The Jacksons in Manila for night of nostalgia

Rome Jorge

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The Jacksons in Manila for night of nostalgia

Romano Cortes Jorge

They got better and better with time

The last time The Jackson brothers were in town, it was in 1976. The teen boy band had Michael Jackson, youngest of the siblings, as the star of the show, for 6 consecutive nights at the Folk Arts Theater and the Araneta Center. It would be the last time the group would ever perform formally known as The Jackson 5; shortly thereafter they left Motown records.

This November 3, they returned as grown men for a one-night show at the Solaire Resorts grand ballroom. Voices that were once youthful and prepubescent were now soulful and powerful – and brilliant.

They still had it, only better – the same spellbinding tonal range and vocal harmony. The same synchronized funky dance moves. The same exuberance and infectious joy. For a night, they brought the Motown sound and the Jackson magic back to Manila.

SHOW SOME LOVE. Marlon had the most flair dancing

Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito Jackson’s concert was as much a tribute to their late brother Michael  as it was a family reunion. The brothers took turns singing Jackson 5 Motown classics such as “I Want You Back,”  “ABC,” “I’ll Be There,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” and “Dancing Machine” as well as Michael’s “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,’” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and the very prescient “Gone Too Soon,” and Jermaine’s “All Night Dynamite” and “Do What You Do.” 

The musical performances were interspersed with video testimonials from Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and patriarch Joe Jackson as well as scenes from their 2009 reality television show The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty

In the middle of the show, Jermaine sang songs solo, paying stirring tribute to Michael. Then, his brothers Jackie, Marlon, and Tito joined him for an upbeat performance that thrilled the crowd.

The concert drew a strange mix of silver-maned expatriates in suits, bejeweled matrons, and teens cosplaying and impersonating the King of Pop with his trademark sequined glove, fedora, and aviator glasses. 

CONNECT. A cosplaying fan reaches out to shake Marlon's hand with a sequined glove

At the start of the concert, Solaire’s big spenders sat at dinner tables upfront while everyone else was seated rows behind them. But within minutes everyone got up and danced right in front of the stage. By the end of the night, stately men in business suits found themselves grooving next to local teens dressed as Michael Jackson.

Here are more photos from the show. 


Writer, graphic designer, and business owner Rome Jorge is passionate about the arts. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of asianTraveler Magazine, Lifestyle Editor of The Manila Times, and cover story writer for MEGA and Lifestyle Asia Magazines,RomeJorge has also covered terror attacks, military mutinies, mass demonstrations as well as Reproductive Health, gender equality, climate change, HIV/AIDS and other important issues. He is also the proprietor of Strawberry Jams Music Studio.

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