More Constantine, More Mig

As an addendum to my uber-excited post about Constantine Maroulis in Manila, I’m pleased to report that Mig Ayesa (of Rockstar: INXS fame) is also in Manila.

TWO CHARISMATIC rockers who became famous worldwide this year landed in Manila yesterday.

Filipino-Australian rocker MiG Ayesa and New Yorker Constantine Maroulis stepped off the same Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles, California, and into a quiet welcome each from a small group of fervent fans. It was 3 a.m.

Ayesa placed third in “Rock Star INXS,” which featured 15 contenders and was broadcast worldwide for 11 weeks from the CBS Studios in Los Angeles. The prize was the position of new front man for the Australian band INXS, a phenomenal success in the 1980s whose lead singer died in 1997.

His impressive showing, Ayesa believed, was boosted by text messages from his two home countries. During the final leg of “Rock Star,” he said in a previous Inquirer interview that, win or lose, he was definitely Manila-bound “sooner than next year … to personally thank every single fan” who sent an SMS in his favor.

“It’s nice to be treated like a long-lost son, to feel the nation behind me. It’s very nice to come home this way,” Ayesa told a handful of reporters upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Centennial Terminal 2.

It was a surprise, too. Ayesa was initially expected on Dec. 1 to perform at the “MTV Staying Alive Music Summit for HIV/AIDS.” As it turned out, he had to turn up two weeks early as negotiations pushed through for him to perform the finale number at the opening ceremonies of the Ad Congress in Cebu City on Thursday.

At NAIA, he briefly exchanged “hey, man” hugs with “American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis, who is in the country for a series of performances at Ayala malls nationwide.

Like Ayesa, Maroulis did not win the competition he joined, but emerged as a big audience favorite. “I did not expect to make friends on ‘Idol.’ I treated the audition like a job interview,” Maroulis said at a press conference later in the day. “But I did make friends. In fact, we were like family.”

Ayesa, 35, describes himself as a “funk soul rocker.” His fans have heard him render classic rock songs like they were his own. He has also treated them to soulful ballads.

After a little prodding, the rocker revealed that he was also performing at the Ad Congress with Lea Salonga. “We will be doing a duet,” Ayesa said, grinning, the handsome face lit up by his amazingly beautiful blue-green eyes.

He wouldn’t say what the duet would be, but for his solo numbers, he said, he would reprise a song he did on “Rock Star” and the legendary British band Queen’s signature, “We Will Rock You.”

I have a silly little smile on my face now. Those lucky Ad Congress people.

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