The artists lit it up to celebrate Filipino American talent. Take a look behind the scenes
It felt like a big (very big) family reunion, with hundreds of Filipinos and friends gathered for an exuberant, open-air “Pinoy’tainment Night” at the Ford on Sunday. Filipino American comedians, rappers, singers and dancers ranged from established names such as comedian Rex Navarrete and Black Eyed Peas rapper Apl.de.Ap to up-and-coming actress Lila Hart and up-and-coming rapper Ruby Ibarra.
Singer-songwriter AJ Rafael hosted; His sister, Jasmin rafael, danced with his team. From the back of the house, members of the dance team Modern Kaba (a spin on the Tagalog word Kababayan, or “compatriots”) encouraged them. The backstage echoed with the same camaraderie, as the performers joked and mingled.
Actor Erick estebanall of ‘s was highlighted by a bit about the Ewoks of “Star Wars” speaking Tagalog, one of the many languages spoken in the Philippines; singer Jules Aurore seduced with “Kailangan Kita”, sung in Tagalog – which she does not speak about. VJ Rosales from the a cappella group the filharmonic joined her for an interpretation that will please everyone of “Just the way you Are“(Mars is also Filipina American).
Stag, who likes to say she is “as big as a parking meter”, had big laughs with energetic – and blue – humor scathing her experience with spina bifida. Ibarra was joined by 14-year-old singer Ella Jay Basco (for their collaboration “Gold“) and fellow Bay Area rapper Nump (for his”I have grapes“). Ibarra concluded with his most famous song, “We», Rapped in English, Tagalog and another Filipino language, Visayan.
Navarrete’s routine envisioned Manny Pacquiao in “The Expendables 2”; the laughs showed that spectators weren’t too deeply bruised by their champion’s convincing defeat the weekend before.
Apl.de.Ap closed the evening, which brought out the new singer of Peas J. Rey Soul (a Filipina he discovered while animating “The voice of the Philippines“) for the Philippine American hip-hop anthem”Baby. “
AJ Rafael concluded the festivities like a lumpia by saying, “Food, friends, family are what I think of when I think of being Filipino. “