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Boy Abunda key to Celine Dion concerts in Manila

Joed Serrano, the “That’s Entertainment” star-turned- show promoter, is more than thankful for Boy Abunda’s help in making the recent two-night show of Canadian singer Celine Dion at the MOA Arena.

Over lunch at Annabel’s recently, Joed, enthusiastically related how the Dion show came to be in Manila. “It almost didn’t,” he admitted, “if not for Tito Boy (Abunda).

He related how Abunda came into the picture and he said it might have been destiny that he thought of him when he was in near desperation to seal the deal for Celine’s Manila leg of her world tour.

Backstage with Celine Dion
Several days before he should fly to Vegas to seal the deal, he received some heartbreaking news. The guy who promised the amount he needed to make the Dion show in Manila green and go backed out.  And Joed had a flight to the US to catch to meet Dion’s management waiting for the balance of $3 million to make sure Dion’s Manila leg would be a go.

He was counting the hours before the flight, but also wondering how he would be able to raise $3 million, the balance to pay the Dion management. 

“I thought of calling Kuya Boy. Wala lang. We’re not close but I was hoping he’d listen to me and perhaps understand my predicament. When the phone answered, Tito Boy asked who I was and after I introduced myself, he said ‘What did I do to deserve the call from a Joed Serrano?’ That was the start of long and successive phone calls between the two of us. He didn’t promise me anything but said he’d try to call some people who might be able to help.”

To cut the story short, on a Sunday morning at mass, Joed was listening to the priest’s homily about a surprise that God would give His children. So he rang up Boy Abunda after the mass to find out if he were able to connect him to a generous person who could help him. And it was just hours before his scheduled flight.

Lo and behold, Boy Abunda told Joed he found the person who might be able to help and gave him a number to call. It turned out to be Flor Santos, mother of singer L.A. Santos. She said she was in Guam, but will be back in Manila on that day. She was willing to help but she just needed to speak to Boy Abunda over lunch the following day. 

"Boy said he wasn’t available lunchtime, but got back to me to tell me to tell Flor he could meet her at dinner time," Joed recalled.

That made Joed breathe freely after days of being preoccupied with the thoughts of “what if”. 

Immediately, he decided not to fly to the US. He was supposed to fly to the US on that day, but without the money it would be futile.

The smash-hit two-night concert of Celine Dion at the MOA is another feather in the cap of Renen de Guia’s Ovation Productions, which has produced concerts of several other big international artists in Manila. Renen and wife Celina’s son Bogie handles the company’s production, road management and security.

“I take my hat off to Bogie for being a genius in putting up a show,” said ex-actor Joed Serrano who, unknown to many people (including some of his friends), was a co-producer of Celine’s concert. He simply requested Renen and Celina not to put his company’s name (Joed Presents) on the ads and in the press releases for reasons that only he knew.

“Tito Boy saved me,” Joed said. With the “problem” solved, Celine’s two-night concert proceeded without a hitch despite the nasty weather. Celine came from Taipei and from Manila she flew on her private plane to Bangkok. Her concert covered four other Asian cities.

“I consider Celine’s concert my most challenging so far and I have no regrets,” continued Joed who has also co-produced concerts of such international artists as Katy Perry, James Ingram, The Jonas Brothers, Boyzone, Michael Learns To Rock, Korean singer Psy (Gangnam Style), American Idol finalist Jasmine Trias, Pentatonix, Snow Patrol and Lifehouse.

Joed also produced the concerts of local artists like Vice Ganda, Alden Richards, Regine Velasquez, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Jaya, Pops Fernandez, Jessa Zaragoza, Lani Misalucha, Ogie Alcasid, Ai-Ai delas Alas and Sharon Cuneta (including her concert in Davao City with L.A. Santos as featured singer). 

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Arts and crafts in 13th Las Piñas Waterlily Festival

Waterlily-inspired gowns and costumes and waterlily-made handicrafts brought splashes of color and vibrant life to this year’s celebration of the 13th Las Piñas Waterlily Festival held Friday at the Villar SIPAG grounds in Las Piñas City.

The annual festivity, a brainchild of Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, was packed with families and foreign and local tourists who flocked to the city to marvel at the exhibit display of creative and innovative water lily products and to participate in the handmade paper demonstration using the versatile aquatic blooms. 

Villar, who initiated the use of waterlilies as raw materials for handicrafts, cheered at how weavers from the country’s weaving and handicrafts industry were able to introduce modern concepts and innovation in the development and production of artistically designed waterlily baskets, bags, textiles, trays, mats, hampers, slippers, chests, lampshades and other products.

Participants in the exhibit display were the Water Lily Arts & Crafts Center ( Las Piñas City), Sta. Rosa Livelihood Organization Inc. (Sta. Rosa, Laguna), Cardona Livelihood Products (Cardona, Rizal), Kabuhayan sa Water Lily (Cainta, Rizal), Joneg Foundation (Teresa, Rizal), Pililla Waterlily Weavers  (Pililla, Rizal), Maynilad Waterlily Weavers (Potatan, Muntinlupa) and Pateros Weavers.

A street-dancing competition among Las Piñas’ junior highschool students, who gyrated to modern beats in costumes and props using waterlily as their main components, also got visitors on their feet as they clapped and cheered their favorite groups. 

Villar, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, was among the board of judges in the beauty pageant, which was participated in by representatives from the city’s 13 barangays, and the street dancing competition. 

Arlyn Claire M. Sangab of Barangay. Pamplona 1 brought home the Miss Las Piñas Water Lily 2018 crown and P25,000 cash. Her first runner-up, Ms. Rebecca Kirsten S. Lopez of Barangay. Talon 4, won P15,000; while Ms. Rojielen Angela Autencio of Barangay. Pulanglupa 1 went home with a cash prize of P10,000.

Topics: Joed Serrano , That’s Entertainment , Boy Abunda , Celine Dion , 13th Las Piñas Waterlily Festival
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