Live in Dubai: Catriona Gray, KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino give Filipinos a Christmas to remember

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Catriona Gray performs in Dubai for Paskong Handog sa Pinoy on December 10, 2021. JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA

Live in Dubai: Catriona Gray, KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino, K Brosas, Erik Santos, Alira and TJ Monterde give Filipinos in UAE a Christmas concert to remember


DUBAI – After a two-year pause from live concerts, Filipino stars Catriona Gray, KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino, Erik Santos and K Brosas gave Filipinos in the UAE an early Christmas treat with a concert at Dubai Festival Arena on Friday (December 10).

Crowds turned up at the arena to support their local artists, while also welcoming guest performer TJ Monterde and rising Emirati pop star Alira, who stunned the audience by singing Filipino songs.

The singers, who said it was their first time to be performing internationally since the pandemic, said they were overwhelmed by the support of the crowd that filled the arena.

“Thank you for being an amazing audience. Thank you so much for the energy, considering this is our first show in two years and what a memorable show it has been,” Catriona told the crowd.

The Miss Universe 2018, who launched her music career this year, regaled the audience with her song, Raise Your Flag, as well as a mix of covers, including Angel of Mine, Pagdating ng Panahon and Price Tag.

The audience was treated to seven amazing performances in one night. Asia’s Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan went into her usual A-game, getting the audience on their feet as she launched into a medley of beloved Eraserheads hits, before singing duets with husband and songwriter TJ Monterde, who also performed his hit song Prinsesa.

Paskong Handog sa Pinoy concert in Dubai on December 10, 2021 with KZ Tandingan and TJ Monterde

KZ Tandingan ended the set with her jaw dropping rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, outdoing her winning performance that garnered her global fame in the Singers 2018 competition where she beat Price Tag singer Jessie J.

Pop-rock princess Yeng Constantino filled the audience with a lot of love and nostalgia with her earliest hits Jeepney Love Story and Pag-ibig, as well as her popular song Chinito and a mix of other covers. “Kilig-kiling lang naman (It’s just for thrill),” Yeng told the crowd, among them her legions of fans called Yengsters.

Paskong Handog sa Pinoy concert in Dubai on December 10, 2021 with Yeng Constantino

Yeng also sang duets with OPM hitmaker Erik Santos, who later had his solo time on stage to regale audience with love songs. Erik ended his performance with “the song that changed my life”, leaving the crowd with This is the Moment, his winning song in Star in a Million that launched his singing career.

Paskong Handog sa Pinoy concert in Dubai on December 10, 2021 with Erik Santos

Emirati pop singer Alira also stole the night by shocking audience with his nuance of Filipino music. The male countertenor, who also sings in the whistle register, shocked the audience with his impeccable performance of Tuwing Umuulan (Everytime it Rains), which received cheers and applause from the Filipino crowd.

“You will probably be wondering how I could pronounce or even sing in Tagalog.. I was coming back from a trip and I came across the song.. I didn’t know what language it was. But then it was actually by a female artist from the Philippines by the name of Angeline Quinto called Patuloy ang Pangarap. So right then and there I took it upon myself, I went home that day and I searched for all the Filipino songs,” Alira told the audience. He also sang Kailangan Kita, which he said was the first Filipino song that he learned, and his hit song Take Flight, which is now a dance craze on TikTok.

Comedienne K Brosas, who said she frequently visits Dubai, kept the crowd in a good mood, combining her powerful vocal performances with a sprinkling of comedy.

Paskong Handog sa Pinoy concert in Dubai on December 10, 2021 with K Brosas

“I know this pandemic a lot of us went through isolation and sadness. I was left counting the tiles in my kitchen,” K Brosas joked before giving some sage advice: “Many experienced anxiety or went into depression. It’s all valid. Everything we went through is valid, whether big or small. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to worry. Just let it all out.”

The concert was produced and organized by Creative Minds Events Organizing and sponsored by Emirates Draw, Koneer and Ineffable Perfume, with Edge Creekside Hotel as hospitality partner. ICA/Expat Media

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