MANILA – In preparation for the 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration where visas would no longer hamper travel from within the 10-nation region, culture and the arts would likely be easier than economics and business, according to recent visiting leaders in Makati for the second ASEAN Business Conference (ABC).
Chairman and founder of the Asia, Inc. Forum, Dato Timothy Ong said that while ASEAN with its divergent rules and regulations as a business trading block still have to agree on a common monetary means of denomination, the exchange of cultural and artistic performance would likely flourish if it remains unaffected by politics.
This is where the Philippines is strong because of the Filipinos’ unquestionable musical and theatrical talent that is well appreciated by its neighbors.
Businessman and country-hopping travelers Kuldeep Sing of Singapore said that almost in every part of the small but progressive island country, Filipinos are well-known for their singing and dramatic talent that endears them to large entertainment establishments, luxury yatchs and hotels.
”Aside from that, most of those I have met engaged in services like medical, food and household helps are well trained and willing to go extra- mile to make them well-liked by their employers,” said Singh.
Eugeneo Certeza, a longtime oil company officer in Malaysia before coming home said, we should be appreciative of our countrymen who brave the seas and far-off lands just to bring the cheers to all types of people.
”In Thailand where I used to worked with seamen, they know that when you are with a Filipino, you should know how to belt out a song and dance with gusto if you want to enjoy his company. We are a happy race—born to sing and showcase to the world that we are a musical, theatrical and sports famous achievers too,” Certez added.
Why not, indeed when the Philippines can boast of its load of talents and performers like Lea Salonga, who ruled the world stage for wondrously essaying the role of the first “Miss Saigon,” eight-weight division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao whose feat has clearly raised the bar popularity of the sport when it was down after greats Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton called it quits, and youthful Wesley So who is one of the world’s best chess player at a very young age.
With retired Russian genius Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in the bin and India’s Viswanthan Anand still seeking to elevate chess to its former glory, who else but So and his co-youth leaders from Norway and Nepal arenow struggling to bring in the crowd during hour-long tournaments.
We do not lack song writers either. Look at what the couple of Robert Lopez and his wife Kristin Andesron Lopez did. Didn’t they collaborate to write the winning song ”Let it go, let it go” for a Disney film with Idina Menzel acting as Queen Elsar.
The Lopezes are one of only four couples who have won every award-giving body’s trophy in Hollywood.
What about beauty queen Ms World Meagan Young who came home with the crowd after 40 years of waiting last year?” And Donnalyn Joreor Bartolome who is a current Internet sensation and popular music personality?
Now it’s GMA 7 teleserye queen Marian Rivera whose grandslam beauty captured the audience spellbound in this year’s FHM magazine and Yahoo search for the most popular stars.
”I didn’t know that I am also known in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and other countries. When I was invited to perform here and there, I was glad to find I have fans who are non-Filipinos also.
Oh, I hope, we will find inroads to Europe, the US and the Latin American countries just as the way, their entertainment find a place within us,” said the stunning Fil-Spanish mestiza.
No need to worry, Indonesia had already franchised GMA noontime show “Eat Bulaga” and is said to be buying more shows soon from Kapuso studios.
Right there at the Prince Edward Theater In London, Rachelle Ann Go or “Gigi”is making waves in the revival of “Miss Saigon” even as another Fil-Am Eva Noblezada is said to be doing well in the title role.
The fact is producer Sir Cameron Mackinstosh raved that his most admired first and second version production of “Miss Saigon” could not have survived without the cast from the Philippines.
According to entertainment reports, Mackintosh has already recovered his 4.5 million dollar investment from advance ticket sales in London.