On March 13, Friday, Australia PM Scott Morrison announced the much-dreaded announcement that all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people are to be suspended beginning the following Monday. On March 20, 2020, the PM also announced the total lockdown of the whole Australia for 6 months to visitors coming from outside of the country – only Australian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to go back to Australia to their families. This was a big blow to a lot of people especially the Filipino community because of the scheduled gatherings and performances that producers had to cancel due to the global crisis caused by the pandemic COVID-19.
Experiencing the blunt of these two new announcements are the small concert as well as the large-scale concert producers. “It really saddens me that the show has to be cancelled. However, it is essential that we adhere to what our government is advising us,” says concert artist Jojo Sebastian on his first back-to-back concert with powerhouse diva, Myla Jones originally slated on March 28.
The swift postponement of these concerts show the immediate participation of the Filipino community in keeping with the announcements of the government. “ MENM Productions must follow the advice of health officials to ensure the health and safety of attendees and everyone involved in our concert, “My Forty Years, Sharon,” discloses MENM Productions head, Len Puzon on the postponement of the much awaited visit to Australia of the Philippine’s Megastar, Sharon Cuneta. “ Public safety is our utmost priority. The postponement of the event is the only option as announced publicly by Ms. Sharon Cuneta. However, all tickets purchased will be valid for the new schedule date which will be announced when the ban is lifted,” she continues.
According to Len, all requests for refunds should be addressed via email to either MENM Productions (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Blacktown Workers Club (email@example.com) – whomever audiences have purchased the tickets from. It is necessary to include in the email your account details – account name, BSB, and account number. An instruction email will then be given to you on how you will return your tickets. “Tickets could also be returned to either the Blacktown Workers Club or to MENM Productions’ authorized resellers with their bank details. Please note that all seats will be released and resold for the rescheduled show. Refunds will take a minimum of a week to be processed once tickets are received. The full cost of the ticket will be refunded,” Len guarantees.
Another artist who has postponed his trip to the land down under is multi-awarded TV & Film Actor turned singer, Ian Veneracion (who was recently nominated for an Awit Award). His concert, slated on May 16 in Sydney (after being postponed in February due to the bush fires). According to the producers Cheers Entertainment Australia, T Project and E-talent International, “this is also in compliance with the government’s social distancing directive and the cancellation of mass gatherings which unfortunately includes our concert.” More news and updates on the new schedules of the show will come out on their FB page “Ian Veneracion Live in Australia so keep on checking.
The country’s lockdown for 6 months has also affected the TPK FASHION EXPO 2020 featuring designer to royalties, ALBERT ANDRADA. The fashion event traditionally mounted during the Philippine’s Independence celebration month of June brings to Sydney, Australia world-renowned and multi-awarded artisans in the field of fashion design. The multi-cultural runway of more than 40 models and performers recently featured Britain’s Top Designer of 2017, John Herrera whose 40-piece creations included his winning collection, The Agila collection which won him the coveted international design award in 2017.
Now moved to June 5, 2021, TPK will still feature the designs of Albert Andrada. Currently the Design Council Head of Miss Universe Philippines, Albert was designer to the royalties of UAE for 9 years until he decided to come back to the Philippines to challenge his design skills. In 2014, his gown by famous heiress and TV personality, Paris Hilton walked the Grammy Awards’ red carpet – she won best dressed of the night. In 2015, Albert’s gown was worn by the winning Ms. Universe, Pia Wurtzbach. The meticulously designed gown of royal blue featured an opulent back design showcasing the rays of the sun embellished with beads and crystals as it rises from the azure waters of the Philippine seas. He was the first Filipino designer to design for the Philippine’s representative to the pageant after a very long time. He later on designed for several Miss Universes – Iris Mittinaere from France (Miss Universe 2016) and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa (Miss Universe 2017) for several appearances. Updates on the fashion expo will be posted on the event’s FB page, TPK Fashion Expo.
“Entertainment especially concerts have and will always be a part of our Filipino-Australian culture and I see it returning stronger than ever after this pandemic. The performers and producers will be eager to gain back the momentum we lost during this time. For now, our main focus should be helping and assisting in unifying the community to cooperate and work together to surpass the dilemma,” concludes Jojo Sebastian who was also recently chosen to compete in the World Championships Of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in the US, but due to the effects of the pandemic, its August date may possibly be postponed.