Graphics by Arah Reguyal / Article by Christian Viñas
When talking about Pinoy pride – i.e. Filipinos who brought fame and glory to the Philippines and earned a mark on an international scale – one singer always comes to my mind: Arnel Pineda. Sure, we have senator Manny Pacquiao and Lea Salonga, among others; but knowing Filipinos and their love for music, you would be surprised if no one knows who Arnel Pineda is.
As such, we expected that his 50th birthday concert would be jam-packed – and it was! The international rock sensation and Journey frontman marked his golden year with an intimate birthday dinner show at Okada Manila’s Grand Ballroom where he sang songs that best represent his life. The night’s setlist intercuts with Arnel’s life story, from his beginnings in local bands to conquering the world stage as the frontman of the legendary band Journey.
Along with Anatalia Villaranda’s first Philippine debut, Arnel marked his golden year in grand rockstar fashion, and we got the chance to be part of his colorful celebration. Here are the pictures of the celebration:
Arnel sang songs that best represents his ‘journey’ in this life
Anatalia jumpstarts the crowd with Runaway Baby, originally performed by Bruno Mars
Anatalia shared the stage as the night’s special guest and front act and sang “If I Ain’t Got You” to start the night off before going to her rock female version of “Runaway Baby”, the song that made her popular on the US TV series The Voice.
Anatalia singing Versace on the Floor, showcasing her vocal range
She then followed her setlist with Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, and “24k Magic”. She sure had a blast performing in front of her kababayans!
The Filipino singer sang songs that best represent his life and journey. Arnel’s whole set wowed the crowd, starting his concert with, “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” of Nirvana, followed by “Amazing” by Aerosmith. Songs such as “She’s always a woman to me” of Billy Joel and Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, showcased his vocal prowess.
Arnel Pineda serenades the crowd with his personal take on “All by Myself” and “We’re All Alone” by Eric Carmen.
A candid shot of the birthday boy!
Arnel and his former bandmates sings “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles
Among other achievements he attained from his past bands (Ammo, Ijos, Zoo) and contests Best Vocalist, Yamaha World Band Explosion), he gained international recognition after being chosen as Journey’s vocalist in 2007, being discovered through YouTube.
Arnel stands in awe as he witnesses Asia’s Nightingale perform for him
Lani Misalucha after she sang “Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin” for Arnel
Arnel and his kids singing ‘Grow Old with You’
Arnel ended his amazing set by singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, treating the fans a trademark song from Journey and “Faithfully”, a crowd favorite being requested from the start. The night ended with him singing with the crowd and thanking his friends, family and charity, APFI, and to those who made the event possible. Proceeds from the concert will go to his charity.