Jolina MagdangalQuezon City, March 9, 2003 (By Crispina Martinez. Belen, Bulletin) -- Congratulations are in order for Jolina Magdangal for the big success of her first major concert, "Jolina Mania," at the Araneta Coliseum. Contrary to some negative reports (saying the Big Dome was only 40% full), the place was actually almost full with attendance estimated to be around 9,000.

Jolina still can't believe she has made big it at the Araneta Coliseum.

Indeed, March 1 marked another milestone in Jolina's career. Once again, she has proven that she is still a force to reckon with in the entertainment business despite her detractors' vicious efforts to demean and pull her down. Though bruised, she dreamt big, worked hard and prayed hard. Her staunchest critics who predicted her eminent doom failed to dampen her determination to make it to the mainstream.

Congratulations too to MaxiMedia who believed in Jolina's drawing power enough to present her at the provervial last frontier of any concert artist in the Philippines the Big Dome. At least Jolina proved to them that their investment and trust in her were well-deserved.

If they did not announce her guest performers, it was for a good reason: They wanted to prove that Jolina could draw the crowds by herself. But of course, her guests performers made the concert even more memorable. They were Janno Gibbs, Carol Banawa, Karyll, John Lapus, violinist Carlyn Bayot, acoustic guitarist Paolo Santos and The Whiplash Dancers.

Here are some of the highlights of Jolina's concert:

In the awesome opening number, Jolina came on stage atop a giant skirt like a marionette while musical director Butch Miraflor and his band played an overture. When the skirt was removed, she came down singing the ketchup song to the delight of so many kids in the audience.

Jolina did cover songs, whose tempo and arrangements were tailor-made for her by Butch. The huge screaming crowd was treated to different musical eras including the 50s when she paid tribute to superstars of yesteryears.

Comedy king Dolphy was there with daughter Sally Quizon and they watched the show from start to finish. Jolina even serenaded her screen daddy onstage with her memory lane medley. Also there to lend her support are her "Kahit Kailan" barkadas James Blanco and Roxanne Barcelo. Friends from GMA 7 and ABS-CBN were also there for her. GMA helped tremendously in the promotion of Jolina's concert. The staff and crew of "SOP" and "Kahit Kailan" were there in full force.

During the finale number, Dolphy and James Blanco went up the stage to give her flowers. They were followed by friends, relatives and the kids from The Children's Hour whose tickets were sponsored by The Ayala Foundation.

No, it's not true that Jolina's family gave away hundreds of tickets for the Big Dome to be filled up. That nasty rumor may have been the result of tickets being sold at her office because there were many who were calling inquiring where to buy tickets. Jolina's mom asked if she could help sell the tickets herself and they agreed.

Now Jolina has to give herself a prize for a job well done. She wants to take a trip to the US to do some shopping. They Magdangals are scheduled to leave for the US next month. But meanwhile, they are preparing for the shooting of her first movie under Viva.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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