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Lea Salonga Talks 35th Anniversary Concert, Typhoon Haiyan at Press Conference

Manila, Philippines, November 20, 2103--"There's nothing from 'Les Miz,' nothing from 'Miss Saigon'; but we get to touch on 'Allegiance' (Higher) and 'Ragtime' (Back To Before)," Broadway star and Tony winner Lea Salonga shares a glimpse of her repertoire for "Playlist," her 35th anniversary concert as a performer.

Salonga, who also launched Sunday "Princess Lea: The Life Story of Lea Salonga," a children's book written by Yvette Fernandez, tells the press when asked about her secret to success: "I don't know if there's one. To be absolutely honest, every Broadway artist would probably say 'it's lot of hard work, dedication, love, and passion'; and for me, I think a little bit of luck. With 'Miss Saigon,' it was being in the right place at the right time and being exactly what they were looking for and then it just kind of all went on from there. So I don't think there's necessarily a secret to one's longevity save for hard work, dedication, and actual love for the work."

For "Playlist," Salonga will be joined by Rachelle Ann Go, BroadwayWorld Philippines' 2012 Best Actress, and Mitoy Yonting, the first Philippine grand champion of THE VOICE, who quips, "Mas lalong dapat ayusin. Show na ito syempre pag nagkalat ako dito baka mag-backfire sa kanya. So mas lalong aayusin ko," when asked about how he feels now that Salonga is not his coach anymore, and he is sharing the stage with her in a major concert.

Salonga also reveals the concert's souvenir programme will be special, "This is the most I have ever written for anything," which highlights her 35 years in the industry. This is the most involved she has been in making one.

Part of the concert's proceeds will go to the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), and Salonga sends this message, "There are so many people all over the world that are sending help, and I think now the help is starting to arrive. So the only thing I can say to those who are surviving in Tacloban and all the other cities and provinces that were hit by the typhoon is have patience. You're not forgotten if things are slow going in getting to you; it doesn't mean that we're not thinking about you, and that you're not in the minds of so many people who are trying to get help out there."

For 2014, expect concerts and television work from Salonga; but she would not give any specifics and says, "Until the dotted lines are signed I'm not at liberty to speak, but there's a lot on my plate and I'm very happy."

The concert, directed by Bobby Garcia, is on December 6 and 7 at the PICC Plenary Hall.

Musical direction is by Gerard Salonga, featuring the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

For tickets to "Playlist," visit

Photo by Jeffrey Aguiman

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Jeffrey is a corporate professional who loves theater. He also loves traveling, and has visited Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, the United States, and (read more...)