Life is Good

The Peninsula Manila Hosts a Monthly Rockaoke Night at Salon de Ning

Sing like no one is watching (even if they are).

I must admit I enjoy singing when no one is watching.

In the shower, in the car, in my room when no one else is around.

I used to take voice classes regularly just de-stress.

But sing in public? No thanks.

So when the Peninsula Manila team invited us to the very first of its Rockaoke sessions at Salon de Ning, I figured I would drop by for a drink to support our friends Mark Choon, general manager, Jose Luis Jimenez, director of food and beverage, and Mariano Garchitorena, director of public relations.

Many of us had spent long days at the office and the sultry, soothing singing voice of Bea Tantoco relaxed us.

Zacky and Ning Delgado, Jen and Mark Choon, Mariano Garchitorena, Myrza Sison, Alberta and Jose Luis Jimenez and I had a first round of drinks to loosen up.

Bea tried to cajole us to join her onstage but the only one she could convince was Mark who gamely sang Billy Joel’s "Just the Way You Are."

So I had a single shot of liquid courage—Overproof rum, passionfruit, mango, and chili—and before I knew it, I was up onstage with Garch and our friend Kat Limcaoco, ready to belt out Gloria Gaynor’s glorious anthem “I Will Survive.”

“That’s a song that usually comes on later on the night after many more drinks, but why not?” said Bea.

And so we sang without really knowing the right words, comfortable enough even if we were off-key since we figured the band would drown us out anyway. I must admit I was surprised by how fun it was. Kat and Garch stayed onstage for a duet.


The rock band Circulo had a playlist of about 500 songs to choose from, and once the ice was broken, the other hotel guests made a beeline for the microphones.

Zacky Delgado

For many of us it was the first time to sing with a band, and so we got the girls up onstage to sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Bea Tantoco and Tessa Valdes

Even the younger crowd took their turns at the microphone.

Camille Tantoco and Bea Tantoco

Enzo Razon

And while I kept telling myself I had work the next day, the night went on and on and on and on because don’t you remember? We built this city on rock and roll.

Mark Choon, Dennis Valdes, Bryan Yap, Barry Tse

Anna Palabyab Rufino, Ning Delgado, Jen Evangelista

Ferdi Salvador

The younger generation

Dennis and Tessa Valdes

Dennis and Tessa Valdes, Ferdi Salvador, Bryan Ong, Barry Tse, Christine Yap, Mark Choon, and me.

The Peninsula Manila’s second Rockaoke takes place at Salon de Ning on Saturday, November 24, at 9 p.m. It’s a weekend, so you can sleep in the next day. No excuses.

Life is good.

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Yvette Fernandez
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