As AHEB’s final bow took place on Sunday, the cast surprised the audience with a snippet of Paroka ni Edgar’s “Harana”, teasing fans of what is to come in 2024.

All good things must come to an end, even the well-loved musical masterpiece that struck a chord in the hearts of many Filipinos. Thunderous standing ovations, cheers, and tears filled the night as Ang Huling El Bimbo performed its final show. The curtain came down on Sunday ending the sweet joyride of the longest-running Filipino musical staged by Newport World Resorts.

“The musical ended on a high note and part of me sees this as a new beginning for a much bigger world of live theater. We are all witnesses of how Ang Huling El Bimbo, a musical performed by Filipino artists, proudly made by Filipino creatives, can thrive in this generation and beyond. We end this show full of gratitude to everyone who joined us on this joyride,” Full House Theater Company Co-Artistic Director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo said amid the final show celebration with the cast, crew, creatives who helped make the musical phenomenal.

The AHEB Family on its recent closing night

Newport World Resorts President and CEO Kingson Sian thanked audiences for their support. This year’s run cemented its icon status in the landscape of Philippine theater, emerging as the most-watched musical to date. In all its incarnations, the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) served as the venue, where audiences witnessed a grand showcase of Filipino spectacle. “Thank you so much for coming out today and supporting our original Filipino musical. Tonight is our last show and we have done 175 shows since 2018. Reaching a fourth run, over 240,000 people have watched this show live right here in this theater. During the pandemic, another 7 million watched it in their homes around the world, raising 12 million pesos for COVID relief.”

Making this farewell more triumphant was the appreciation given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) during the exclusive celebration of Linggo ng Musikang Pilipino across the property. NPAT received a plaque of appreciation for being a partner of the NCCA in promoting original Filipino music and artists.

With the finale leaving a hole in the hearts of many, one can only wonder what comes next for the grand NPAT stage. During curtain call, in an unexpected turn of events, the cast sang a snippet of the heart-tugging love song “Harana” made popular by one of the country’s most cherished rock bands. The giant screen behind flashed an animation of a guitar, a slice of pizza, two bottles, and a bird, with the words “Abangan 2024”. All these hinting audiences about the new musical coming up next year. As AHEB bids its farewell after a long run, another chapter opens for live theater, and the anticipation for a new original Filipino masterpiece begins again.

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