Saxophone wasn’t one of those instruments we, Filipinos, are used to playing, it has always been the guitar or drums or sometimes the piano. But as we continue to explore, saxophone, here in the Philippines, has become one of those instruments to be featured in many television reality shows, workshops/training/short course offerings and now even concerts.

The Saxophone Idols Live in Action (SILA) Vol.2 2019 concert that featured PH’s finest saxophone artists, which took place at the Resort World’s Newport Performing Arts Theatre, is a new flavor in the concert scene that, I’m sure, every Filipino would love.

A Little Flashback

My introduction to music (the earliest that I remember) was when I started hearing my mamita singing her favorite Hotel California and Bed of Roses in our very own home videoke- videotapes + the 90’s VHS (Sino nakakaalam, itaas ang kamay! Lol). From then on, I started to vividly listen to music (of all forms), been addicted to watching live performances and on TV, attempted to join small-time singing contests and played my very first musical instrument.

But, what really usually mesmerized me, I was about 7 or 8, was whenever my pops plays his favorite Kenny G album- Breathless. ‘Forever in Love’, ‘In the Rain’ and ‘By the Time This Night is Over’ were those, that I remembered, I truly enjoyed listening to. So, so relaxing, a real dessert to my ears and sometimes gave me goosebumps. Up until now, when I hear someone playing the sax, these memories flashback as if it all happened just yesterday.

SILA Vol.2 2019 Invite

When I received an Invite to watch and witness a musical event that will showcase famous and talented saxophonists in the Philippines, I immediately said yes and blocked my Saturday (October 12, 2019) night schedule.

Without a bit of hesitation, I wrote my pre-event blog with so much excitement. See this link:

SILA 2.0 Red Carpet

I was thrilled because I will be hearing sax music live and I’ll be witnessing such a beautiful musical event, all for the first time (not just thru our home stereo), pops would have been very happy if he was with me.

An Absolute Night of Musical Spectacle

The event started at around 8:00 PM, I was at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Resorts World Manila at around 6:30 PM for a chance to join the sax tutorial and experience the SILA Vol.2 Red Carpet. 

The opening presentation is something I am really looking forward to witnessing. It was the best way to start the show. 

There were goosebumps all over me when suddenly, at the middle of the darkness, the band started playing, a spotlight was turned on in one of the theatre’s aisle and there standing was Eat Bulaga’s Saxophone Hero Grand Champion, Josh Espinosa, the first to exhibit his saxophone techniques and musical prowess. It happened for about 5 breath-taking minutes, a delightful introduction to the 4 main acts of the concert. 

I really enjoyed hearing Charlie Puth’s ‘Marvin Gaye’, Clean Bandit’s ‘Symphony’, Ben King’s ‘Stand by Me’ and Wild Cherry’s ‘Play that Funky Music’- upbeat, will definitely make you groove on your seat and sing your heart out at the chorus part. Astig!

‘Hugot’ songs were also heard during the concert (that made my friend really emotional at one point, Lol). Well, there is really something in the sax music (and also violin’s) that pushes the emotion of the listeners really hard, not sure what it is, or maybe it’s just me. ‘Bukas na Lang Kita Mamahalin’, ‘Halik’, ‘Here I am’ and Itchyworms’ ‘Di na Muli’ were played perfectly- smooth sounding, romantic and super relaxing – renditions that I will never get tired of listening. 

The crowd can’t take their eyes during one of the performances.

It ended with a show-stopping contemporary performance from a group of dancers and final execution from the core artists. A total eargasm!

It was indeed an excellent show. I hope to see it again next year! I’ll make sure to bring my pops to witness this extravaganza. 😀

As long as we have these dedicated individuals who love to play and create music, the artistry will be passed generation to generation.

The Artists

Great saxophone artists were present during this musical spectacle – Archie Lacorte (faculty member of UST Conservatory of Music), Jaybee Javelosa (coach from Saxophone Fastrack), Nix Lontoc (top saxophone student of Fastrack), Mark Vincent (rising Youtube sensation), Josh Espinosa (Eat Bulaga’s Saxophone Hero Grand Champion) were the main artists who played with so much passion during that night.

Alongside these were new artists and guests Nicole Tejedor a.k.a The Sax Diva, Dr. Joben Abraham, Ms. Glenda Cagadoc, XT on Sax, Ronn Kenneth Bailon and the SaxFastrack 1st Class.

This musical celebration is something we should continue in our country. As long as we have these dedicated individuals who love to play and create music, the artistry will be passed generation to generation, and who knows, we can also conquer the world stage with this instrument in the future. 

The biggest and the grandest saxophone show in Asia- this is the target of the SILA team. Congratulations to team SILA Vol. 2 2019 for a job well done. Continue to aim progress and success, never stop believing and keep the fire of passion burning and I’m sure, soon, you will reap all the fruits of your dedication. God bless you guys!

Photo credits: Banjo Paderna, Fil Pineda

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