“ASAP Live in L.A.” -- the most star-studded and best ever produced concert-party that hit Los Angeles in years!
by Oliver Carnay

(Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2014) - The Filipino Channel (TFC) fanatics started to flock the Los Angeles Sports Arena yesterday as early as before noon to check out the booths lined up outside the massive 16,700 capacity arena (situated on Martin Luther King Blvd. and Figueroa Street at the heart of City of Los Angeles).

An hour before 5 p.m., the venue was packed to the hilt and as soon as the show started, shrieking fans continued in hysterical mode every time their favorite stars come out onstage. Most applauded in pandemonium were the “KathNiel” segment, the “Kim Chiu-Xian Lim” tandem, the “Katawan” titillating song numbers from Gerald Anderson, Enchong Dee, Robi Dominguez, and Rayver Cruz, the “Supah” Dance Number from Maja Salvador, Shaina Magdayao, Rayver Cruz, John Pratts, and Iya Villania, and of course when the Ultimate hearthrob Piolo Pascual came out during its opening number together with John Lloyd Cruz. Julia Barretto, Kim Chiu, Kathryn Bernardo, Alex Gonzaga, Jessy Mendiola also got the spectators “wow” moment and when senior celebrities Zsa Zsa Padilla, Martin Nievera segued with “Manila” during the Opening number.

My favorite moment and actually the best idea injected in this show was giving acknowledgments and tribute to now U.S.-based artists such as former hit-makers Jam Morales, Tootsie Guevarra, Ella Mae Saison, and Carol Banawa (who was an original cast of “ASAP” in 1995). It was refreshing and nostalgic to hear from Jam Morales herself singing a live duet with Zsa Zsa Padilla of the former’s hit song “Even If” and Carol Banawa (with her pitch-perfect and distinct voice) whom we’ve longed for in the concert scenes. Carol’s classic songs “Bakit Di Na Lang Totohanin Ang Lahat” (a duet with Piolo Pascual) and “Iingatan Ka” (another favorite of mine) where sung by Erik Santos and Vina Morales.

ASAP took effort in inviting internationally recognized Fil-Am singers -- Apl.de.Ap performed his signature song "Bebot" while Jessica Sanchez her own rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier” and a duet song with Martin Nievera. Actress and singer Tia Carrere sang a few bars from her favorite tagalog song “Dahil Sa ‘Yo” before announcing she will be having a concert soon in Manila. Also, one of the most accomplished Hollywood Fil-Am actor, Reggie Lee, talked about the “Tikbalang” episode in the NBC hit tv series “Grimm” where he is a series regular.

Upcoming designer Kenneth Barlis, CBS "The Talk" producer Marc Anthony Nicolas, and my favorite KTLA news anchorwoman Cher Calvin were also interviewed by Martin Nievera. Asked what they actually missed being away from the Philippines -- Kenneth said, "I actually missed my family. Cher cheerfully responded, “I actually missed the people like you guys!” while Marc quipped -- “bagoong” (shrimp paste) and tuyo! (Hey, Marc! You can buy these in any L.A. Filipino supermarkets, lol!)

And of course, plugging the ongoing “tele-seryes” to TFC subscribers were “Hawak Kamay” (sang by its lead star Piolo Pascual), “Ikaw Lamang” (beautifully rendered by Gary Valenciano), and “Sana, Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon” (a duet by Zsa Zsa Padilla and Angeline Quinto). Two upcoming drama series (and I have a good instinct these two teleseryes will be a hit!) -- “Two Wives” theme song (starring Kaye Abad, Jason Abalos, and Erich Gonzales) was sung by Jovit Baldovino, and “Forever More” theme song (starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) was sung by Juris.

The four full-hours presentation directed by Mr. Johnny Manahan (also known as “Mr. M.”) had an intermission. They were taped in two parts. The first part will be shown on TFC and Manila on October 19th while the second part will be aired on the 26th.

The list of ASAP cast appeared (in random order): Charo Santos-Concio (ABS-CBN CEO), Toni and Alex Gonzaga, Bamboo, Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Sam Milby, Gerald Anderson, Daniel Padilla, Enchong Dee, Rayver Cruz, John Pratts, Xian Lim, Robi Domingo, Erik Santos, Gab Valenciano, Jovit Baldovino, Richard Poon, Kim Chiu, Kathryn Bernardo, Maja Salvador, Shaina Magdayao, Jessy Mendiola, Julia Barretto, Iya Villania, Yeng Constantino, Angeline Quinto, Juris, Sitti, Charice, Aiza Seguerra, Klarisse de Guzman, G-Force dancers, Morissette Amon, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Martin Nievera, and Gary Valenciano.

ABS-CBN managed to produce a roster of great artists with the likes of Piolo Pascual, Bea Alonzo, John Lloyd Cruz, and a lot more. The ASAP variety show paved way in honing the craft of these talents, becoming the all-around and established triple-threat they now are. As ABS-CBN continuous to develop them and able to maximize their global popularity, this leading entertainment multi-media conglomerate in the Philippines and in the Filipino communities worldwide hopefully will bring more well-produced shows in L.A.. Among the new breed of stars they have, I think Liza Soberano, and perhaps some of the new Pinoy Big Brother alumni has the potential. I’m sure L.A. will be welcoming another ASAP Live in LA with new breed of stars .. but hopefully, with production values as great as this!