Resorts World Manila (RWM), the first integrated resort in the Philippines, has not only been a strong advocate of the local theater industry, but also a staunch supporter of world-class Filipino talent since it opened its doors in 2009. It is home to the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater, a modern 1,710-seat theater, where the company has been consistently staging musicals–ranging from Broadway hits to local productions–every year since 2010.
That came to a grinding halt in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live entertainment venues all over the Philippines. The pandemic prompted the Philippine government to put the entire country under a “community quarantine,” forcing RWM to temporarily shut down most of its business operations, including its live entertainment venues.
Two years into the pandemic, every one of us surely misses the life we’ve had before COVID-19—celebrations with families and friends, attending concerts and shows, specially seating front-row watching your favorite musical acts, singing along to the songs you relate to most, dancing along with the crowd, and the thrill of once-in-a-lifetime experience it brings you.
In celebration of RWM’s 12th anniversary in 2021, let’s take a look back at 12 of its most iconic shows to date:
Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical – RWM’s most successful show to date, Ang Huling El Bimbo is the critically-acclaimed, perpetually sold-out original musical play featuring beloved songs from the most iconic ‘90s Filipino rock band following the moving story of four friends and their trials and triumphs.
Lea Salonga Perfect Ten: A Gala Performance – The country’s premier theater actress Ms. Lea Salonga performed two nights of enchanting music at the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater in celebration of RWM’s 10th anniversary in 2019. Recently, Perfect Ten bagged the Concert of the Year Award at the 12th PMPC Star Awards for Music.
Grand Fiesta Manila 2019 – Grand Fiesta Manila (GFM) is RWM’s annual Christmas celebrations. One of the most iconic GFM celebrations was headlined by Ely Buendia in 2019.
The Grand Countdown – RWM started the magnificent tradition of counting down to the new year back in 2016. Since then, it has become one of the most spectacular—and most talked about—new year celebrations in the country. Some of the best countdowns were in 2018 and 2019, headlined by the one and only Popstar Royalty of the Philippine entertainment industry Sarah Geronimo, and multi-awarded Filipino inspirational artist, composer, and arranger Gary Valenciano, respectively.
Bar360 Concert Series ft. Mitoy Yonting and the Draybers – The Voice of the Philippines Season 1 Grand Winner Mitoy Yonting had been performing regularly at RWM with his band, The Draybers, prior to winning the reality singing competition. They have been Bar360’s resident performers.
Calle Sessions feat. Ben and Ben – Folk pop/pop-rock band Ben and Ben once graced the El Calle Food and Music Hall stage for radio and online streaming program, Calle Sessions, featuring the hottest bands, artists and DJs from some of the country’s top radio stations – broadcasting live from RWM.
The Grand Bar and Lounge Variety Shows – The state-of-the-art Grand Bar and Lounge presented nightly world-class performances that set it apart from other entertainment venues in the metro as it featured three variety shows including MoTown Funk, Iconic 80s, and Disco Glam. These shows featured RWM’s homegrown talents, together with European acrobats and dancers Acro Salsa, Limerence Duo, and Dance Royalties.
Annie The Musical – Based on the popular comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray, “Annie” opened as a musical in 1977 and ran for a record-setting six years at the former Alvin Theater in midtown-Manhattan, New York before RWM brought it to the Philippines in 2016. Annie’s story of unwavering optimism in the face of overwhelming challenges resonated with Philippine audiences.
Bituing Walang Ningning The Musical – Bituing Walang Ningning is RWM’s first all-Filipino production show. The classic Pinoy tale of a young fan’s rise from obscurity to stardom, the obstacles she has to overcome, and the love she finds alongmher way to success has been made iconic by its various iterations from comic serial, to a blockbuster film, and a hit television series before making its way to the musical stage.
Chris Botti and Sting: Up Close and Personal – Grammy award winner, trumpeter and composer Chris Botti shared the stage with a special guest, another Grammy award winner, singer-songwriter Sting for Up Close and Personal show at the Marriott Grand Ballroom. This concert brought together for the first time in the Philippines two iconic musicians of contemporary pop and jazz in a one-of-a-kind intimate setting for audiences via stage seats.
Sungha Jung Live in Manila – South Korean musician Sungha Jung specializes in acoustic fingerstyle guitar and rose to prominence through the social media platform Youtube. He came to the Philippines in 2013 and surprised his audience at the Newport Performing Arts Theater with his own version of the Eraserheads’ hit Ang Huling El Bimbo. Following his sold-out concert in 2016, Sungha Jung made sure to come back for his Filipino fans in 2017 and 2018.
Kaos – Las Vegas meets Broadway in a one-of-a-kind musical spectacle, Kaos is the first musical produced by and staged at RWM featuring international and Filipino talents. It tells the timeless story of a prince, during the medieval times, in his quest to find his one true love.
This year, RWM is gearing up to dazzle the holiday season with the Grand Fiesta Manila celebrations with a hundred stars in live events and performances at the many entertainment venues in the property; from nightly live shows to star-studded concerts, expect nothing but the best entertainment from RWM that started in October until we count down to and welcome 2022.
With the recent easing of Metro Manila’s restrictions to Alert Level 2, guests may catch a glimpse of what’s in store for the return of live entertainment at RWM with the much-anticipated comeback of the Draybers Band to the iconic stage of Bar360 on Nov. 17-18 at the Garden Wing.
RWM assures guests and patrons utmost safety as the company has reached herd immunity for all frontline and onsite personnel and adheres to strict implementation of the standard health and safety protocols set by the IATF and DOH. For more information on RWM’s entertainment offers, visit www.rwmanila.com and follow @rwmanila and @newportmall on Facebook and Twitter, and @resortsworldmanila Instagram.