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calls by local singers to regulate and tax higher foreign acts are way out of tune, very pitchy

in the last few days, we have been seeing in the news some local singers like ogie alcasid and kuh ledesma  calling for the regulation of foreign acts holding concerts in the country. kuh ledesma was on the forefornt of that one.  ogie alcasid on the other hand has suggested foreign acts should be taxed higher while the amusement tax levied on local artists should be removed.

all this noise from the local singers  is being made as we approach valentine’s day.  there is a large market for valentine’s day concerts in the philippiunes where many go out on dinner and concert dates. on that day, heavy traffic is expected the whole evening through early morning and all the restaurants, hotels and concert venues will be full.

producers of foreign acts know this and they have also made it a point to bring foreign acts to the country on valentines day or a few days before and after valentines itself. bringing the foreign acts to the country on or around valentines day ensures a market for them. there is a ready and willing set of concert goers for these acts even though they will need to pay much,much more for the concert tickets. after all, lovers will not scrimp on a valentine’s date.

why are the local artists calling for regulation and higher taxes?

well, the local singers are singing this tune because they know these foreign acts are very strong competitors for their own valentines concert plans.  many if not all the local singers also have their own valentines concerts. they do this in all types of venues, hotels, restaurants big and small and for the brave ones big venues like he araneta coliseum.

in other words, the local signers are scared shit of competition.

is the solution regulation or banning foreign acts in the country or imposing higher amusement taxes on these foreign acts as the local singers are singing?

these local singers are suggesting these to basically ensure that the local singers have an audience during their valentines concerts, that the foreign acts do not siphon out all the concert goers and leave the venues of the local artists empty or not full. in other words, this is a question of their target market or their audience buying  in to their concerts.

what are the local signers afraid of?

are local concert goers not buying tickets to local concerts because there are foreign acts around?  or because  tickets to foreign acts are cheap that as ogie alcasid is suggesting, the amusement tax on local acts need to be removed and the foreign acts increased?

they are all out of tune.

the reality is the prices of tickets of foreign acts as they stand now are already way costly versus local concerts, anywhere from 3 times to 5 times the cost of local acts.  if price is the issue which the taxes are supposed  to fix, then the foreign acts will not get an audience. but the fact is the foreign acts scheduled for valentines are already sold out since late last year when the tickets went on sale.

these foreign acts are being sold out for one reason – they are world-class performers, world-class singers and they have world-class acts.

we are talking here of someone like justin bieber who at the moment is one of the hottest acts not only in the US but all over the world. bieber has sold many millions of records worldwide. has won awards in the US and considered a phenom in the US music industry. that is the kind of entertainment and performance one buys in spending 3 tp 5 times more on a bieber ticket versus local concerts. and to us that is very much worth it.

if these foreign acts did not go to the philippines, the only way we can see them perform live is for us to fly to the US and watch one of their concerts there. how much is a plane ticket to the US? and how much will you need to spend in hotel and food just to watch a bieber concert in the US? spending 3 to 5 times more than a cost of a local concert ticket is definitely much cheaper than all of the above one needs to spend in the US.

the local artists need to accept that not only do they compete among themselves, they also compete with other singers from abroad. we do hear their songs on philippine radio, watch them on tv in their music videos and other US shows. we even hear the local singers perform their songs on tv almost on a daily basis.

and that is where the core of the problem of the local singers lie.

these foreign acts are popular not only in the philippines but all over the world because they sing and perform their own original songs! they have an audience basically because of the original songs they sing and perform.  some of them have even started trends in music and have changed the music industry in the US and in the rest of the world.

bieber, swift and gaga have their own very distinct styles and universe. they are loved for their individuality and the messages they have in their songs.

our local singers cannot even compare to any of them. in this regard. when was the last time that kuh ledesma and ogie alcasid release an original song of theirs?

the local singers , ledesma and alcasid in particular need to accept that the local acts are nothing, as in zero compared to these foreign acts. the local singers are just that – singers. the foreign acts on the other hand are “acts”, “preformers”, “entertainers” and yes they do carry their own message both in terms of music and lyrics.

the foreign acts have set trends in the music  world with their own unique brand of originality while the local artists have done nothing but sing the songs of foreign singers and composers. that is the reason why local concert goers do not mind buying concert tickets that are 3 to 5 times more expensive than local concerts. if the local singers want to compete with the foreign acts, then they should start singing their own original songs and setting the trends in the local music industry.

our local singers really need to stop being just singers but more being artists. that is what the foreign acts are – artists.

regulating the concerts of foreign acts will not stop the foreign acts from being popular in the country. we see them on tv and hear their songs on radio. tey are already famous and have a wide fan base in the country even without them being seen in the country in person.  the local singers on the other hand are based in the country  and we see them in our tv sets almost daily or at least weekly. but when we see them perform on tv, we hear them sing other people’s songs, often the very songs of the foreign acts that they want to regulate.

imposing higher amusement taxes on the foreign acts will also not do it. ticket price is not the issue. local concert goers do not buy the tickets of the foreign acts because they are cheap. these tickets in fact are already way too expensive. they buy them because of the artistry of these foreign acts. they like to see them perform the original songs they are famous for.

martin niviera in this article said it right – he is not afraid of the foreign acts because he knows what to do to compete with them. he says he will deliver a great concert to compete with the foreign acts.  i do not think he meant original songs, but martin is on the right track.  it’s a good beginning.

alcasid and ledesma on the other hand are way out of tune and yes very pitchy.

Ogie Alcasid wants higher tax rates for foreign acts

Posted at 01/07/2011 5:30 PM | Updated as of 01/07/2011 5:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Amid all the preparations for his Valentine concert, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) board member Ogie Alcasid has also called for immediate regulation of foreign acts here in the country.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, Alcasid seconded Filipino pop diva Kuh Ledesma’s suggestion to regulate concerts of international recording artists in the Philippines.

He said higher tax rates must apply to international artists who wish to hold concerts here.

“We must push for higher taxes on foreign shows and lowering of taxation sa local concerts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Concert King Matin Niever and Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo refused to get affected by the upcoming foreign shows.

Nievera shared that he sees concert showdowns as a challenge, making him think on how their concert will do better.

“Kapag Martin Nievera kailangang dapat pag-aralan, he he he. Kung paano ang birit. I’ve been here 28 years and Sarah 7 years. It is my honor. Sabi ko sa kanyang fans sa Twitter, I will take care of her,” Nievera said.

The concert king also disclosed how she admires Geronimo’s professionalism. “She comes on time, hindi niya pinag-aantay mga kasamahan niya. Bihira yon ,” he revealed.

After their concert, Geronimo expressed that she would also love to work with international singing sensation Charice.

Like the other Filipino artists, Alcasid, Nievera and Geronimo are one in hoping that local concerts will fare better compared to international acts. – Report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

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