Julie Anne San Jose, Xian Lim, and Jessica Villarubin wow Dubai in GMA Pinoy TV’s ‘Stronger Together’ concert

Published April 20, 2022, 11:09 AM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

From left: Jessica Villarubin, Julie Anne San Jose and Xian Lim

The long-awaited comeback concert of GMA Pinoy TV was a huge success as thousands of concert-goers flocked to the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre at the Expo 2020 Dubai as the Expo drew to an exciting close.

Time stood frozen as the crowd was stunned when Asia’s Limitless Star Julie Anne San Jose, “The Clash Season 3” Grand Champion Jessica Villarubin, and Kapuso actor Xian Lim dominated the concert stage.

But even before the concert, the trio was surprised by the warm welcome of Filipino fans waiting for their arrival at the venue.

Julie said she was very excited to see Filipinos in Dubai again. “Siguro ‘yung isa sa na-miss ng mga tao ay ‘yung makakita ng kapwa Pilipino o maka-watch sila ng live events so you know, that’s what people have been missing out. I’m just very happy to be part of this event.” 

Xian Lim

Meanwhile, Xian said that he felt the pressure to be lined up along with other international artists who performed for the Expo finale. “Tinataas natin ang bandera ng Pilipinas in terms of other international acts happening as well. Nakaka-proud because na sho-showcase natin ‘yung Pilipinas. It is an emotional moment for everyone because parang, “Wow! It feels great to be Pinoy right now!”

Jessica earlier promised to give a concert to be remembered by her fans. “Expectation ko maghihiyawan ‘yung mga tao, sa amin and I will make sure that we’ll do our best performance and we will just enjoy and have fun tonight.”

And just as promised, fresh from her successful solo concert, Julie Anne gave an explosive live performance singing some hit songs by Adele and Jennifer Lopez. She also sang her latest original song “Free.”

Jessica wowed the thousands of viewers when she belted out “Girl on Fire” and Beyonce’s “Love on Top.” And though it was her first international performance, she was very confident on stage. She also did not miss the opportunity to talk to her fellow Cebuanos.

From left: Julie Anne, Xian and Jessica

Xian serenaded the audience with Eraserheads’ classic songs such as “Pare Ko” and “Magazine.” The “False Positive” leading man captivated the crowd with his confident command in playing the keyboard on the stage while singing. And the inevitable happened when some overly excited concertgoers swarmed him when he went down the stage and approached them for a quick selfie. The Kapuso actor had to get back to the stage to calm down the crowd.

In their glittering dresses, Julie Anne and Jessica gave a powerful duet of some famous OPM hits of Dingdong Avanzado and Ariel Rivera. The Kapuso singing divas also enticed the audience with their eye-catching concert outfits—from their extraordinary black dresses to voluminous floor-length couture ensembles. Providing their glamorous outfits is Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer Ryan Pacioles of Atelier Zuhra. The artists’ hair and makeup were done by Darwin Perez.

The musical extravaganza was also full of surprises when a montage of special video greetings from Kapuso personalities was played on the LED wall. 

This concert also united the talented performers of the World Championships of Performing Arts, United Cebuanos Folkloric Dance Ensemble, and MDM Dance Company who sang and danced to the GMA Network theme in a fresh pop tune during the opening act. Dubai Filipino Overseas Chorale rendered a solemn performance with some inspirational songs.

Jessica (left) and Julie Anne

For the finale of the concert night, Julie Anne, Jessica, and Xian led the UAE performers to do GMA Pinoy TV’s latest station ID, “Stronger Together,” which is now a popular Tiktok dance challenge that has already more than 1.9 million views on social media. The song is also available for streaming on SpotifyApple MusicYouTube Music, and other digital platforms worldwide.

“It is such as great opportunity to be here tonight. I love you too!” Julie Anne said during their final performance.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjyaceelyn M. Quintana expressed her heartfelt thanks to the Kapuso artists for the wonderful show they did at the Expo.

“Thank you, Ms. Julie Anne San Jose and Ms. Jessica Villarubin for an amazing concert last night together with Mr. Xian Lim! The World Expo has hosted 50 top performing celebrities from the Philippines throughout its 6 months run, connecting them to our “kababayans” and to the world,” Quintana quipped.

Department of Trade and Industy (DTI) OIC-Undersecretary of Trade Promotions Group and Alternate Commission General of the Philippines at Expo 2020 Dubai Rosvi Gaetos also extended her gratefulness to the entire Filipino community in the UAE for their warm support to the Philippine Pavilion and GMA Pinoy TV’s concert at the expo.

“We are one of the most successful and most visited pavilions in the community dito. Dumagsa talaga sila and we’ve reached the one million mark and we’re very happy about it. It’s all worth it,” Gaetos said.

With the theme #StrongerTogether, the concert shared the message that Filipinos abroad, though separated by distance, can draw strength from each other and still unite in facing the adversities in life.

 
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