Pinay YouTube sensation at 9


SHE WAS featured on a UK-based website in April 2012.

Fitri Cerado once again presents undeniable proof of innate Filipino musicality—making waves on the Net at the ripe old age of 9.

Last year, Fitri’s YouTube videos were “liked” and “shared” by several stars, including top singers and celebrities.

Largely through her music videos, she has met quite a few singing stars, like two other YouTube sensations Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda, and Original Pilipino Music  stalwarts Pilita Corrales, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano and Verni Varga.

Supportive parents

Fitri’s YouTube channel has attracted at least 541,845 views and 3,073 subscribers at press time. Among her most-watched videos is a rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” where she also plays the keyboard (250,560 views and counting).

Her YouTube channel and Facebook page are maintained by her mother, Mary Claire, Fitri told Inquirer in an e-mail interview.

Fitri recalled that her mom uploaded her first video on YouTube over two years ago. “My parents are very supportive,” she said. “My dad, a former choir member, teaches me how to sing; my mom always brings me to my shows.”

Her parents noticed that she could carry a tune before she could speak or walk. “They say I started humming with the music player at age 1.” At 3, she had informal voice lessons with  her father, Juanito. At 4, she started playing the piano.

At 5, she enrolled in music school. At 6, she started belting showstoppers like “My Heart Will Go On” (videos of which were posted on the Net in 2011).

The girl’s current YouTube appearance is not her first brush with fame.

In 2011, she joined popular Indonesian talent search “Super Wani 2,” she related. She won, besting 19 other finalists, with the Indonesian ditty “Andaikan Kau Datang Kembali.” (She was born in Indonesia and speaks Bahasa.)

“‘Super Wani’ means super brave in Bahasa,” she noted. “The title of my winning piece in English is ‘If You Come Back.’” Her name means “clean” in Bahasa.

She couldn’t join other televised contests because she wasn’t Indonesian. Luckily, “Super Wani 2” was “open to everyone,” she quipped.

Before the TV show, she joined countless amateur singing contests in Indonesia.  “I started competing when I was 3. Sometimes we would travel six to seven hours so I could join contests.”

Her idols

Her father, an engineer, worked in Indonesia at that time. From Jember, East Java, in Indonesia, the Cerado family later moved to General Santos City. Fitri and her mom are now based in Manila.

Fitri, who turned 9 on Nov. 23, sang a duet (“The Prayer”) with Nievera in a fund-raiser for flash-flood survivors in Muntinlupa last year.

She confessed that she looked up to numerous singers—a diverse bunch that includes fellow YouTube sensation Zendee Rose Tenerefe and fellow prodigies Connie Talbot, Anna Graceman and Rhema Marvanne.

She enumerated at least 19 favorites, but there are more names on her list, she insisted.

She is thrilled that she gets to meet celebrities through her videos. “I am thankful that they ‘like’ and ‘share’ my videos,” she said.

Fitri also has a slew of favorite songs, including David Guetta’s “Titanium,” Aiza Seguerra’s “Anong Nangyari sa Ating Dalawa” and Marion Aunor’s “If You Ever Change Your Mind.”

She’s a budding composer as well. “I’ve composed five songs in English and many in Indonesian (Bahasa),” said the incoming Grade 5 student.

Her big dream is to become “a singing doctor.” She explained: “I’d like to help people get well and feel better, through medicine and music.”

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  • go88

    we hear a lot about dancing and singing in thiss country as if it was really that matters… how about reporting something more important like a filipino kid wining in the mathematics or physics olympiads?

    • Acute_Angle

      WHO CARES?

      • Marlou Wang

        Pa-acute-acute ka pa. Kasama mo sa pekpektyur mo TALPOG.

      • Mazza02

        Disgusting……typical of your kind’s behavior so low class

    • andresa igbac

      go88, nirereport din naman ang ganyang accomplishments ah? and, please, how about improving your english and spelling first?

