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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 16, 2018

Ai Ai De Las Alas All Out In Helping Her Wards, Ex Battalion, As They Stage Their First Anniversary Concert On July 14 At Ynares Sports Center Pasig

AI AI DE LAS ALAS hosted a special presscon for her wards, the Ex Battalion, who will have their first anniversary concert, titled “Kami ang EXB”, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig (not Antipolo) on July 14. The group is composed of Bosxne1, Flow-G, Skuts Clee, Brando, Emcee Rhen and King Badger, who will each have the chance to do his own solo spot during the show.

“Actually, five years na kaming magkakasama pero underground pa kami noon sa hiphop scene,” they say. “What we’re celebrating in our concert is the first year since we went mainstream at magkaroon ng hit song nationwide, ‘Hayaan Mo Sila’, which registered 56 million hits on youtube.”

Their hit songs have since had more than 250 million music video views and about 750,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. And what changes have happened in their lives since they went mainstream?

“Marami,” they say. “We never expected kasi before na makikilala kami nang ganito. Noon, basta we’re just doing what we enjoy doing kahit underground. Pero mula nang makilala kami, nag-improve ang buhay namin. We’re not only earning better kundi natutuwa kami kasi kahit maliliit na bata, kinakanta yung kanta namin. Nagkaroon kami ng TV show. Nasa ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA-7, two parts, tonight on June 17 and then on June 24. Tapos magkaka-movie na kami sa Viva. Maraming blessings.”

Since their concert has been announced about two weeks ago, ticket sales has been very fast and almost 50 percent has already been sold, mostly to kids and their parents who appreciate their music. So what will they show in their first big concert?

“Definitely, maraming pasabog, surprises,” they say. “Talagang pinaghahandaan namin yan.”

The concert’s director, GB Sampedro adds: “Definitely, hindi puede yung usual na pinapakita nila sa music videos and gigs nila. We will have new musical arrangements and full production numbers with their guest stars.”

Their guests include their manager, Concert Comedy Queen Ai Ai de las Alas, Asia’s Pop Sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose, rock band Silent Sanctuary, rapper Shanti Dope, plus more surprise guests. The show is produced by Four Lights Productions who produced the concerts before of Maja Salvador, MayWard, Kyla and Moira de la Torre.

Four Lights Head Marlon Vergara says: “This being a first anniversary concert, it’s going to be something big that their fans haven’t seen before. We handpicked the top acts in each genre, from rap and rock to pop and comedy, then put them all together in one sensational show. The concert will also highlight each ExB members rapping and singing prowess.”

And what will Ai Ai do in the show? “Secret. Basta abangan nyo dahil pasabog ang gagawin ko. Wholesome tayo rito kasi marami silang fans na mga bata.”

How come she recently posted a comment saying she’ll take a vacation from being their manager and she seems to have gotten mad at her wards? “Oo. Bilang mommy nila ako, pamilya ang turing ko sa kanila. At sa isang pamilya, lagi namang iba-iba ang ugali ng bawat isa at hindi maiiwasang magkaroon kayo ng mga tampuhan. E, hindi sila maayos nung araw na yun, e, so nagalit ako. Pero yung bakasyon ko, inabot lang ng 10 minutes. Nag-sorry agad sila sa akin at nagpadala ng flowers.”

The presscon for “Kami ang EXB” concert was held at Ai Ai’s own resto, Chang Ai Express, which used to be known as Ai Express. Why the name change? “E, kasi, sa internet, pag sine-search ng customers, ang lumalabas, yun pa ring dating Ai Express ko sa harap ng ABS-CBN na nagsara na. So para wala ng confusion, ginawa kong Chang Ai Express with new address dito na sa no. 62 Sgt. Esguerra, near corner Mother Ignacia.”

The “Kami ang EXB” concert is sponsored by RRJ with Frontrow, supported by Mountain Dew, Chang Ai Express and Sisters Sanitary Napkins and Pantyliners. You can get your tickets at Ticketnet.com.ph or call 911-5555 or Four Lights Productions at 0926-074-7776.