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 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 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.”