Concert producers Robert and Melissa Mendoza and the soundtrack of their lives

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Ogie and Mel: A marriage powered by music

Ogie and Mel: A marriage powered by music

By Cristina DC Pastor

The couple that headbangs together produces concerts together.

Because they can, and because the power of music sends good vibes throughout the 40-year marriage of Brooklyn couple Robert ‘Ogie’ Mendoza and Melissa Rubio Mendoza. From Manila to New York, this couple has bonded through Karaoke singing, watching theater musicals and, of late, producing concerts.

“My father sings very well so I was introduced to music since I was a child,” said Mel when interviewed by The FilAm. “I played guitar since elementary at church choirs and amateur contests. Ogie is a much bigger fan of music. He has so much collections of vinyl and continues to collect until now.”

It started about three years ago, recalled Ogie, of when the producing bug hit them. The couple created Mountaintop Entertainment Productions, LLC. and tried staging a concert in collaboration with friends from California. It did not go so well. While a big amount of money went down the drain, there were also teachable moments that arose, and from which they acquired some life-long lessons. It was an experience they put in the back of their minds but never really abandoned. They felt they could apply those lessons the next time they tried.

“We were influenced by friends,” said Ogie.

Meanwhile, cooling their heels, Ogie and Mel continued to visit NYC’s community lounge circuit, nightclubs and bars unveiling new talent, watch concerts with local and Philippine-based talents, met new friends, acquired new insights, and took note of things that would be useful. Just as important, they continued to do their day jobs: Ogie as a concierge of luxury property homes in New York, and Mel as a personal assistant.

Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez topbill Mr. & Mrs. A, a hit concert produced by Mr. & Mrs. M. Photo: Francis Faina Photography

Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez topbill Mr. & Mrs. A, a hit concert produced by Mr. & Mrs. M. Photo: Francis Faina Photography

The next time around, Ogie and Mel’s attempts began to see some promising progression. They invested in Jadine’s High on Love concert at Lisner Auditorium in June, 2016 and another concert by Erik Santos and Angeline Quinto the same year, but it was “mismanaged,” by Ogie’s account. The concerts of Basil Valdez and the Stylistics drew in a decent net. They invested also in a series of concerts in New York. It was the November 12, 2017 concert of Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez at TownHall that broke record. Tickets were sold out, sponsors delivered, social media was exploding, and Ogie and Mel were seeing the rewards in their bank accounts.

“It was our most successful show,” said Ogie, surprised but also humbled.

“Logistics is the most challenging aspect of concert producing,” he conceded.

Mountaintop is currently preparing its next concert featuring the hugely popular singer-actress Sarah Geronimo from the Philippines. It is slated for May 6 at the Colden Auditorium in Flushing, Queens. Tickets from $60 to $150 are available through

The name Mountaintop was an idea pitched by the Mendozas’ youngest daughter Pam. (They have two other daughters, Patricia and Peachy.) The design was Ogie’s creative interpretation of what he and Mel have aspired to, and that is to keep trying until they reached their dreams.

“The word has meaning to us,” said Mel.

Ogie and Mel are fans of the old standards. Sinatra. Gershwin. Holiday. Porter. Ella. Crosby, etc.

“Our friends usually ask our daughters why are familiar with old songs, and they say because we hear it from our parents,” said Mel. “They usually give us concert tickets as gifts, it’s funny.”

Asked why concert producers need to mine talent from the Philippines when there are just as many local talent available in the ‘neighborhood,’ Mel replied, “It is a trend in every community to bring in international talents and adding local talent in one show all together. It enhances our support, appreciation, and love for Philippine music and strengthen our social connections with friends, family and kababayan.”

© The FilAm 2018

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Unveiling Mountaintop (top photo), for 40 years a dream (lower photo).

Unveiling Mountaintop (top photo), for 40 years a dream (lower photo).

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