Daily Archives: July 28, 2008

Charice’s answered prayer

by Carmie O. Carpio/AJPress
IT’S not all the time that someone gets to sing on stage with a celebrated operatic pop tenor and classical crossover singer as Andrea Bocelli, especially on his birthday concert. But on the night of July 20, Sunday, a young Filipina with a big voice and a big heart stepped into the stagelights with Bocelli himself. Charice, the first from her homeland to perform a duet with the world-famous Bocelli, who is turning 50 on September 22, effortlessly dazzled the European crowd that filled the Teatro del Silenzio (Theater of Silence) in Tuscany, Italy, Bocelli’s hometown.
Dubbed The Cinema Tribute, Chariced joined international performers Nicolla Piovani, Roberto Bolle and Noa in the line-up.

Spellbinding is not enough to describe the moment Charice and Bocelli sang The Prayer together. Bocelli’s countrymen were so impressed with the harmonious blend of two powerful voices that a round of applause wasn’t enough. They felt they had to do a standing ovation as well.

Apart from The Prayer, she rendered a solo performance in front of Bocelli’s friends and countrymen‹a medley of The Bodyguard soundtracks which she also sang at the star-studded ³ David Foster and Friends² in Mandalay in Las Vegas only last May. Bocelli was also part of that lustrous affair.

From the outside, it seemed that Charice’s renditions were confident and collected. But unknown to many, the young girl was brimming with excitement and delight deep down. The duet was one unforgettable moment for Charice, something that she will never forget in her lifetime.

“Very special po sa akin itong concert kasi si Mr. Andrea Bocelli ang first big star na nakaduet ko. Pinangarap ko po talaga ito so dream come true talaga. Tsaka favorite ko rin yung song na kinanta namin. Matagal ko po itong hinintay, and proud po ako bilang the first Filipino na nakaduet siya,” she told the Asian Journal in a long-distance interview.

Charice reportedly drew pictures of herself performing with Bocelli when she was younger. Thus, after her dream-come-true concert, the young diva could barely contain her joy in sharing how it went.

“Sa lahat ng nagperform, ako lang po ang may standing ovation.” There was a hint of giddiness in her voice.

And even though she faced yet another type of audience, she was very pleased with their profuse praises over her performance.

“They (Italians) gave me a warm welcome, tsaka nakita kong inaappreciate nila ang talent ng mga Pinoy,” Charice added.

How Charice landed in another performance with a big international star was not a stroke of luck. It was something that was bound to happen.

During the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas event, Bocelli had just finished his performance at the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas event, and was in his dressing room, when he heard Charice sing.  Bocelli asked his assistants to bring him backstage, so he could be among the first ones to congratulate Charice.  After he told Charice  how moved he was by her performance, Atty. Gurfinkel (who secured Charice’s working visa for the US show) said to Bocelli, “It would be nice if you could  do a duet of The Prayer together.” Bocelli welcomed the idea. Bocelli’s manager handed over his business card to Gurfinkel, asking that he be contacted to discuss details. and voila! Charice was invited to Tuscany , to be the first Filipino to ever sing with Bocelli.

And the rest is history

With Charice, it is easy to expect more world-class performances and more“pinch-me” moments. for herself. The Filipina wunderkind sure knows how to make her prayers and dreams come true, and there’s no stopping her. The best thing, through all her experiences, is that she’s always proud to say that she’s Filipino.  Her kababayans are equally proud of her as well. (www.asianjournal.com)

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Dolphy!: The drama behind the laughter, or otherwise

by Anna Krisna Bautista/AJPress
From being the theater’s peanut boy to becoming the country’s king of comedy, Dolphy Quizon may as well be the Andress Bonifacio of Philippine entertainment industry gifting his field with revolutionary satires which generated laughter from the audience. Among those who raved watching his works were heralded actors, politicians, professionals, among other celebrities who were also present during the launch of his tell-all book Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa at the tent in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig on July 23.
Penned by writer-actress Bibeth Orteza with foreword by UP professor Randy David, Hindi Ko Ito Narating is the brainchild of the Comedy King’s son Eric Quizon who is also the book’s publisher.

