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Paula Valstein, Bamboo sing for Yolanda survivors

Carol RH Malasig

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Israel's Paula Valstein and the Philippines' Bamboo dedicate a night of music to Yolanda survivors

MUSIC AS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. Bamboo and Paula Valstein talk about how music can transcend race and culture. Photo provided by the Israeli Embassy in Manila

MANILA, Philippines – It was a night dedicated to two countries that have a long-standing friendship, and their people.

Israeli singer Paula Valstein and Filipino rock icon Bamboo recently teamed up for a one-night performance at RCBC Plaza’s Carlos P. Romulo auditorium.

Over 300 people came to the show. Among them were members of the diplomatic corps, the media, business personalities, and a group of from the Visayan region who survived the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Valstein entranced the crowd with her indie-pop music, serenading the crowd with her hit singles “Play with Me” and “Two Stars.”

The singer-songwriter’s soothing voice gave life to her music that are made up of catchy melodies and relatable lyrics. She says that her songs talk about everyday life and emotion that a person feels through finding and even losing love.

As for her inspirations in songwriting, she said experience counts a lot. “It can be about anything. From life, people I see on the streets, politics – it can be anything. I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

The Tel Aviv native moved to New York years ago but came back to Israel after missing her homeland. She gained instant fame after winning “Best Performance” in an Israeli television program called A Star is Born.

Since then, Valstein has been a household name in Israel.

She said that she admired the voice of Filipina Rose Fostanes who also recently won in a reality singing contest in Israel like her after working there as a caregiver for several years. (READ: Pinay caregiver Rose Fostanes wins ‘X Factor Israel’)

ISRAEL IN THE PHILIPPINES. Israeli Ambassador Menashe Bar-On poses for a photo with Israeli singer Paula Valstein. Photo provided by the Israeli Embassy

She said that Israelis and Filipinos do have a lot in a common but one particular trait stands out. “The warmth. When you go to Israel, people are very very warm. And they take care of each other. It’s the same here.”

It’s Valstein’s second visit here in Manila and she shares how during her first visit, Filipino singer Freddie Aguilar told her about his song “Anak” and what it means. She immediately loved the song and performed it through a duet with Bamboo during their own show. Paula sang half of the song in Filipino while Bamboo sang the other half in English.

Bamboo also mesmerized the audience by playing songs from his new album as well as singing one of his most popular hits – “214.”

After the event, both Valstein and Bamboo were given certificates of appreciation by Israeli Ambassador to Manila Menashe Bar-On who also told Bamboo that he is now officially a friend of the Embassy.

Bamboo, grateful for the Ambassador’s gesture, shared how he has always been close to Jewish people, having grown up with a Jewish best friend while living in the United States.

He says his concert with Valstein was actually very special as he got to reach out to people who affected by the typhoon, using a universal language that transcends race and culture – music.

Both artists described each other as talented and are equally grateful for the opportunity to perform together for such a special crowd.

Bamboo began his career as a vocalist for Filipino band Rivermaya, but has also achieved a much-celebrated music career with his many other musical projects. He released his own solo album in 2012 titled No Water, No Moon. –

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