Why do Pinoys love sad songs? And on Valentine’s day too! This question was posed by Gary Valenciano last Friday night to his fellow singers on stage. At the ULTIMATE concert. Martin Nievera quipped , “It’s because we love to relive our heartbreaks over and over again .” Lani Misalucha and Regine Velasquez both nodded in agreement. The four , however, delighted the audience not just with sad songs but with hits from their private repertoire, the “best love songs” as compiled by Ryan Caybyab (who played centerstage on a white grand piano), teleserye theme songs, and so much more.
The four sang “In the Name of Love” by U2, “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith and “Talking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran in the opening segment of the show. This set the mood for the entire night.
The second set featured Ikaw and lahat sa Akin (Martin), Ikaw lang ang Mamahalin (Lani), Ang Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw (Regine ) and Gary’s heartpulling rendition of Sana Maulit Mulli.
I thoroughly enjoyed the third set with Martin and Lani performing songs from their Vegas stint –“It’s not Unusual and “Proud Mary” respectively. After this, Martin sang his signature hits “How Can I?” and “Say that You Love Me” I could hear the hubby singing along to my left.
Gary impressed the crowd with his app that recorded the three other singers’ beatbox debut. They all sang Pharell’s “Happy” using that as background.
Highlights of the show included Martin’s rendition of “This is the Moment” to honor the Fallen 44, Gary singing “ Take Me Out Of the Dark” and Regine ‘s tearful “If You Go Away”. The night, however, belonged to Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha. From doing unbelievable operatic vocalization, to rapping “Sirena” by Gloc 9 (which sent the audience into frenzy) to her jaw dropping performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” – Ms. Misalucha is truly a world-class act and in a league all her own. It was evident even to her co-performers. Regine jokingly cried “Wahhh.. Mama!!!” after Lani performed because she knew she had to put on her game face since she had to sing next. She didn’t disappoint with “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing. “
The night ended with paper hearts falling from the rafters of the Mall of Asia Arena while the quartet sang One Voice”.
It truly was a magical night. The best Valentine’s concert I’ve seen thus far. I hope there will be a repeat!