As the curtain rose-up, a group of fascinating young individuals appeared onstage. And on their faces, you could see the smiles, the excitement and the ENERGY. All ready and prepared to show-off their very best. The power was unlimited, all determined to execute a great concert act performances.
They were the theater actors and actresses of Philippine Stagers Foundation. And this time, they’re not going to act. Yes, this time around, they would sing, dance and perform not the usual tasks they did onstage. And indeed, they’d proven their versatility much more upon this first major concert entitled “Stagers: Live at the Big Dome”.
The opening number was all too energetic and breathless. It’s a great punk dance routine- executed in great moves, powerful jumps and creative choreography. The likes you saw on Sunday noontime variety shows like ASAP in channel 2. But this opening number was more original than those, because the dancers and singers showed a variety of great emotions on their faces while they danced and sang. Such an edge factor because they’re actors as well. And it made a greater impact.
The opening number ended with the song “Sugod”, a happy kind of rock song that implied unity and perfection. The audience was enthralled, as shrieks of joy and shouts filled-in the greater noise of the Araneta Coliseum.
Then came another rock song “Salamat”, with great dance movements and graceful rhythms. The Stagers were such great dancers as well. You couldn’t breathe, you couldn’t even move your head farther-away while looking how they danced and sang. So fascinating again, indeed.
In these punk-rock-pop opening number sequences of their concert, the Stagers who stole the show were Raymond Diolan Rances, Arnold Gamier, Erwin Usman Ignacio, JV Cruz, Poul Garcia, Jomar Tanada-Bautista, Jerie Sanchez and Alence Villanueva. Their own respective styles and grace in dancing skills were magnificent to look at. But someone at the back just kept on stealing the show away from them. His name: John Rey Rivas, who didn’t only dance and sang well, but also showed a wide variety of emotions on his face while dancing and singing. John Rey is a new Stager, but definitely one of the best.
Other succeeding numbers were also outstanding. But when the song “Starlight Express” was sung by Vince Tanada in a duet with JP Lopez, the expectations of a blogger-viewer was fully quenched. Vince sang with all his feelings, he gave so much justice to a very meaningful song. His voice echoed on all the four corners of the Araneta Coliseum. While JP, whew, was also such a great singer.
The Broadway musical numbers were all so captivating. Especially the excerpt musical number from “Cats”. All the Stagers moved and danced like real cats onstage, and their vocal prowess as they sang exceeded far beyond our expectations, once more.
But the real essence of this great musical-dance concert was the spirit of true Filipino nationalism, and it was seen at the latter part of the concert. When the Stagers performed again the excerpts from their previous musical plays like “Enzo Santo”, “Cory Ng Edsa”, “Ako si Ninoy”, “Joe: The Rocksical”, “Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela”, and finally, the currently-running “Filipinas: 1941”, the audience was already on the verge of tears. You could see on the faces of the audience, composed mostly of students, youth leaders, educators and advocates- that they’re so moved by those Nationalistic excerpts from PSF plays.
And a blogger who saw the concert greatly assured to himself that it was the reason why this concert became successful. Maybe, spirits of long-forgotten heroes and angels were also there to celebrate alongside with PSF’s 14th year anniversary as a theater group. Because this group of artists did justice on the lives of heroes and soldiers who all died for the sake of a Nation- the Philippines.
As a tear flowed on the eyes of a blogger when he saw the excerpt from the highlight ending scene of the play “Filipinas: 1941”, he saw further more.
He saw the future of a nation, the oncoming band of new and young leaders who would soon lead and serve a country.
He also saw within the soul and deep in the hearts of all the young theater actors and actresses of Philippine Stagers Foundation, who all simply wanted to perform onstage and serve the youth. Young as they were, their dreams had finally come to a shining moment. It was now realized.
Because on that day, they performed at the Araneta Coliseum and managed to fill it.
It was them. It was the heroes…
This was their moment
to shine on-
(as the words were written on robert manuguid silverio’s “book of love”. november 26, 2014).