Four years ago, a 13-year-old kid named JK Labajo joined ABS-CBN’s singing contest “The Voice Kids” (Philippines season 1) and won third place. Blessed with talent and good looks, he went on to become an actor while still pursuing music.
This year, Labajo, now 17 and using his full name Juan Karlos, emerged as a singer-songwriter with a single, “Buwan,” released by MCA Music Philippines. The song, a soulful, rocking view of youthful romance, has racked up over 25 million views on YouTube and turned Juan Karlos into a music sensation.
The song stands out for its clever use of imagery, its catchy chorus (“Sa ilalim ng puting ilaw/Sa dilaw na buwan”) heightened by the singer’s outpouring of emotions.
The shrieks at the guest stints and mall appearances of Juan Karlos and his band indicate that his fans are over the moon.
Turns out that Juan Karlos has more songs to offer. Two of them, “Sistema” and “Demonyo,” are brilliantly written as well.
“He’ll soon be a major artist,” MCA boss Ricky Ilacad tells me. I believe so.
As a kid in the 1970s, I remember hearing the Bee Gees tune “First of May” and its opening lines: “When I was small and Christmas trees were tall…” Since then, the image of huge Christmas trees has always been on my mind.
Through the years, hotels and malls have made it a point to put up their own, specially designed Yuletide trees as a special attraction to guests for the holidays.
The past few weeks I’ve seen the following establishments hold Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies to welcome the most wonderful time of the year:
Sofitel Philippine Plaza has a 45-foot Christmas tree beside the hotel’s winding staircase that leads to its popular buffet restaurant Spiral. The tree is adorned with blue and gold balls.
Bellevue Manila’s Christmas tree is 13.5-ft tall, with gold trimmings around its green base. It boasts of a voice-activated lighting.
Robinsons Galleria’s 32-ft Christmas tree was custom-made in Europe with intricate ornaments and shining, shimmering lights.
Incidentally, Robinsons Malls is holding “A Very Merry Digital Show” featuring laser mapping, 2D motion graphics, 3D animation and background graphics, all in sync with the show’s production numbers.
The show also has interactive performances by Buganda dancers and singers Melbelline, Nasser, Hazel Faith, Daniel and Natasia.
Catch “A Very Merry Digital Show” on Nov. 30, Robinsons Forum; Dec. 1, Robinsons Place Dasmariñas; Dec. 2, Robinsons Place General Trias; Dec. 7, Robinsons Malolos; Dec. 8, Robinsons Place Lipa; Dec. 9, Robinsons Place Antipolo; Dec. 15, Robinsons Place Imus; Dec. 16, Robinsons Place Pangasinan; Dec. 19, Robinsons Place Las Piñas; and Dec. 22, Robinsons Metroeast.
Mall shows are at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.