Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

Feb 27, 2024, 8:25 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2024, 12:15 pm

MANILA, Philippines — It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000-seat arena.

There were tears, joy, excitement and amazement during the hour-and-a-half concert in Manila.

It was very clear from the reaction from the crowd that the Filipinos love the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir. The choir is in the Philippines for the second stop of its world tour called “Hope.” It was back in June when it went to Mexico City, Mexico, to kick off its world tour.

Crowds congregate to watch the Tabernacle Choir's performance in Manila on Tuesday. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)

Crowds congregate to watch the Tabernacle Choir’s performance in Manila on Tuesday. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)

The Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with more than 850,000 members according to its fact sheet. Missionary work started in 1961, and the church now has 23 missions with three more coming in July, and 13 temples that have either been announced, are under construction or in operation.

“Very humble yet very spiritual people in the Philippines,” said Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to KSL TV’s Dan Rascon.

Tabernacle Choir kicks off world tour in Mexico City

Elder Andersen is in the Philippines for a nine-day tour.

“One of the beauties of this country is that almost everyone has faith, and they are not afraid to talk about it. Miracles are happening. You don’t have to say it. Miracles are happening (in this land) because the Lord’s hand is upon it.”

The choir brought in star-studded Filipino guest artists to participate in the show.

Narrating the historic concert at the Mall of Asia were husband and wife duo and popular Filipino TV anchors and personalities Suzi and Paolo Abrera.

Tabernacle Choir arrives in Philippines to continue ‘Hope’ world tour

The featured guest artist was the famous Broadway singer and actress Lea Salonga, who was also the voice for Disney characters Jasmine and Mulan. She was born and raised in the Philippines and brought tears to the crowd with her musical talents.

To appeal to the younger generation, the choir also brought in popular social media influencer Ysabelle Cuevas, who has millions of followers. She told KSL TV that she felt humbled by the invitation.

“I was like ‘Am I worthy?’ I don’t feel like I have enough expertise to be a part of the choir,” she said. But she felt it was an important step to reaching a younger audience.

“I know that the choir is already global but reaching the younger audience is so important. We’ve seen how far the gospel can spread from just a click of a button,” Cuevas said.

The Filipino audience was in awe as the choir sang in Tagalog — their native language, and enjoyed singing along. And the crowd erupted as the one Filipino choir member, Leo Marcelo, stood up and was announced.

A once in a lifetime night — one that many Filipinos said they will never forget.

The choir has one more concert on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia, and then it will fly back to Utah. That’s a total of four concerts for the choir in the Philippines, wrapping up its first visit to the country.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila