Fil-Am Broadway stars sing for Jollibee North America
NEW YORK — Filipino American Broadway stars congregated virtually to sing a cover of “True to Your Heart,” from the Disney animated classic “Mulan,” for Jollibee North America’s Food, Service, Cleanliness (FSC) Awards ceremony.
Fil-Am Broadway leading ladies such as Lianah Sta. Ana (Kim in “Miss Saigon”) and leading men Adam Jacobs (Aladdin in Disney’s “Aladdin,” Simba in “The Lion King,” Marius in “Les Miserables”) and Marc delaCruz (Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in “Hamilton”) were part of the performance.
It was recorded as a music video (watch here) and presented at the virtual ceremony held earlier this year. FSC is an annual private recognition activity held in appreciation for the fast food chain’s employees. The song was chosen for its positive lyrics.
The song was used in the movie’s end-credits, originally sung by Stevie Wonder and the group 98 Degrees with music by Matthew Wilder and lyrics by David Zippel. Lea Salonga was the singing voice of the title character.
The cast of the music video are all members of Broadway Barkada, a support group for Filipino American performers in the Broadway industry.
Broadway Barkada was selected to perform the song because they embodied positivity and captured the energy that Jollibee North American wanted to share with their awardees. The company also wanted to showcase talented Fil-Am artists.
Broadway Barkada cofounders Billy Bustamante, Liz Casasola and Brian Jose helped build the cast for this video. Other performers include Emily Borromeo (“School of Rock”), Kay Trinidad Karns (Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Hadestown,” which topbilled Fil-Am Eve Noblezada) and Jaygee Macapugay (“Soft Power,” “Here Lies Love”).
It also includes Albert Guerzon (“Escapte to Margaritaville,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Mamma Mia!”) and Jeigh Madjus (“Moulin Rouge!”)
Behind the scenes
The music video’s music arrangement was by Steven Cuevas, who served as the music director for the touring production of “Once on This Island.” Salonga played Erzulie in the musical’s Broadway production before it went on tour. The show’s costumes were designed by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos.
Musicians included Steven Cuevas on piano and organ, Jonathan Cuevas on acoustic guitar and Brandon Ilaw on electric guitar and bass drums; mixing by Jonathan Cuevas. Don Gutierrez edited the video.
Broadway Barkada was founded in 2009. Through art and education, it aims to bring the Filipino experience and a deeper meaning of its culture and artists to a diverse audience.
Jollibee Group North America has announced plans to open 28 stores across the US (19) and Canada (nine) this year, working towards an eventual 300 stores by 2024. It opened 12 stores across North America last year.
“We have remained nimble and optimistic which has led Jollibee to defy expectations amidst an extremely difficult year and experience double-digit sales growth across North America,” said Maribeth Dela Cruz, President of Jollibee Group North America.
“We would not be weathering these hard times without the support of our customers. We’re incredibly grateful for the continued support we’ve received from across these regions.”