Sunday, November 30, 2003

I just arrived from a very cool mini (and extremely awesome Christian) concert in Bagaberde Bar in Pasig with my friend Az. The concert was a fund raiser for a churchmate Gina Gonzales who's sick with a faulty valve in her heart. The operation had already performed for a measly sum of P400,000.00 (the operation originally cost P2 million some years before and it was really a miracle the way the price was brought way, way down to that amount). Victory Christian Fellowship already donated half the amount needed to facilitate the badly needed operation and this fund raising concert is meant to raise up the other half. My dad originally bought the ticket from my cousin last week and I was hesitant to use it at first. At the time I wasn't in the mood to watch any live performance. But I thought what the hey and asked Az to go with me. Given his busy schedule it was a good thing I asked almost a week ahead for him to answer in the positive.

We met up in Starbucks in Shangri-la mall and we ate dinner first to catch up on the things that's been happening. Then we proceeded right to the place a little before the scheduled start of the show. Unfortunately there were not much people when we got there. Raymond, my churchmate and the husband of the sick woman was manning the gate but since I didn't know what to say I just bought another ticket for Az. Then we checked out the place, it's cozy and has a nice ambience. The cityscape view from the veranda is something to behold too. Show started around 8:45 p.m. with a couple of fine amateur comediennes who explained and updated us with the situation and the present condition of Raymond's wife.

Gen Sound and Burning Bush

They introduced the first band to come onstage, an accoustic duo called Gen Sound. They played a set of original compositions that reminded me a lot of the songs by local alternative band Sugar Hiccups. Things started picking up when the band Burning Bush came onstage. Raymond fronts this band with an alternate female vocalist covering songs by No Doubt and Creed.

Pigs With Pearls and Moonstar88

Up next was one of my favorite local alternative band Pigs With Pearls. They only released one album some five years ago and had laid low after the release. They played some fave songs of mine and conveniently flashing the lyrics on the screen behind them. Then came Az's favorite Moonstar 88, who's enjoying a string of best selling albums in the pop market. Btw, this is just the second time they performed for a cause for free (Bagaberde offered the venue for free for the 2nd time too). They sang most of their old hits and one new song titled "Laugh and Cry."

Wiseguys and U Turn

The group Wiseguys was the biggest surprise for me. I've been hearing their group being promoted over and over the radio and TV so they're well known. But there were two things I didn't know about them at all: first that they're Christians, and second, they were better than good! They're one of the best acapella groups I've heard so far! Well they didn't completely sing in acapella since they were accompanied by some low-key instrumentations. They sung R&B favorites and some classic ballads. Then last but not the least group to perform for the evening was the group U Turn. Composed of two guitarists (one sings too) and former Vanna Vanna singer Teri. They sang re-arranged favorites like TLC's Waterfall and James Ingram's How Do You Keep The Music Playing?

All throughout the evening and in between sets the hostesses kept thanking everyone who came and supported the cause for raising up payment for hospital expenses. They also called for further support through either continued prayers for the Gonzales family or, if so moved, any additional amount that we can spare. Since I was so moved by everything I've seen and heard I did hand over additional financial support to Raymond after the show. Then Az and I walked to the jeepney stop on our way home. I have no idea if he enjoyed the concert as much as me but it doesn't matter, that concert went way beyond everything I've expected. Oh yeah, good thing I didn't pass this opportunity up.

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