Filipino music legend to perform at Queens College

Filipino music legend to perform at Queens College
Photo courtesy of Carol Varnas
By Angelica Acevedo

Bringing a taste of southeast Asia to Queens, Sharon Cuneta, the popular Filipino often referred to as the Barbra Streisand of the Philippines, will perform at Queens College Saturday, July 8.

In what will be the international singer and actress’ only concert on the East Coast, fans can see her perform her biggest hits, as well as songs from her upcoming album, live at the college’s Colden Auditorium in the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at 8 p.m.

Cuneta will be sharing the stage with special guests, including comedian Ai-Ai delas Alas, former contestant of The Voice; Philippines Kids’ Antonetthe Tismo; musical director Louie Ocampo and singer/actress Christine Allado.

Genalin Matala and her husband, Victorino, of HaloHalo USA Inc., are producing the concert in cooperation with NY Entourage Productions. Matala said that they chose Queens to host the concert due to its “big Filipino population.”

Matala maintained that the performance will be special not only because it’s Cuneta’s only East Coast show, but also because it’s the first time she will be back in New York City in a long time.

“A lot of people are coming in from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and the overall Tri-State area and beyond,” Matala said. “I even have a person coming in from Sweden.”

The choice to host the concert at Queens College was an easy one to make, according to Matala.

“It’s a good venue to have the concert in because their facility is able to accommodate 2,000 people, it has parking and it’s just convenient,” Matala said. “We’ll be able to use it to the maximum.”

Jeffrey Rosenstock, the assistant vice president for Governmental Relations and External Affairs at Queens College, said that the event is produced by an organization that rents their facilities, which in turn helps them “serve the borough’s diverse constituents.”

“We are proud to host internationally renowned artists like Sharon Cuneta — beloved by the Filipino American community — whose reputations draw audiences from across the borough and the greater metro area to see them perform,” Rosenstock said. “In addition to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College curating a season of artists performing in its main Colden Auditorium and other on and off-site venues, Colden Auditorium also serves as the borough’s largest indoor venue for performing arts programs.”

Cuneta has been an artist for many years now after landing one of her biggest hits on the Philippines pop-charts when she was 12 years old. She has recorded 40 albums, but is more than a singer, with 63 acting credits to her name as well, including 53 films and 10 television shows.

Accompanying Cuneta on stage will be “Comedy Queen” delas Alas, who has co-starred with Cuneta in previous films.

Antonetthe Tismo, who was the runner-up for The Voice Philippines Kids’ last year, became Cuneta’s mentee and will be showcasing her singing chops as well. According to Matala, the 14-year-old was discovered by one of the show’s producers and comes from a poverty-stricken family in the Philippines, but now gets to perform around the world.

“Hers is a real Cinderella story,” Matala added.

The other talents include Ocampo, who is best known for his collaborations with Cuneta, and Christine Allado, who has performed in several West End productions, including the London production of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

Tickets range from $79 to $149. For an additional $50, fans will be treated to a VIP Meet and Greet with all the performers. As a bonus, concert-goers will receive a limited edition “Sharonian Forever” T-shirt.

To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster or HaloHalo USA Inc.’s Facebook page.