Cotabato City also has reason to celebrate El Gamma Penumbra win | Inquirer Entertainment

Cotabato City also has reason to celebrate El Gamma Penumbra win

/ 06:42 PM May 16, 2015
Photo courtesy of AXN ASIA

Photo courtesy of AXN ASIA

COTABATO CITY — Officials and residents of this city were just as jubilant as Batangueños when El Gamma Penumbra, a Tanauan-based shadow play group, won “Asia Got Talent’s” grand prize on Thursday.

READ: El Gamma Penumbra is ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ grand winner

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One of the group’s members, Wahlid Minanga Bucana, was born and raised here before his family moved to Batangas. Bucana also apparently did not forget his roots when he greeted residents of this city on a late evening television newscast Friday.

Minah Bualan Lintongan, an FM disc jockey at the Notre Dame Broadcasting Corp., said on her Facebook account that Bucana hailed from Barangay (village) Bagua III here.

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Rainneilvin Jay Fernandez Martinez, a neighbor of the Bucanas here, said he never thought Wahlid, who as a child walked naked, would someday land on international stage of fame.

Jenet Minanga Cedeno, a development worker and Wahlid’s aunt, said Wahlid was fondly called “Tisoy” by family members and friends.

Martinez said he was even delighted by the fact that Wahlid brought prestige to the city and residents who are “proud to be Cotabateños.”

City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. said Cotabateños were celebrating with El Gamma Penumbra’s win and that the city government will accord the group warm welcome when Wahlid decides to come home and invite his group mates.

WATCH: Winning performance of El Gamma Penumbra

Jay Hamir Sendad said the group’s triumph overseas was a “slap on the face” of erstwhile Pilipinas Got Talent Judges that included Presidential sister, Kris Aquino, and comedienne Ai-Ai de las Alas.

El Gamma Penumbra first joined ABS-CBN network’s “Pilipinas Got Talent” in 2011 and finished as finalist.

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As grand winner, El Gamma won $100,000 (around P4.4 million) and a chance to perform at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, where last Thursday’s final was also held.

The group said they will share the prize with their family and chosen charity.

El Gamma Penumbra topped eight other grand finalists, which included three other Filipino acts, namely 10-year-old songstress Gwyneth Dorado, classical diva Gerphil Flores and hip-hop dance group Junior New System.

Musicians Khusugtun of Mongolia emerged first runner-up, while Gerphil finished third.

Other grand finalists were dancers Gao Lin and Liu Xin (China), dancers Triqstar (Japan), young rock stars The Talento (Thailand) and tap dancers Dance Thrilogy (Singapore).

The show’s judges were Grammy award-winning musician and producer David Foster, Taiwanese pop icon Van Ness Wu, former Spice Girls member Melanie C and Indonesian rock icon Anggun.

During the top-rating grand finals performance night on May 7, El Gamma showcased a moving performance about environmental conservation to the tune of “Colors of the Wind,” which moved judge Anggun to tears. Nash B. Maulana

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TAGS: Cotabato City, El Gamma Penumbra, pride, Wahlid Minanga Bucana
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