Legendary divas in Manila: what to expect

Two world-famous divas are confirmed to sing their greatest hits for Philippine audiences in the coming months and fans are going crazy, asking: Which one should I see? With limited funds, should I to choose one and get a good seat or divide my money to see them both from the nosebleed section?

These are valid concerns, especially for those who have waited so long for such a once-in-a-lifetime event. This may never take place again because, as we all know, divas (the category of popular singers with big voices) are a dying breed. The trouble is that the shows are happening within a month of each another and announcements are only being made now - mere weeks before the scheduled performances.

Mariah Carey - October 28, Mall of Asia Arena

The first and last time Carey was here was in November 2003 for the Manila stop of the Charmbracelet World Tour. This was right before the diva's Emancipation era, widely recognized as her mid-career resurrection. This means that fans in Manila have not heard her biggest hit so far, We Belong Together, live. We can expect her to include the song in her upcoming gig because, why wouldn't she?

But if recent performances are any indication, Carey's concert will be quite static. She is not known for her dancing skills, after all, and she prefers to stand in the middle of the stage, glittery mic in tow. The five-octave chanteuse has also been accused of lip-syncing parts of hard-to-sing songs; so there might be a few instances of that if her vocal chords are not well-rested and in tiptop condition that Tuesday night.

Another thing - don't expect the concert to start on time because she most definitely will be fashionably late. However, as many have noted, whatever inconveniences there may be, going to a Carey show is worth it because she has the habit of improvising and belting out random obscure songs a cappella, which proves how beautiful and clear her voice really is live.

Celine Dion - November 29, Mall of Asia Arena

This will mark Dion's first time in Manila, which she acknowledges as "a long time coming". Try 23 years, Celine! The show promises her biggest hits, along with "a stunning visual presentation specially designed for Asia". Celine is a theatrical and enthusiastic performer, whose skills have been honed during a successful Las Vegas residency with Cirque du Soleil - and we can expect her to put all of that to good use.

The French-Canadian singer's most recognizable hits are mostly ballads from the 1990s, so it would be interesting how she interprets them in conjunction with the visuals. Reports say that she will be performing fan favorites (My Heart Will Go On, anyone?), as well as material from her recent album, Loved Me Back To Life.

While her voice may not be as stunning as it was a decade and a half ago and she may not be able to hit all the high notes (like Mariah), we can all agree that Celine has one of the few extraordinary voices of a generation that every music fan should hear live at least once.


Which diva would you see?