MANILA, Philippines—If you’re not careful and discerning, you could end up falling for the tricks that huckster promoters get away with: presenting shows with recycled performers or, worst, groups bearing the names of legendary acts—except that these acts have broken up long ago.
It is said that Valentine’s is one of the most financially rewarding days for Filipino singers and musicians since almost every dining place or performance venue in the country has a show for the countless couples going out on dates. It’s supposed to be a special day to take your loved one to a special show; which means not being shortchanged with the quality of the performance you are paying good money for.
There are dozens and dozens of shows that you surely have read about; most probably you have made plans. We’re not discouraging you to change those plans.
But in case you’re still undecided on where to go but willing to take our word, here are four gigs we believe are worth your while and hard-earned cash.
We picked them to suit different tastes and inclinations:
Mainstream pop for all audiences
“Ultimate,” featuring Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Regine, Velasquez and Lani Misalucha; Feb. 13 and 14, Mall of Asia Arena
The jaded would tend to dismiss it as same old boring pop schmaltz with biritan thrown in, but we expect Martin and Gary to make it more interesting with their sense of spontaneity and knack for witty repartee, not to mention their time-tested vocal talents.
The concert’s producer tells us that tickets are almost totally sold out, except for a few General Admission seats and SRO slots; tel. 470-2222
Blues rock on a boat
“Manila Juke Joint by the Bay” with Ian Lofamia Band, Bleu Rascals, Aki Merced, Hoochie Coochike Mikkie, Alex Quebral, Johnny Tender, Kristine Virtucio and Paolo Manuel; Feb. 14, Sun Cruises Terminal (at the back of Folk Arts Theater near Coconut Palace, CCP Complex); boarding time 7 p.m.
This is something really different; imagine some of the country’s best blues rock bands playing on a boat that will cruise around Manila Bay. The poster says you can also catch the 6th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition (the fireworks contest) while on board.
Limited tickets at P550 with one free beer, available at Roadhouse Manila Bay; tel. 836-7382
“LOL: Laughs of Love” starring Rex Navarrete, Feb. 13 and 14, Teatrino at The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
Always a hit whenever he’s in town, the irrepressible Filipino-American standup comic returns to tickle your funny bones in a show that comes with a special Valentine menu of Chick to Cheek (a Chicken Salad concoction); Neptune’s Love Affair (Fish Pasta with a twist); Cupid’s Loins (the all-time favorite steak dinner), Sticks Like Crazy (Mixed Sticks Platter) and Hot Love Platter (all things zesty and spicy to add a little naughty to the evening).
Tickets at P2,000, P1,500 and P1,000 (all reserved seating) available at Teatrino, tel. 721-2949 and 722-4501 loc. 116, or at Music Museum, 721-0635, 721-6726; log on: musicmuseum.com.ph.
Senti pop for young or young-at-heart couples
“KZ 4 U” featuring KZ Tandingan, Feb. 14, Grand Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria; with Jimmy Marquez and other special guests
A resident performer on “ASAP 20,” KZ took home Aliw’s Best New Artist award in 2012, placed fourth in 2013’s “Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs,” and won the grand prize in the same competition last year.
She sings well, and that’s sufficient proof.
Produced by Pink Management Production Inc. and Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, dinner starts at 6 p.m. and show is at 8 p.m. Tel. 633-7222 or log on: facebook.com/crowneplazamanila.