FIRST TIME: Arnel Pineda, Bamboo join forces in 'First Light' US concert tour

Journey frontman Arnel Pineda and the unstoppable Pen De Leon Manahan

For the first time, two of the country's most sought-after powerful male voices - Arnel Pineda and Bamboo - will join forces for three shows of high notes in the US!

Dubbed "First Light," the three shows will be held in three beautiful cities known to love entertainment - Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Jose (California).

"It's never done before kaya ang mga tao ngayon excited. We've been getting lots of phone calls para sa mga tickets," said serial-preuneur Ms Pen De Leon Manahan, better known as Ms. M, of Spotlight Media, producer for the series of concerts, during a Zoom conference with the entertainment press recently.

The concert will kick off at Sams Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 17.  The second show will be held at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose California on Sept. 25; and the final show will be staged at Snoqualmie in Seattle, Washington on Oct. 1.

 Ms. M, who has been in the US for more than 22 years now, believes this is the right time to produce concerts in the US despite the pandemic.

"We have been on lockdown for more than one year and a half, and people are eager to go out now. They are excited to go back to work and watch live shows," Ms M said.

With the threat of pandemic still going, Ms M said that safety and health protocols of the public are still the priority during concerts.

"People in the US are still following health protocols. And when the plans for the shows were presented to us, we made sure that the health aspect of the concert is highlighted," she added. "Before they enter the venue, we will sanitize."

Arnel and Bamboo are now in the US, although they haven't met yet, according to Ms M.

But Ms M said she already met up with Arnel.

"We had dinner in my home in Anaheim Hills. Arnel is very down-to-earth. Kahiit siya na ang lead singer ng Journey, he is still low-key. He's very simple," she said.

Ms M said: "We have to keep strong and positive during these trying times. We can’t stop doing what we’re passionate about. I’ve always been passionate about bringing great entertainment to everyone while giving opportunities to Filipino artists to showcase their incomparable talents here in the US and growing my business at the same time. It’s the circle of life. We all need to help each other rise, especially during a storm. We all need to keep the faith.”

During the last quarter of 2020, Ms M also gave life to Spotlight Media Magazine to connect the local community, and even the whole world, virtually. “You can’t go wrong with a multi-media platform (both in print and digital forms). This way, community partners, organizations and other entrepreneurs may still have a voice using the magazine."

She also added: “You always have to have a back-up plan. We couldn’t do live concerts in 2020, so my family and I had to think outside the box. As the saying goes, ‘When life gives you lemons, make limoncello’. You have to keep creating new visions for yourself.”

Ms M's story harks us back to 1987 when she first emigrated to the United States of America.

Such a bold, and daring move, of course, takes a lot of might and courage. Ms M states that she was “lucky enough,” to have a good start in the USA, thanking her educational background as the compass that set her first steps in this country, when in truth, her origins as an immigrant is already a glimpse of her might as a person! 

It is never easy to move to another country, to be far away from your comfort zone and everything you had ever known, but Ms M, clearly, the writer of her life’s story, was able to ease so gracefully, even through the daunting waters of uncertainty.

Her foray to showbusiness enabled her to forge new bonds with other achievers, such as with celebrity, beauty queen and socialite, Ms Ruffa Gutierrez. Of her friendship with Ruffa, Ms M recounts, “I met Ruffa through two of my dear friends, when we all had brunch together at the Beverly Hills Hotel. What made me drawn to Ruffa was how she is both a glamorous and low-key personality.”

Adding that she was pleasantly surprised about how down-to-earth Ruffa Gutierrez is, Ms M states, “But what I love most about her are her social grace and her intelligence. I feel lucky  knowing Ruffa Gutierrez, and also her beautiful daughter, Lorin. She even offered to host me when I come to visit the Philippines, so we can have dinner with her parents too.”

The unstoppable Ms M  at the end of the day reveals that her motto in life is to share. In all her endeavors in life, she has always shared.

"Share your passions, share your skills, share your wisdom and when you share don't do it because of the returns. Share because this is what links us together as people. When we are linked together, the world becomes a better place," she said.