si Lea sa two-night concert ng Grammy Award-winning singer na si James Ingram sa Araneta Coliseum on February 17 at sa Waterfront Hotel Cebu sa February 18.

Kaugnay nito ay nagkaroon ng contract signing at presscon si Lea noong Miyerkules, February 8, sa Lubang Room ng Edsa Shangri-La Plaza Hotel.

Dito ay hiningan siya ng reaksiyon ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang media kaugnay sa hinaing na ito ng kapwa niya local artists.

Pahayag ni Lea: "I don’t know... ang sa akin lang kasi, if you think the Filipino artists are excellent, then the market will know it.

"And if you were a discerning concertgoer, you will know where you’re going to spend your money.

"Ang sa akin lang kasi, hindi ko binabase ang pagbili ko ng ticket, ’O, foreigner ba o Pinoy, or taga-saan siya, taga-Cebu or whatever.’ Wala akong pakialam.

"Kasi ang sa akin lang, kung ang isang artist ay magaling, dun ako pupunta—it’s regardless kung local o foreign.

"Kasi may mga foreign din na, ’Ay, ayoko corny! Ay, ayoko, di magaling kumanta.’"

Dagdag pa ng Miss Saigon star, "I would most likely support a show na alam kong masisiyahan ako, where I will be happy, where I know I will have a good time, where I know that singing would be excellent, where I know the production value is high.

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"Ang sa akin lang, it’s fair and square, it’s competition.

"And if the local artists’ shows are just so good, then that’s where the money is going to go.

"And don’t support a Filipino show just because it’s Filipino.

"Support Filipino because you know this is the best show you’re gonna watch this Valentine—so that’s my stance.

"You go to where you feel you will enjoy it.

"And if it happens to be this one, then come to this one...

"There’s so many concerts coming out this Valentine’s.

"I think everybody will be very pleased... everbody will have something to watch."

(CLICK HERE to watch video of Lea’s interview.)

CONCERT WITH JAMES. Hindi naman itinago ni Lea ang kanyang excitement sa pagsasama nila ni James sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, lalo’t halos isang dekada na pala ang nakalipas nang huling mag-perform sa Pilipinas ang international singer.

Si James ang nagpasikat ng mga awiting "Just Once," "One Hundred Ways," "How Do you Keep The Music Playing" (duet with Patti Austin), "There’s No Easy Way," at "I Don’t Have The Heart."

Sabi ni Lea, "I’m excited... he’s one of the voices of my youth, he’s one of the voices that I listen when I was growing up. He along with people like Peabo Bryson, Patti Austin, and Michael Jackson...

"I mean, that was the music I kinda grew up listening to. The songs were on the radio, talagang napapa-in love ka dun sa mga kanta niya.

"Your heartbreaks... I mean, I dated men who put his songs on mixed tapes so, you know, I had ’Just Once’ played over and over... things like that.

"So, it’s kinda nice to now to be able to get to perform with the voice in my mixed tapes for so long, so it’s gonna be fun."

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Ano ang mga paboritong kanta ni Lea na pinakasikat ni James?

"Lahat yata, e... ’Just Once,’ ’Whatever We Imagine,’ ’Yah Mo B There’...

"My favorite I think is his duet with Patti Austin, ’How Do You Keep The Music Playing.’

"I did a concert with Patti Austin and she did ’Baby Come To Me’ by herself and she imitated James Ingram, and wala na ’kong ginawa sa backstage kundi tumawa lang nang tumawa!

"Hopefully he [James] picked that one. Sa akin kahit na ano piliin niya okay lang kasi memorized ko na."

VALENTINE DATE. Kahit na abala sa kanyang career si Lea, palagi naman daw siyang may oras sa kanyang asawa’t anak.

Sa katunayan ay nakatakda silang lumipad patungong Hong Kong pagkatapos ng concert nila ni James.

"Actually we’re leaving for Hong Kong, not around Valentine’s.

"After my birthday kasi magkasunod lang... my birthday is on Feb. 22.

"So we’re gonna head out of town and just enjoy ourselves."

Banggit pa niya, "My brother [Gerard Salonga] is going to be conducting in Hong Kong with Philharmonic Orchestra... that orchestra’s fundraising efforts.

"So, I wanna go and support and have fun.

"Matagal na rin akong hindi nakakapanood ng concert ng orchestra and that particular orchestra is really, really fun."


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