As the first bars of Francis Magalona’s “Mga Kababayan Ko” (A Call to my Countrymen) filled the full-capacity Ricoh Coliseum, and the ASAP all-star cast took their places onstage with Pinoy/Pinay and Proud flashed across their rainbow-colored tie-dye shirts, the audience freaked out in feverish pandemonium. ASAP Live in Toronto has just started, and already the show has conquered this side of Canada.
The star-studded, high-energy opening production number ends with a blast of confetti, to the delight of the crowd. (Top Left-Right) Enrique Gil, Liza Soberano, Bea Alonzo, Sam Milby, Gary Valenciano, ZsaZsa Padilla, Martin Nievera, Piolo Pascual, Kim Chiu, and Gerald Anderson. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
The audience, packed to the rafters, is in a frenzy. They whip out their cell phones to capture this historic moment as ASAP in Toronto conquers the Ricoh Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
The same pumped-up mood took over the arena throughout the four-hour spectacle that elicited shrieks and screams of delight from the fully packed crowd. For the first time ever, Canada witnessed the takeover of more than 35 of the brightest Kapamilya stars featuring ASAP Royalties Gary V, Martin Nievera, ZsaZsa Padilla, Piolo Pascual, and Jolina Magdangal; Birit Queens – Jona, Morissette, Klarisse and Angeline; Soul Sessionistas –Jay-R, KZ, Jason Dy, Daryl Ong, and Kyla; Love Teams of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson; Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador; Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia; Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil; First-Rate Singers Erik Santos and Yeng Constantino; Top-Notch Dancers Maja Salvador, Enchong Dee, Rayver Cruz, and Yassi Pressman; Teen Idols Robi Domingo and Darren Espanto; OPM Hitmaker and Canada-based Chiqui Pineda; and Prime Kapamilya Stars: Bea Alonzo, Paulo Avelino, Sam Milby, Richard Yap, Jodi Sta. Maria, and OPM Icon Mr. Ogie Alcasid.
Also in attendance and occupying front row seats were the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen MP, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Both of them presented their corresponding proclamation and greetings to the management of ABS-CBN, led by President and CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation Carlo Katigbak; COO of ABS-CBN Global Raffy Lopez; ABS-CBN Managing Director for North America Olivia De Jesus; ABS-CBN Country Manager for Canada Jun Del Rosario; and ABS-CBN Global Head of Events Ricky Resurreccion. It is a double celebration as ABS-CBN International celebrates its 10th year in Canada, and the country observes its 150th birthday.
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of the Province of Ontario (5th from left), presents a scroll to the officers of ABS-CBN (left to right): ABS-CBN Global Head of Events Ricky Resurreccion, ABS-CBN Country Manager for Canada Jun Del Rosario, COO of ABS-CBN Global Raffy Lopez, President and CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation Carlo Katigbak, and ABS-CBN Managing Director for North America Olivia De Jesus. Per Premier Wynne, “Ontario’s Filipino population is so important to our province. I had such a great time celebrating ABS-CBN’s 10th anniversary in Canada with them.” (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen MP, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, declares in his speech that he recognizes “the contributions of various immigrants including Filipino Canadians, and I am happy to join you here in this great festival, with an amazing turnout, and I am here to present greetings to the leadership as well. Mabuhay!” Honourable Hussen presents a Proclamation to the management of ABS-CBN (left to right): ABS-CBN Global Head of Events Ricky Resurreccion, ABS-CBN Country Manager for Canada Jun Del Rosario, COO of ABS-CBN Global Raffy Lopez, President and CEO of ABS-CBN Corporation Carlo Katigbak, and ABS-CBN Managing Director for North America Olivia De Jesus. The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario (5th from left) looks on. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
The energy and jubilation was palpable in the air. Resurreccion gets slightly emotional as he admits “I always marvel seeing what the ASAP team has prepared for the audience. But what I enjoy more is watching and observing our Kapamilyas (family members) having the time of their lives. That makes me smile. Those moments make me tear up”
ASAP Executive Producer Apple Segubience shares that “ASAP Live in Toronto is the biggest, brightest and sold-out Filipino event in Canada, made more special because we took part in the celebration of Canada’s 150th year.”
