Twenty five years of being in showbiz is, by itself, a feat. With the multitudes of talents coming and going, many end up unrecognized and unappreciated. Aiza Seguerra, that child star who started out in Eat Bulaga, fortunately managed to live in it for such a long time. Despite the controversies and speculations thrown toward her, she proved that she has the guts to stand strong. Proof? The Big Dome was almost full during Bente Singko, her 25th anniversary concert. She definitely owned Araneta for the night.
Most of us remember her as the cutesy child star who won Little Miss Philippines in 1987 and eventually became a regular in Eat Bulaga. As an actress, her name was frequently billed as the daughter of Vic Sotto in movies. It was in her teenage years that she started pursuing a career in music.
That night, the show was as much a concert as it was a tribute to the people whom she holds close. It was a celebration of music and her life. Showcasing a diverse array of Filipino talents that ranged from showbiz beginners to icons, the show was indeed a joy to watch from start to finish. With the ABS-CBN Philharmonic orchestra completely backing it up, the meticulously produced and organized event proved to be a success.
The footage of her Little Miss Philippines debut, followed by clips from movies she appeared on as a child, were played on the big screen, her voice narrating a short story of her life. Then, came the recognizable opening notes of Eraserheads’ “Alapaap”. Aiza, wearing a black Rasta Sitenta shirt and jeans, climbed on to the stage and began the evening. The orchestral covers of The Corrs’ “Runaway” and Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” were also played.
She then performed her original songs “Pakisabi Na Lang” and “Akala Mo”, which her fans sang along to.
The Company headed to the stage to a lively perform a medley of Beatles classics that included “Let It Be” and “Come Together”.
Cooky Chua and Bayan Barrios, whose vocal prowess became Aiza’s inspiration as a child, graced the stage for a soulful rendition of “Paglisan” and “Bridge Over Trouble Water”
Krizza Neri, the winner of Protégé and Aiza’s close friend, performed a duet of “If I Could” and “Wind Beneath My Wings”, which she dedicating the songs to her family and friends who had supported her.
It was the Sessionistas’ turn to pump up the crowd as Richard Poon, Princess, Kean Cipriano, Juris and Nyoy Volante livened up the audience with the famous beats of Francis Magalona’s “Ito Ang Gusto Ko” and “Mga Kababayan Ko”.
Juris, the first person Aiza had worked with as a producer, stayed on the stage to perform “Di Lang Ikaw”, a song that she said took a lot of time and effort.
Next song was “Lupang Pinangako”, an original by Aiza and was included in the Rock Rizal album.
According to her, the song was written due to her grievance and frustration as a Filipino, the cycle of oppression and the need for change. At the middle of the song, Gloc 9 made an appearance dishing out verses that he originally composed just for the performance.
“Madman”, Martin Nievera, dressed formally, graced the stage imitating the famous duck dance that Aiza used to do as a child. The two performed a powerful rendition of “I’ll Be There” that charmed the audience.
“Mr. Pure Energy”, Gary Valenciano, took the stage and immediately held people’s attention. He and Aiza performed a moving performance of “Gaya ng Dati”.
It was an emotional moment for Aiza when Vic Sotto was next on stage. She nearly broke into tears just introducing the man who she claimed to be almost like a father to her. The two sang “What Matters Most”. The bond they had was seen as they joked around on stage. Vic Sotto even jested that Aiza was upset that she never became the leading lady in their movies.
Another remarkable moment was when Sharon Cuneta made a surprise appearance in the middle of “Bituing Walang Ningning”, which produced gasps and shrieks from the entire crowd.
Aiza introduced the next song as the one that launched her career as a musician. Without it, she wouldn’t be where she was now. Just when the audience thought they had it figured out, the orchestra played a loud and lively harmony which turned out to be “Buchikik”, the song that she famously danced to as a child.
After this, she got serious and really played the song that she meant –“Pagdating ng Panahon”, which was released in 2001, the song that she was most known for as a musician. This was then followed by a powerful orchestration of the Eheads classic “Ang Huling El Bimbo”, which closed the evening.
For someone who has lived in the world of showbiz for her entire life, Aiza is very down-to-earth. Throughout the concert, she kept remarking that she had never imagined a full Araneta Coliseum as the venue for her 25th anniversary concert. She repeatedly thanked the audience and the guests. She wasn’t one for long speeches. Her messages and jokes were short and spontaneous, but they were obviously sincere. With powerful and emotive vocals along with the capacity to write heartfelt songs, Aiza Seguerra proved that she indeed owned the Big Dome that night.
Presented by That’s Ntertainment Productions
Photos by: Cen Sulit
Written by: Sandra Laureano