By Abner Galino
THE Philippines’ iconic radio bus, known as the Wish Bus 107.5, has been duplicated in Los Angeles — a city known as the world’s entertainment capital.
The choice of Filipino American YouTube sensation AJ Rafael as the Wish bus USA’s first performer on board provided a somewhat encapsulated message as to the purpose of the gargantuan undertaking.
AJ Rafael performed with three other musicians inside the Wish Bus 107.5 amidst posters of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) in the backdrop.
Rafael’s group was the only band that played inside the Wish Bus 107.5 as the rest of the performers did their acts on the Universal Citywalk’s performance stage.
“I am so honored to part of this,” Rafael told the media during the red carpet walk.
PAL, one of the event’s major sponsors, was represented by its Los Angeles senior account manager Maricel Wall.
Wall expressed pride in PAL’s involvement in the historic event.
Thousands of Filipinos from different states of US, and as well as from Canada, flew to Los Angeles to witness the unveiling of the Wish Bus 107.5 at the Universal Citywalk grounds last Saturday (September 8).
Philippine media personality, Daniel Razon, the man behind the trailblazing concept, told the crowd that the arrival of Wish bus 107.5’s in the US was just the start of Wish FM radio global expansion.
“Above all, we are thankful to God for allowing us to walk this extra mile. And now that we have reached Hollywood, we are looking forward to be moving a notch higher again. We are planning to move not only here in the US, but in other parts of the globe (as well). The next stop that we are looking at is the Middle East,” Razon said.
A very young Filipino American artist Michael Keith, pumped up the show — not only through his remarkable talent to sing and dance — but as well as through his ability to connect with the crowd.
“I am so happy to be here and be part of this event,” Keith said as he posed for photographers before the start of the show.
Talents from the Philippines kept the energy up, chief of them DJ Robin Nievera, Annie Nepomuceno and Michael Regalado.
Nievera was amply helped in hosting the show by a former Miss California contestant Maaikee K, another Filipino American talent and Los Angeles local.
A group from the 1990’s Philippine music scene, the Introvoys (who are now based in Los Angeles), spiced up the show with its rock ‘n roll songs.
Original Pilipino Music (OPM) lead guitarist Perf de Castro was among those who performed on stage.
The management of Wish FM, the Philippine’s number one FM YouTube channel, initially envisioned the “Wish Bus” to become a stage for Filipino artists to showcase their talents worldwide.
But since its operation, the Wish Bus has also hosted international artists like David Archuleta, Jasmine Thompson, Dua Lipa and The Moffatts.