With the midweek skies overcast, March 1 seemed like a day when everyone would rather head straight home from work and curl up beneath the futon or the kotatsu. But many Filipinos in the Kanto area had another idea of warming themselves up that day.
As early as 4 in the afternoon, Kapamilyas from all over Japan started lining up outside the Shinjuku Bunka Center in Tokyo for the much-anticipated Invasion of Pinoy Dream Academy Scholars JR Siaboc, Chad Peralta, Panky Trinidad, Irish Fullerton, Ronnie Liang, Jun Hirano, Rosita Bareng and Grand Star Dreamer Yeng Constantino. To a lot of our Kababayans , timing was perfect as these artists are considered to be the most popular and the most in-demand in the country today.
But to thousands of our Filipina friends, it was also the perfect opportunity to be up close and personal with their favorite heartthrobs Piolo Pascual and Japan first-timer, Sam Milby.
Just before the gates opened at 6:30 pm, the main road leading to the venue was completely filled with our kapamilyas… not minding the winter cold, but were rather all warm with excitement.
At around 7:45 pm, the classy and elegant Bunka Center was in total silence as the Philippine National Anthem was played. The material everyone saw and sang to that evening was a specially produced version of Lupang Hinirang that featured the biggest artists in the ABS-CBN family, shot in various tourist locations in the Philippines. It was the first applauded number for that evening…..
Mr. Rafael L. Lopez, Chief Operating Officer of ABS-CBN Global welcomed everyone to the event, and went on to unveil ABS-CBN’s newest product— TFCKo, dubbed the next big thing in TV entertainment because of its Video-On-Demand functionality.
Immediately after, roars filled the entire hall as the PDA scholars came out and started their high powered performances with an opening act featuring today’s hottest Pinoy band hits. All 7 scholars rendered remarkable production numbers that night. And proof that everyone was having a great time was the energy and applause that was reverberating inside the venue the whole night–one song after the other. Japanese guests who were present that evening may not be very familiar with the scholars, but certainly had a great time singing along with Panky’s rendition of “We Will Rock You”, Irish and Yeng’s version of “Lady Marmalade”, and the boys’ electrifying number of the Prince and the Revolution original, “Kiss”.
For a few seconds at about 9:15 pm, the stage blacked out….. and the intro of “Maging Sino Ka Man” started to play.. By this time, the crowd was uncontrollable. Screams filled the air, and “ladies” trooped towards the stage to have a special moment with coverboy and former Big Brother Housemate, now one the busiest actors in the country, Sam Milby.
But the crowd were in for a double treat. Total performer and multi-awarded actor Piolo Pascual completely made almost all the female fans in the house go wild when he came out and did a duet with Sam with the song “Narda”.
Encoring that night’s extra special presentation was Yeng and the scholars’ rendition of “Hawak Kamay”, accompanied by a video material played back on the big screen that made a lot of people teary-eyed.
The video material showcased ordinary and exceptional Filipinos living in Japan.
By 9:45, the artists were bidding farewell, and were expressing their gratitude for the very warm reception they received from our kababayans.
Kapamilya Invades Japan was their first out-of-the-country concert, and the great experience they had will most definitely be remembered and cherished.