About Me, Announcements, Celebrities, Concerts, Events, Newspapers, People, Published Works
Leave a comment

The Magic of Celine Dion Live 2018 in Manila

Text and photos by Jojie Alcantara

Before I start, I should tell you I am not exactly a Celine Dion fanatic. I admire her music, quirky and warm personality in interviews, but because radio stations keep playing her songs, they don’t register in my mind anymore. Blame it on the movie Titanic. It’s all coming back to me now.

Celine Dion in Manila by Jojie Alcantara for SunStar Davao

Celine Dion in Manila by Jojie Alcantara for SunStar Davao

 

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

So when PLDT and Smart invited media colleagues from Davao, General Santos City and Cebu to the first concert of the world-renowned Canadian singer, it was too good to refuse. Never mind if there were two storms as we touched down the airport and two other LPAs when we departed the next day.

 

Storm brewing as we touched down in the airport © Jojie Alcantara

Storm brewing as we touched down in the airport © Jojie Alcantara

[bctt tweet=”The Magic of Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila” username=”JojieAlcantara”]

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour was a highly anticipated two-night event produced by AEG Presents and Ovation Productions last July 19 and 20, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. It brings her across the Asia-Pacific region, performing in seven cities which include for the first time in Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Manila and Bangkok. Tickets were already sold out as early as February for the first night so they added another night. PLDT Home and Smart as the main presenters of the concert launched ticket giveaway promos to subscribers for a chance to watch the concert.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

Our seats were in the VIP section, which offered a respectable distance from the elaborate stage. It was the second full night. She came in with opening songs “The Power of Love,” and “That’s the Way It Is,” and the crowd went wild. Singing “I’m Alive” prompted the audience to cheer and feel the same way all throughout the 2-hour performance. Celine also asked the crowd to sing along with her in “Because You Loved Me”.

 

Beauty and the Beast number and backdrop © Jojie Alcantara

 

At this point I should be gushing about how spectacular the stage was. During her beautiful quick costume changes, backed by dazzling, 3D backdrop transitions of stunning mood lighting, explosion of colors, fireworks, a live orchestra and backup singers, the five-time Grammy-award winner’s soulful voice rang out crisp and clear throughout the night. It rendered me, a non-fan, in awe, just as others beside me, most of them coming from different parts of the country… near, far, wherever we were.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

I was touched by her rendition of “All by Myself” because I knew of her devotion to late husband René Angélil, a Canadian musical producer and her manager at the same time. She was set to have a concert here in 2014 but was cancelled because of her husband’s illness. Her repertoire smoothly switched from catchy to moving, as she sang “Recovering” composed by Pink to help her through her mourning.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

From her famous songs including the French “Pour que tu m’aimes,”, she sang covers as well as movie theme songs, from Beauty and the Beast and the latest from Deadpool 2 called “Ashes.”

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

It was quite annoying to read catty comments on YouTube clips of her performances, some saying they were lip-synched. I wanted to retort but stopped myself, knowing that her voice was so powerful and effortless as she alternated between conversing humorously with the audience and suddenly belting out high notes without a struggle, even after three decades in her glorious career and millions of albums sold.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

When she sang her last song and disappeared, the crowd knew she was about to sing her most memorable movie theme song. With cheers of ‘more! more!’ she came out again in an immaculate pink and white gown humming the familiar opening flute notes of “My Heart Will Go On”. The backdrop became a deep blue underwater scene.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

 

With mobile phones in outstretched arms, the audience kept clamoring for more, which moved Celine Dion to tears. “I’m so very happy to finally be here with you! Maraming salamat!” she exclaimed, and belted out her final acapella to Filipino fans, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

 

Filipino audience response moved Celine to tears © Jojie Alcantara

 

Indeed, the audience, including me, couldn’t help falling into her. That’s the Way It Is.

 

Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour in Manila © Jojie Alcantara

You can also read my published article online.

Filed under: About Me, Announcements, Celebrities, Concerts, Events, Newspapers, People, Published Works

by

The author is a multi-awarded photographer, journalist, and artist whose works are featured in tourism campaigns (It's More Fun in the Philippines), covers and spreads of books and international magazines. A long time columnist of SunStar Davao, she is a frequent traveler in search of inspirational heartwarming stories of human interest. She is also an  influencer and motivational speaker who gives photography workshops in universities and organizations. A former TV personality, she has done several print and TV commercials, event hosting and speaking engagements. In 2013, she has received an award from the City Government of Davao for her significant contribution in the social media. She was one of the speakers in Photo World Asia 2017.  A web designer/blogger since the 90s, she has seen the evolution of the internet and social media transition from the perspective of a traditional media person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.