By Vanette Colmenares
New York City – I can count only a few Filipino concerts that I have watched in my lifetime: the Circus Band, the New Minstrels, the Apo Hiking Society, and Gary Valenciano. In America, although there were several concerts organized by the Filipino community, I only watched Allegiance on Broadway that featured Lea Salonga and George Takei of Star Trek.
But yesterday, I jumped to watch LolaLand that featured, once again due to public demand, Ms. Fe de los Reyes when OSM! editor Marivir asked me to. Her special guests included composer singers Cecile Azarcon, Odette Quesada, and Jam Morales.
My husband and I entered the LeFrak Concert Hall just as Fe was singing her first number…”Her name was Lola.” After that, it was going down memory lane for me.
I have seen Ms. de los Reyes on TV shows when I was still in the Philippines, and I found her entertaining. But you can tell from yesterday’s performance that indeed, her acting stunts were now Lola-inspired and that only a home-grown Filipino can relate with her sense of humor. She was energetic, as ever, but predictable.
Back then, I would hear Filipino songs from popular singers but never knew who were the composers until last night – talented Filipino women! Cecile Azarcon was mesmerizing and every song that she played on the piano, the audience sang along with her.
The accomplished Odette Quesada was equally delightful in rendering her compositions of the 80’s. At one point, I was close to tears when I was listening to her ‘Bagets’ music. It brought nostalgic memories of my care free days, and all I have now is that lola (grandmother) feeling of being ancient. Perhaps, close to being dust and ending up to being just a memory. I bawled at the thought.
But then Jam Morales started singing upbeat songs that I stood from my seat to dance. I did the MASKIPAPS, that dance during my youthful time, which was short for Maski Papaano Dance.
The whole evening was a delightful diversion from a stressful past week of the tax season. I needed a break. The show, produced by Valles Vendiola LLP and Saleaflor Entertainment, was enjoyable and Fe de los Reyes was charming and funny. The evening ended with a dinner with the hubby. Life is good. (Featured photo is Ms. Fe delos Reyes with the writer at the LeFrak Concert Hall; photos by Vanette Colmenares and from Fe delos Reyes files.)