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Journey and Pinoy frontman Arnel Pineda Live in Manila!

I know a lot has been said about Arnel Pineda, the Filipino vocalist of the timeless rock band Journey - from tributes, videos, blogs to features in television and radio shows.

This guy, who rose from having a long but inconsequential career in a number of local bands, to being discovered in youtube by Neil Schon and hitting the big time as Journey's new frontman, has shown us that indeed, dreams can come true.

Since he started fronting for Journey, Arnel has been going in and out of the country but without any indication that he will be treating his fans with a performance with the rest of the guys.

Months ago he came by Olongapo City unannounced just to visit a friend of his who actually was the culprit who uploaded the video that started it all. Nobody knew about it until a friend of mine showed me photos of him with Arnel, shot during that time he was visiting. The guy's music career sort of started and flourished here in Olongapo during its heyday as THE melting pot of the rock band scene.

Arnel's rise to fame has its perks indeed. He will soon have his own statue next to that huddling rock figure of Olongapo's other favorite son, local folk music living legend Freddie Aguilar (is that a ukelele? jeez...) right there at the parking lot of Olongapo City Mall courtesy of city mayor James "Bong-gapo" Gordon Jr. (who, incidentally, released a cd with his band and I heard it already turned gold).

I don't know if just like Ka Freddie who himself unveiled his own statue, Arnel would follow suit. All I know is...

On March 14, Arnel Pineda and Journey will have a concert in Manila! Finally, Filipino fans will get to see and hear Arnel together with the rest of the guys for the first time.

Following is a reprint of that news article about Journey's Manila concert.

Don’t Stop Believing: Journey’s in town
By Pocholo Concepcion
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—For Filipino fans of the pop-rock band Journey, the song “Don’t Stop Believing” captures what they are probably feeling as the band members arrive today for a concert on March 14.

The band’s arrival, two weeks prior to its scheduled performance at the SM Mall of Asia open-air concert grounds, is very unusual. Most foreign acts who have booked shows in Manila, fly in a day before their gigs, if not on the day itself.

But there’s something very special in Journey’s case.

Renowned worldwide for its string of hit songs known as “power ballads,” the group will be playing with a new lead vocalist who happens to be Pinoy—the Sampaloc-born Arnel Pineda. read more

To Arnel Pineda...man, you did it!
(Hope your statue would turn out really good right next to Ka Freddie's ^-^)