The Quirino Grandstand in Manila was filled with lights and beautiful music as Filipino artists and supporters of President Duterte held the “Salamat, PRRD” thanksgiving concert to show their gratitude to the outgoing leader.
Despite the rain, there was no stopping thousands of President Duterte’s supporters, most wearing white, from flocking to the Quirino Grandstand to enjoy the performances of numerous artists in the concert organized by the President’s supporters.
The pre-program that started at 4 p.m. featured Filipino acts like Shamrock, Franchize, and Repakol, who worked the crowd waiting for the President’s arrival.
President Duterte and his partner Honeylet Avanceña arrived at the event at 6:39 p.m., prompting the start of the music-filled evening. Throughout the concert, the President enjoyed himself, even singing along when his favorite songs were performed.
He left a short message to the Filipinos, particularly those who went to the Quirino Grandstand.
“Maiksi lang po. Sa sambayanang Filipino: Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo (Just a short message. To the Filipino people: Thank you very much),” he said — his shortest address throughout his six-year presidency.
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra kicked off the concert by playing a medley of tunes from the 1970s, including VST & Company’s “Ipagpatawad mo,” “Rock Baby Rock,” and “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko;” Hotdog’s “Manila;” and APO Hiking Society’s “Pumapatak na Naman ang Ulan.”
Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez sang their rendition of Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer.” The couple also gave out solo performances where Seña sang “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha,” and Alvarez sang “Somewhere in Time.”
Jed Madela performed “You Raise Me Up” and “One Moment in Time” and Dulce sang “Ako Ang Nagwagi” and “Sino Ako.” At the same time, Martin Nievera serenaded the crowd with his version of “What a Wonderful World” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” He also sang Duterte’s favorite song, “Ikaw.”
Iconic Filipino singer Freddie Aguilar sang the President’s anthem, “Duterte Para Sa Pagbabago.” Based on his hit “Ipaglalaban Ko,” the song was used during presidential events over the past six years. He also sang his most famous song, “Anak.”
Other performers were Andrew E., Ice Seguerra, Jimmy Bondoc, the Mocha Girls, comedian James Obeso Macasero, actor Cesar Montano, Senator-elect Robin Padilla, and Chad Borja.
Singer-songwriter Florante also graced the event and sang his song “Ako’y Isang Pinoy” and “Handog.” The other singers joined him in singing his song “Sana.”
The night did not end without Duterte himself joining in on the fun. He took center stage and sang Petula Clark’s “Fill the World With Love” with his doctors. He also sang his favorite song “Ikaw” with its original singer Martin Nievera and ended it with a bow.
Arnell Ignacio, Bayani Agbayani, and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla hosted the event. Padilla said it was Duterte himself who hand-picked the performers.
One of the night’s highlights was a drone show where drones, with their colorful lights, formed Duterte’s image and phrases of gratitude for the President, particularly the event’s title, “Salamat, PRRD.”
Duterte, the 16th Philippine President, will end his six-year term on June 30.