Truly never alone, the event was peppered with grace by his contemporaries including Barbara Perez, Daisy Romualdez, Eddie Gutierrez, Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, Eddie Garcia and Mother Lily. “Malaki ang papel nila sa buhay ko… Siguro pati tayo, pinapanganak tayo, ’di dahil gusto nating magtrabaho, gusto nating yumaman, kung hindi, magmahal, mahalin ng pamilya, kaibigan at mga kasama sa trabaho,” he said.

A comic by heart, after enumerating his siblings, he quipped, “At tungkol naman sa aking mga inibig, eh ’wag na po muna nating isa-isahin baka tayo’y magka-hindik.”

After expressing regrets for having hurt so many of those he had loved, he relayed how hard it is to have relationships with several women at the same time. “Ang pinaka mahirap diyan an, ’pag birthday mo, ’yung Pasko tsaka Bagong Taon. Paborito mong ulam kare-kare. Ang unang bahay na pupuntahan mo kare-kare. Pangalawang bahay na pupuntahan mo kare-kare nanaman. Pangatlong bahay kare-kare pa din. ’Pag uwi ko sa bahay ko kare-kare nanaman, pagtulog ko panaginip ko kare-kare pa din. Mahirap talaga,” he said.

Having the name of his first love start with an “A” and his last partner’s (hopefully) name start with a “Z,” Dolphy joked, “Aba, kumpleto ko na ang alphabet!”

His children from the many women in his life including Manny Boy, Salud, Dolphy Junior, Freddie, Edgar, Rory, Kit, John, Gino, Edwin, Rolly, Erick, Dan, Eppie, Rommel, Vandolph, Nicole, and Zia were present during the launch.

The night became a meteor shower of stars as actors from different generations were spotted including Gary Valenciano and Angeli Pangilinan, Dawn Zulueta, Cherry Pie Picache, Ricky Davao, Giselle Sanchez, Eula Valdez, Raymond Gutierrez, Sheryl Cruz, Angelou De Leon, among other stars.

Young comedians Giselle Sanchez, Randy Santiago, Willie Revillame, were also present to show support to their idol’s future best-selling piece.

Senators Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Bong Revilla Jr., and Cheese Escudero, and Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos also dotted the venue.

Medical doctors and couple Manny and Pie Calayan, who have also watched a number of Dolphy’s films, were also present and sponsored the biography’s launch.

ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio and senior correspondent Korina Sanchez, Carlito and Armida Siguion Reyna, Anabelle Rama and Lolit Solis also hailed the host.

Though Dolphy Quizon’s life has been well-exposed even before his reign as the Comedy King, the book is expected to thrill and touch readers. “Maybe my dad’s life has been most talked about but it never came from the horse’s mouth—it never came from him,” Eric said.

But with all the praises and each artist’s own version of their Dolphy encounter [directly or indirectly], life goes on for the 80-year-old King of Comedy.

Dolphy, the Comedy King, will be performing at the Shrine Auditorium on October 11, 2008, Saturday, at 7 pm. Titled Dolphy The Legend at 80, the show is produced by NuVision Worldwide Media in association with Mcfadden&McFadden, The Asian Journal and Creative Concepts in cooperation with ABS-CBN, Calyan, Cibo, Smart and Bench.  For details of the concert, contact 1–866–995–2795, (562) 921–8450, (213) 792–7468 and 1–888–886–7889. (www.asianjournal.com)

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Keeping Hope Alive: FilAm’s Song To Showcase in Upcoming film

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – Is it serendipity or mere coincidence?

When Director Mark Pellington met FilAm singer/ songwriter Ron Irizarry for the first time earlier this week he noticed a tattoo on Irizarry’s arm that read “La Esperanza Muera Ultima.”

“What does it mean?” Pellington asked.

“Hope dies last,” said Irizarry.

The tattoo came as a surprise to Pellington, according to Irizarry recalling the event. Pellington had just finished a movie Henry Poole is Here about a man [Luke Wilson] who had lost hope only to find it again from the people he lived with in suburbia.