Resurreccion reveals that “the secret to a successful event like ASAP in Toronto is the people who worked on it. It is a testament to the hard work of all members of the project, and our dedication to giving our Kapamilyas a wonderful and life-enhancing experience.” Martin Nievera adds “the secret to the success of ASAP is that there is genuine love between us.”
Del Rosario reflects that he “expected ASAP to bridge our Filipino Canadian community back to their roots in the Philippines, and the show did not disappoint. There was that instant connection throughout the show. ASAP satisfied a thirst of our Kapamilya for a taste of home. TFC and ASAP definitely left a deep imprint in the hearts of the Fil-Canadian community.”
Gary Valenciano calls on readers to watch ASAP in Toronto Part 1 on August 6, and Part 2 on August 13 at 11:45 A.M. on ABS-CBN (Manila Time), and on TFC on the same dates at 10:25 A.M. (Pacific Time). In his Instagram® post, Valenciano reminisces, “Toronto was fabulous. I was blessed beyond measure. I hope when you see the shows on August 6 and 13 on ABS-CBN, you will see why I am so blessed. Thank you, Toronto. I know this is going to stay in my heart until the end.”
The photos below present snapshots of some of the memorable moments of ASAP Live in Toronto.
In the segment ASAPinoy, ASAP pays tribute to, and celebrates the birthday of, the artist who energized the whole Philippines, and even OPM-loving Filipinos around the world, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano (5th from left). Here, Valenciano accepts the plaque of recognition and appreciation for his outstanding contribution to Original Pilipino Music while he is surrounded by some of the Philippines’ finest singers, (L-R) Yeng Constantino, Angeline Quinto, OPM Icon Ogie Alcasid, Concert King Martin Nievera, Piolo Pascual, Divine Diva ZsaZsa Padilla, Kyla, and KZ Tandingan. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
The glow in their eyes can make one believe in “forever.” Cupid’s arrow strikes, and the coliseum crowd goes wild as the love teams of (left to right) Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto; Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano; and Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador sing about what makes them love someone. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
ASAP turns up the heat at the Ricoh Coliseum, with a special contemporary dance treat from (L-R) Yassi Pressman, Enchong Dee, Rayver Cruz, Kim Chiu, Maja Salvador, Enrique Gil, Gerald Anderson, Joshua Garcia, Janella Salvador, and Elmo Magalona. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
Crowd favorite Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil slay onstage with their dance moves that send the fans over the moon with joy. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
ASAP Soul Sessions (Left-Right): Jason Dy, Kyla, Daryl Ong, KZ, and Jay-R bring the crowd to reminisce as they deliver a soul-searing, heart-tugging medley of love songs. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
(Left-Right) Darren Espanto, Enrique Gil, Robi Domingo (partially hidden), Enchong Dee, Liza Soberano, Janella Salvador, Julia Barretto, and Joshua Garcia groove to the latest dance craze popularized by ASAP – the funky mash-up of Sidekick + Shaky Shaky + Mobe. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
Hataw Na! (Move It!) Total Performer Gary Valenciano (right) powers-up the audience as he shows his moves to the crowd who went along, stomping their feet and moving along to the beat of the soundtrack to the 1995 movie with the same title. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
(L-R) Maja Salvador, Kim Chiu and Yassi Pressman bring the house down with their sizzling dance performance. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
(L-R) ASAP Birit Queens: Morissette, Angeline Quinto, Klarisse, and Jona wow the entire arena with their singing prowess, hitting the right notes and moving the audience with love and nostalgia. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)
OPM’s finest shine the spotlight on the silent, unrecognized heroes of the Philippines: the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). (L-R) Angeline Quinto, Ogie Alcasid, Yeng Constantino, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, ZsaZsa Padilla, Erik Santos, and Kyla sing a medley of songs celebrating Pinoy pride. (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
Queen of Primetime Bida Bea Alonzo and Ultimate Heartthrob Piolo Pascual render a duet that drives the audience to feel the absolute “kilig” (romantic excitement). (Photo courtesy of Red Andal.)
The men of OPM (L-R) Concert King Martin Nievera, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, and OPM Icon Ogie Alcasid — make musical magic as they sing their hearts out, while the crowd swoons. (Photo courtesy of Christian Ryan.)