Philippine president takes date to Brasil 2012 concert

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - A dose of bossa nova on a hot summer night wouldn't hurt.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III had a welcome respite from the sweltering weather and dealing with the country's problems when he spent some two hours indulging in one of his passions, music.

He was in the company of his constant date, radio-TV personality Grace Lee, at the Sergio Mendes and Brasil 2012 concert on Tuesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

People learned that Mr. Aquino would be watching the show because of the presence of the Presidential Security Group in and around the Big Dome.

Those seated at court side were eager to take photos of the couple, but were disappointed when the President and Lee were led to an area of the lower box section reserved for the Araneta clan.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried to take a snapshot when the President entered the venue, but was stopped by his bodyguards.

Also spotted enjoying the concert were a number of other popular figures, including former President Joseph Estrada with wife Loi, businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco with partner Gretchen Barretto, and club owner Louie Ysmael, who came with Karen Jimeno, one of the defense lawyers in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.


The show opened with Filipino singer Sitti performing seven numbers, combining covers of Bong Peñera and Ryan Cayabyab tunes and her own compositions-all rendered in bossa nova style.

She seemed overwhelmed by the thought of front-acting for a major foreign artist like Mendes before a large number of people, and was groping for words while doing her spiels.

Waters of March

Mendes' first two songs, "Waters of March" and "Pretty World," were the same tunes he opened with during his last gig at the Big Dome six years ago. But this time he played them with a more syncopated beat, adding freshness to the original studio versions.

When Mendes greeted the crowd, he explained that his native Brazil and the Philippines shared common traits-their people are romantic and love to party. He hinted that his show would take a musical journey through bossa nova-a slower variation of samba, a Brazilian creation-and other sounds associated with his career.

Girl from Ipanema

What followed was his take on "Girl from Ipanema," whose music was originally written by his friend and contemporary, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Mendes' voice was soothing, his playing on the keyboards sprightly.

The audience roared with approval upon hearing a succession of classic selections by Mendes: "The Trouble With Hello Is Goodbye," "Agua de Beber," "One Note Samba," "Going Out of My Head" and "Bridges."

Most of the vocals were handled by a duo of female singers, a trademark of Mendes' act which first gained worldwide notice when he scored a hit, "Mas Que Nada," featuring the young Lani Hall as part of his band, Brasil 66.

Though many of his recorded pieces were cover versions of other foreign artists, Mendes' popularity grew far and wide because he transformed these tunes with his own cool and soothing touch, with a dash of jazz.


He has also updated his sound with contemporary genres like hip hop, which he successfully employed during the show when "Agua de Beber" featured a singer rapping along to the song.

Another track, "Chove Chuva," had a funky groove, Mendes attacking the keyboards with child-like delight.

His band delivered the goods as well, improvising with excellent timing, but knew how to stop during their solo spots.

The hits kept coming-"Like a Lover," "Fool on the Hill," "The Look of Love," "Mas Que Nada" (similarly updated with rap lines)-and goaded the crowd to stand up and dance to the intoxicating music.

New track

Mendes likewise played a new track, "Tristeza" from the animation film "Rio," proving that he's still in the loop and not a has-been trying to milk money via the oldies-tour route.

As a whole, the concert was a celebration of the vitality of two cultures-Brazil offering its music, and the Philippines responding with its propensity to have fun in good or bad times.

If Mr. Aquino and Lee were still at the Big Dome when Mendes played one of his ballads, "Never Gonna Let You Go," near the show's end, they would probably have felt so romantic.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options