For Irizarry, the tattoo was just a reminder to never give up on his career.

So it came as no surprise that when Irizarry arrived to Los Angeles as the winner of the Henry Poole Is Here movie theme song contest, Pellington knew he found the right man and the right song to fit the movie.

“It’s like everything is fitting together,” said Irizarry to the Asian Journal. Irizarry was in Los Angeles shooting the music video [directed by Pellington] of the song. “It’s like I’m supposed to be here.”

Henry Poole is Here the movie is set to be released later this summer or possibly fall. It was an official Sundance selection.

Last week, after a month and about 3,500 submissions nationwide Myspace Music, Overture Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, and Pellington, chose Irizarry’s song “Henry Poole is Here” as the official theme song of the movie.

“It’s amazing how you captured the movie just by watching the trailer,” said Pellington, who announced the winner of the contest on movie’s official myspacetv.com post.

“We [Irizarry and co-writer Joel Wild] wanted to take it from the darkest places we both experienced and try to tap in to that,” said Irizarry to Pellington. “That’s what [the trailer] looked like a place of desperation and wanting to find hope and breaking through that desperation.”

For Irizarry the song has an even more special meaning. Winning the contest was not only a way to be recognized by the mainstream but also possibly the start of a career breakthrough.

Dark times are nothing new for an artist trying to break through the ultra competitive music industry. The song is apropos for the movie but even more fitting for the 36-year-old Orlando native who has had his shares of ups and down.

“I just identified with the main character [Henry Poole],” said Irizarry. “The images in the trailer when I saw [Wilson’s] face look down and out; when I saw that and when I saw his face; I could identify those times in my life.”

In the late 1990’s when he began his career, he thought his career was on the rise. For two years, he toured with and opened for mega boy band NSYNC. He also opened for Jordan Knight, Pink, Sisqo, and Mandy Moore.

Hanging out with Justin Timberlake and the other artists had a profound impact on Irizarry. He thought he could branch off on his own but he soon found that individual success was harder to come by.

“I got turned down by a lot of record labels,” he said. “Add that to personal things and it just collided and made a perfect storm of negativity and I fed into it.”

He said about five or six years ago, he sat inside his living room depressed contemplating about where his career was heading when an interesting news program turned on. The program featured an author who wrote a book about keeping hope alive.

The author was Studs Turkel and his Hope Dies Last book struck a chord in Irizarry. He immediately bought the book. The first page he turned to read “La Esperanza Muera Ultima” or “Hope dies last.”

“I got that tattoo on my arm,” he said. “It’s for whenever I need something to look at, I know there’s hope and this is all about hope.”

From then on, Irizarry said he rebounded from that negative experience and kept a positive outlook.

Music has been his career since he could remember – his dad took him to a concert at the age of 13 where he knew this was his career passion – and giving it up was too unfathomable.

He began to tour the college circuit nationwide and for two years from 2003 to 2005, he received the “best solo artist” award in the college scene.

“It’s always good to be recognized,” he said.

He also partnered with Joel Wild to write and produce music for other bands.

One of the music bands he wrote for in 2007 was The Clark Brothers, who won the Fox Networks talent competition The Next Great American Band.

At the same time, he continued to open up for acts including One Republic, Jimmy Eat World, Erykah Badu, Nas, J. Holiday, and many more.

Although Irizarry admits he has not “received that level of success yet,” he hopes to headline his own show one of these days.

“You know there’s a saying that anything with value easy to obtain is not worth doing,” he said. “If you did it with ease, you won’t have that same amount of appreciation for the value of it. There are always challenges and what I found is that there’s no formula for success. If there’s any kind of formula, it’s to learn as much as you can until something pops. It’s very challenging but if you get some of kind of payoff it’s really rewarding.”

He said that winning the contest might give him that chance he’d been hoping for.

For more information about Henry Poole is Here the movie or Irizarry’s official theme song please check out http://www.myspace.com/ronirizarry.


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