IN PHOTOS: Arnel Pineda’s 50th birthday concert

Stephen Lavoie
The singer celebrated a milestone with a dinner concert at Okada Manila

ARNEL PINEDA. For his 50th birthday, the vocalist did what he does best. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – One of the premier vocalists of the Philippines celebrated a milestone with a one-of-a-kind concert at the newly opened Grand Ballroom of Okada Manila.

Arnel’s vocal prowess is something to behold, he could sing the phonebook and still move mountains. He addressed the audience in a comfortable and genuine fashion explaining how fortunate and thankful he is to be where he is today. After a handful of songs, there was a video presentation that documented Arnel’s inspirational story, from humble beginnings to his rise to fame as lead singer of the legendary band Journey.

GROUPLOVE. Arnel is joined on-stage singing with his friends and bandmates. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

With an energetic and animated stage presence, he performed a setlist which included a variety of recognizable hits across genres and generations such as Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit,” Deep Purple’s “Highway Star,” Eric Carmen’s “All by Myself,” and a Journey song to round out the set, of course.

FLIPPING OUT. Arnel skilfully juggles his microphone while Monet Cajipe keeps the rhythm on guitar in the backdrop. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

 

The band produced a full sound, with three back up vocalists and numerous musicians on various instruments accompanying Arnel in a well-balanced fashion with a high quality sound.

CATCHING SOME AIR.  As Arnel leaps in a pogo stick fashion, Monet Cajipe, unfazed carries on playing the guitar. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

The evening began with a Filipina-American singer Anatalia Villaranda from popular TV show, The Voice US. This was Anatalia’s Philippine debut and the talented teenager impressed the crowd with a confident stage presence and an astounding vocal performance, also joined by another up-and-comer Jon Klaasen.

THE VOICES. Young Fil-Am rising star Anatalia Villaranda joins Arnel onstage for a duet. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

Just when the regular portion of the show concluded and things seemed to be ready to wrap up, Arnel was surprised by Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha singing “Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin.”

BRING IT IN. Arnel hugs “Asia's Nightingale” Lani Misalucha, a surprise guest at his 50th birthday party. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

FAMILY MATTERS. Arnel is joined on stage by his family: his sons Matthew, Cherub, Angelo, singer Lani Misalucha, his daughter Thea, and his wife Cherry. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

 

His three sons, Mathew, Angelo, and Cherub followed with a pleasant version of “Grow Old with You.” His wife, Cherry and young daughter, Thea also sang. To cap off the night, there was a cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday – a fitting end to a memorable evening.

A FAMILY AFFAIR. Arnel performs a duet with his wife Cherry as they hold hands with their daughter Thea. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

MAKE A WISH.  Arnel carries his daughter Thea as he prepares to blow out the candles. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

This wasn’t your ordinary concert, it had a loving feeling to it, a true celebration. Throughout the night, Arnel often gestured towards his family, close friends, and special guests in the audience and even jumped into the crowd for the last song. He showed his appreciation by donating part of the proceeds of the ticket sales to the Arnel Pineda Foundation, a non-profit that takes care of underprivileged children.

REACHING DEEP. Arnel leans back in full voice, giving it his all with power and control. Photo by Stephen Lavoie/ Rappler

What impressed me here was how Arnel sang without ego. The music itself was presented in pure fashion straight from the heart. – Rappler.com