By Pauline Marie Allen
Photos by Tony Garcia and Katie Ortiz
A colossal “Kapamilya” party, headlined by the stars of ASAP —
the longest running Philippine weekend variety show — shook and rattled the
city of San Jose on Saturday (August 3) as The Filipino Channel (TFC)
celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Fans and supporters had the chance to party with ASAP’s
mainstays Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa
Padilla, Piolo Pascual, Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez at the SAP Center,
home of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.
Filipino American and/or Filipino US-based artists that
included: AJ Rafael, Jeremy Passion, Josephine “Banig” Roberto, Angelica Hale,
Jasmin Trias, Jej Vinson, the
Str8jacket Dance Company and the Fil-Am boy band
Filharmonics also took part in the grand show.
Among the guests were 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray and 2015
Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.
The ASAP production also brought along its dancing crew led by
Maja Salvador, Kim Chiu and Kathryn Bernardo.
“This is the birthplace of TFC. They couldn’t have started
anywhere else if they didn’t sense there were kapamilyas right here,” Gary V told mediamen during a press
conference held at the TFC studio in Daly City a day before the ASAP concert.
To which his friend and fellow artist Martin added: “This is where
TFC is born. TFC Country. And the Filipinos here come from different
backgrounds and live all over the Bay area. They are the melting pot of
success. The Filipinos who have given so much of their lives to make SF Bay
area what it is today.”
Martin, by the way, is not only an original ASAP mainstay but as
well as the brain who thought about taking away ASAP’s original abbreviated
meaning (as soon as possible) and made up a new phrase in its lieu (All-star
Sunday Afternoon Party.)
Or, Martin jested (and to the delight of those present at the
press conference), ASAP could also be translated as “As Sexy As Pops,” — obviously
referring to his estranged wife Pops Fernandez who was also an original cast of
the successful show during its early years.
“For as long as ASAP and ABS-CBN and TFC will have me, I will be
there,” Martin also said.
ASAP, the show, has been around February 5, 1995 or just one-year
younger than TFC.
“Every Sunday is memorable. Every Sunday we just really get to
hang out with each other. Usually Sundays is a family day, relax-day, and to us
it’s the same thing, but while working,” Billy Crawford recalled when each of
the stars were asked about their fond memories of ASAP.
Philippine-based stars were given a warm welcome by Nerissa Fernandez, ABS-CBN
Global Corporate Affairs Head, who called them up one by one on stage.
the actual show, the star-studded line up consisted of Angel Locsin, Angeline Quinto, Billy
Crawford, Carol Banawa, Coco Martin, Daniel Padilla, Darren Espanto, Edward
Barber, Ella Mae Saison, Enchong Dee, Erik Santos, Gerald Anderson, the Gold
Squad, Inigo Pascual, Janine Berdin, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barretto, Kathryn
Bernardo, Kim Chiu, Kyla, KZ, Maja Salvador, Maymay Entrata, Moira Dela Torre,
Morissette, Paulo Avelino, Pia Wurtzbach, Pops Fernandez, Sam Milby, Shane
Ericks, Sheryn Regis, TNT Boys, Tony Labrusca, Yeng Constantino and the G-Force.
advertised, “ASAP Natin To Bay Area” did turn out to be
“a fusion of both fresh and familiar musical flavors that will showcase what
being Filipino in the diaspora looks like today.”
concept behind ’ASAP Natin ‘To Bay Area’ celebrates not only where TFC has
been, but what it has become, and where it’s going. This ASAP reflects the
journeys of the overseas and migrant Filipinos and how they’ve evolved as a
dynamic community which is diverse in composition but still identifiably
Filipino,” ABS-CBN Global COO
Olivia De Jesus said in a previous press statement.