Age not a hindrance for 50-year-old ‘Clash’ hopeful
Esterlina Olmedo was just 6 years old when she started joining singing contests. She won some, and lost more, but that didn’t stop her from trying her luck. In hopes of earning money, she continued to make the rounds in her native Cebu for the next 44 years.
Now, at 50, the aspiring recording artist finds herself as one of the Final 12 of GMA 7’s talent search, “The Clash”—her life’s most important competition yet.
“Singing is my bread and butter. I travel to different towns and cities in Cebu to join small contests. And when I found out that ‘The Clash’ doesn’t have an age limit, I figured that I might as well audition—and I made it. I’m still in shock that I’m here. I didn’t think I stood a chance,” she told the Inquirer when the finalists were presented to the press recently.
Prior to “The Clash,” the biggest contest she has been part of was in the town of Madrilejos on Bantayan Island, where she bagged P10,000. This time, she’s vying for P1 million cash, a house and lot, and a contract with the Kapuso network.
“It’s not yet too late for me,” stressed the hopeful, who looks up to the likes of “The Clash” host Regine Velasquez and judge Lani Misalucha, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and her kababayan Dulce. “I have always dreamed of recording an album and having my own concert.”
At the media event, Esterlina showed easy power in her performance of “Sayang na Sayang” by Aegis.
“I’m so happy because I feel accepted by the viewers. I don’t know much about social media, but I was told that I’ve been getting good feedback. Now, I’m trying to get into that,” said Esterlina, who sells sweets and does laundry in her neighborhood in Talisay, when there are no upcoming singing competitions.
Esterlina is going up against contestants who are young enough to be her kids. “My children, who are 18, 14 and 13, tease me about the age gap. But they’re happy for me … They encourage me to fight and never give up,” she said. “My opponents may be younger, but my experience is something I can draw strength from.”
Also in the Top 12 of “The Clash,” which airs on Saturdays and Sundays, are Anthony Rosaldo, Melbelline Caluag, Mirriam Manalo, Garrett Bolden, Kyrill Ugdiman, Lyra Micolob, Danielle Ozaraga, Josh Adornado, Mika Gorospe, Golden Cañedo and Jong Madaliday.