      • go88

        No need to write about my accomplishments, you’re unlikely to have the tools to understand them. I am not paid for my english or spelling … How about you? You seem very defensive about dancing, singing and english skills … maybe you’re an entertainer? Japayoke ka di ba :)?

      • Marlou Wang

        palagay ko frustrated singer siya sa Hapon kaya nag-japayoke na lang.

      • Mazza02


      • Mazza02

        You were trying to make snide comments about what is important ie education but then get upset when your shortcomings in thsi regard are pointed out…..tsk tsk

        Your unseemly comments about entertainers in Japan is just the icing on the cake…..proof of lack of education and civilized sensibilities.

    • Mazza02

      No you are icnorrect. We hear a lot about entertainment industry as every other country in the world because by its nature, it is more well known. Simple logic. However, your snide remarks cannot hide your negative insinuations. What is truly pathetic is you use an innocent news article about a child. This is an action of an imbecile and completely deplorable.

  • kokak

    We are a country of singers, dancers, and domestic helpers. Lots of them. But until now we cannot even create our own car, own engine and real advanced industry.

    But I must admit this girl is very talented. Not much about singing though – singing is a talent so ordinary nowadays. I admire her for singing well AND playing the keyboards competently at the same time. Quite a feat for such age. This girl doesnt need the crutches we call videoke and mic with echo. This girl is a stand-alone artist. This girl is not just a singer, she is a musician.

    Bravo Fitri. Keep it up. Be a real musician. And make yourself a cut above the rest of the million singers in this country.

    • Ricci Santiago

      meron na nakagawa ng makina, estudyante din ng alma mater ko. problem is di na sya mahanap ngayon (yumaman na)

    • go88

      Maybe it’s time to stop being a country of singers dancing and domestic helpers …. Maybe it’s time to show that excelling in science and education is more important than winning dancing contests and beauty pageants?

      Maybe it’s time to show the young that studying is more important than socializing?

      Maybe it’s time to make the parents understand that investing in books is more important than buying cellphones ipads and other gadgets to their brats?

      • gamebranding

        it is easier and faster to make big money by singing, dancing, modelling, acting. it is harder to do it the university way and to burn the midnight oil for a vague promise of good money in the future. this is a sure-fire way, if they get NOTICED.

        that is why they use Youtube to show their talents hoping that they get exposure and endorsement from Oprah, Ellen Degeneres etc.; then, onward to Hollywood and byebye to Pinas.

        problem is, almost everyone knows this by now and there are so many of them doing the same thing. too much supply decreases chances of being noticed and decreases earning power.

        just the way life works……

      • boboposter

        Easier? Bigyan mo nga ako ng statistics ng lahat ng marunong kumanta vs sa lahat ng professional singers. Pustahan wala pa sa 1% ng marunong kumanta ang kumikita sa pagkanta.

        May 1 milyon na sigurong Sarah Geronimo ngayon kung totoo yang sinasabi mo. (at nakakatakot yun haha)

    • RiverHorse

      i would have been more impressed if she got to be known through mainstream media not just through an uploaded video. but yeah, i agree with you regarding not being able to develop science and industry. heck, we haven’t even developed a gun we can call truly filipino.

  • Marlou Wang
  • Vertumnus

    She can sing but needs better recording equipment. Too much echo and she need to put more emotion instead of concentrating on reaching the high notes. Seems like every singer wants to hit the high notes this days. She will be better in 6 more years of practice.

  • tekateka

    Only Monkeys and Filipinos enjoy those garbage dumb noontime shows…

    • Mazza02

      Then the rest of the world must be dumb too including china with all the so called ‘garbage dumb noontime shows’ over their. Others will just call it entertainment. After all what is garbage to some is a treasure to others. But I think this nuance is something beyond your comprehension….

  • Aiko Ito

    Wow! We Filipinos really excel in singing. Go, go, go!!!

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