“ASAP Live in LA” brings Filipinos together to celebrate TFC’s 20th year of service

When asked to describe in one word what ASAP Live in LA would be at the packed press conference that was livestreamed on TFC.tv and TFC20.com/ASAP last October 8 from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the following cast members said:

Gerald Anderson: “Awesome!”
Maja Salvador: “Spectacular!”
Yeng Constantino: “Astig!” (Super cool!)
Bamboo: “Class Act.”
Zsa Zsa Padilla: “Powerful.”
Martin Nievera: “Unforgettable.”
Enchong Dee: “Memorable.”
Kathryn Bernardo: “Fun!”
Daniel Padilla: “Intense!”
Gary Valenciano: “I wanted to add on to what everyone said and it has to do with why ASAP is where it is today. You have a bunch of artists here and there are many more artists out there. But there is a reason why we are chosen to be part of this show. I think that God has a great plan for why we are a part of this show. So, the word I’m going to choose is ‘blessed’.”

ASAP Live in LA brings Filipinos together to celebrate TFC's 20th year of service

Indeed, the words of TFC’s 20th Anniversary Ambassador Valenciano and his nine press con co-panelists were veritable harbingers of what ASAP Live in LA last October 11 turned out to be.

Not the power-packed joint concert of superstars Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull in Staples Center, or the multi-cultural, multi-act Super Sonico Festival brought by the teams of LAMC and Coachella to Shrine Auditorium, or the touring and local culinary stars of James Beard Foundation’s Taste Los Angeles in Vibiana could distract 12,000 Filipino fans from trooping to historic Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to take part in the day-long festivities climaxed by a one-of-a-kind three-hour, live, world-class Filipino entertainment.

Filipino and Fil-Am performers join hands
When ABS-CBN and TFC North America promised 40 stars would perform at ASAP Live in LA, they actually meant at least 40.

Believing in always putting great value for the money that TFC subscribers and fans pay, ticket buyers did not only get a star-studded complement of talented cast members from the Philippines; they were treated to spectacular on-stage collaborations with U.S.-based Filipino singing greats like Jam Morales, Ella Mae Saison and Tootsie Guevarra, and international Fil-Am superstars like apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas and Jessica Sanchez of American Idol fame. Also acknowledged at the show were well-known Fil-Ams from the Hollywood industry like Tia Carrere, Reggie Lee, Mark Nicolas and Fritz Friedman.

Carrere told Balitang America: “ASAP was amazing. What a monster concert! I mean, Apl being here, Charice, Jessica Sanchez, and all these stars from the Philippines, I’m so happy to be able to be introduced to them. It’s three hours of non-stop energy here. I can’t wait to see it on TV.”

More than just entertainment
While ASAP director Johnny Manahan, ASAP Business Unit Head Joyce Liquicia and their Manila team in collaboration with TFC North America production team led by John-D Lazatin made sure that everything from the production numbers to the costumes to the technical set-up lived up to high standards, everyone in the cast and crew knew that they were here to deliver more than just entertainment.

“You are talking about people flying in from as far as Alaska, Hawaii and Canada and fans representing by creating their own ASAP Live in LA attires. You have people who saved their dollars and planned their work vacations so they can watch the show. We all know that what we should give are more than song-and-dance numbers; we are here to give our hearts, our love, our Kapamilya spirit and Pinoy soul to them. We want them to feel they’ve come home,” said TFC North America ASAP Live in LA Project Lead Ricky Resurreccion, also the region’s head of Ad Sales, Trade Marketing & Events.

So, the stars braved a thunderstorm, flood, traffic and no sleep to catch their flights from Manila to Los Angeles, mingled with fans as they visited Los Angeles landmarks to tape segments, took part in a Meet and Chat with lucky ticket holders, rehearsed to perfection and tirelessly shared their experiences and activities on social media for their millions of followers around the world.

Promoting Filipino presence, the City and County of Los Angeles tourism and voter mobilization for the coming November elections also did not go unnoticed by the Office of the Mayor. Through the assistance of Los Angeles Philippine Consul General Leo Herrera Lim, Filipino American Service Group, Inc. Executive Director Susan Dilkes and West Valley Area Representative Max Reyes, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a Proclamation making October 11, 2014 ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel’s “ASAP Live in LA” Community Empowerment Day. ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs Head Ging Reyes presented the Proclamation to the crowd before the show show while Valenciano and Nievera led a group that presented it anew to the audience.

Meanwhile. ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Chairman Gina Lopez made a sterling presentation of her Philippine ecotourism program before the concert to remind the audience to reconnect to the homeland in a sustainable, progressive way.

Celebrating TFC’s 20th Anniversary
For North America where TFC started, ASAP Live in LA was the perfect bookend for the TFC 20 Gala that kicked off its 20th anniversary celebration.

TFC’s first ever ambassador Martin Nievera, who performed with current ambassador Gary Valenciano at the gala back in March said about TFC: “When I was distributing TFC flyers, it was just a concept, just an idea, a big satellite dish. Twenty years later it’s like the best thing they’ve invented since the balikbayan box.”

ABS-CBN President Charo Santos Concio saw the early days differently. “I knew in my heart it was just a matter of time, yes, because the Filipinos love artists, love entertainment, and you know we’re one of the happiest people on earth,” she said.

ABS-CBN North America Managing Director Olivia De Jesus said: “ASAP Live in LA is topnotch entertainment as a means of connecting Filipinos together to celebrate their Filipinoness. And that has been the mission of TFC in building its relationship with its customers these past 20 years.”

“For us to have been able to be part of the lives for the community for this long, it’s just, I think, something that’s really an inspiring thing, and I expect will go on for 20 more, and many more beyond my lifetime,” said ABS-CBN Global COO Raffy Lopez.

Catch ASAP Live in LA on TFC worldwide on October 19 and 26. For more information, visit TFC20.com/ASAP.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.