Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Arnel Pineda, the new vocalist of the world famous rock band Journey, was welcomed by Olongapeños, led by City Mayor James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr. with a warm reception party at the Bonggapo! Bazaar Festival Grounds at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) on December 12, 2008.

“Maraming salamat po sa napakainit na pagtanggap ninyo sa akin!” said Pineda. “Alam naman po ninyo na ang Olongapo ay isang lungsod na napakalapit sa puso ko dahil dito ako nagsimula. Dito ako natututo maging isang ganap na musician.”

Part of Pineda’s welcome were dance and song numbers from various talents including Mayor Gordon and his Bonggo band who are themselves contract artists of Viva Records.

After the welcome party at Bonggapo!, a groundbreaking ceremony for Pineda’s statue at the Olongapo City Mall Grounds was held.

Pineda began his musical career with the local rock band Zoo which had several gigs in local bars in the city. One of his performances was uploaded on YouTube by a friend, Noel Gomez, which caught the attention of Journey guitarist Neal Schon who contacted Pineda for an audition in the United States.

“At first, akala ko hindi totoo, baka nanloloko lang pero pinag-isipan naming mabuti. I emailed Neal and the rest is history,” explained Pineda.

After the groundbreaking, Pineda shared a simple breakfast with Mayor Gordon, Olongapo City First lady and Zambales Vice Governor Anne Marie Gordon and other city officials at the FMA Hall at the Olongapo City Hall where a Press Conference and Photo Ops were also held.

“I am really glad that Mayor Gordon is dedicated in honing the skills and talents of Olongapenos. Gusto kong pasalamatan muli si Mayor Gordon at si Vice Governor Anne Marie Gordon para sa pagtanggap ninyo sa akin dito sa Olongapo. Sana po ay wag kayong magsawa sa pagsuporta sa mga talento ng mga Olongapenos,” said Pineda.

Journey’s Arnel Pineda, the ‘Most Distinguished Son of Olongapo City’ with Mayor James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr., Zambales Vice Governor and Olongapo City First Lady Anne Marie Gordon, City Councilors Gina Perez and Ellen Dabu and Pineda’s friend Noel Gomez at the welcome party for Pineda on December 12, 2008.

Arnel Pineda of the international rock band Journey with Mayor James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr., Zambales Vice Governor and Olongapo City First Lady Anne Marie Gordon, City Councilor Ellen Dabu and Pineda’s wife Cherry during the groundbreaking ceremony for Pineda’s statue at the “Statues of Fame” strip at the Olongapo City Mall grounds on December 12, 2008.

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  • Arnel is one of our best singers. I've watched his performances in Olongapo b4 he became the "journey" vocalist... and he is incredible. eka nga... small but terrible..

    congratulations to you arnel..

    also, congratulations to the Officials of the City of Olongapo for honoring such talent.

    fr nick rosal
    al khobar ksa

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/2009 3:13 PM  

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