Singing contest guarantees employment for winners
A year after teaming up to mount a nationwide singing talent search, the country’s leading performers’ union and the government’s gaming corporation launched “OPM@Pagcor2” recently at Airport Casino Filipino in Parañaque City.
At stake this year are P300,000 cash and a performance contract for first place; P200,000 for second place; P100,000 for third place; and P20,000 in consolation prizes.
“Mabuhay!” was the catchphrase of the day, after Bong Quintana, assistant vice president of entertainment for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), credited everyone from the organizers to the contestants to the media for the project’s success last year.
Mitch Valdes, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) board of directors chair, clarified that although the contest is not a guaranteed ticket to stardom, it is a wonderful way for struggling singers to gain exposure and employment.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that there are thousands of talents out there who are not given the break,” she said.
“What I witnessed last year was incredible,” said OPM President Ogie Alcasid, noting the enthusiasm of thousands of aspirants from all over the country. He stressed the long-term nature of the competition, in which the winners are assured of bookings for shows in all Pagcor branches.
Last year’s grand champion, Joyce Tanana, profusely expressed gratitude for everything the contest had done for her and first runner-up Charles Tan, second runner-up Renz Robosa, third runner-up Hadasa Camporaso, and fourth runner-up Steve Fernandez—together billed as the Pagcor 5.
The Pagcor 5 told the Inquirer that all of them improved their skills not only as singers but stage entertainers as well. They said they learned about vocal techniques and audience interaction through workshops with renowned performers.
The Pagcor 5 also enjoyed higher-than-average talent fees in their shows at the casinos and free housing.
They pointed out that their individual contracts are “open-ended,” which means their singing engagements with Pagcor won’t stop, even after the second batch of winners is proclaimed.
This was confirmed by Quintana, who said that the Pagcor 5 first batch could continue performing “as long as they want.”
At the launch of “OPM@Pagcor2,” Tanana could not hold back her tears as she sang “Ngayon at Kailanman.” The rest of the Pagcor 5 performed a jazzed-up arrangement of a medley of Apo Hiking Society hits.
“OPM@Pagcor2” is open to amateur singers of Filipino or dual citizenship who are 18 to 32 years old by May 1, 2012, and who have not won any major prize in any national singing competition.
Deadline for submission of entries is on May 1 (Visayas-Mindanao), May 10 (Luzon) and May 18 (Metro Manila).
For details, log on to opm.org.ph or pagcor.ph. Entry forms are also available at any Casino Filipino branch. Call Pagcor Entertainment at 852-7758 and 852-7760, or OPM at 576-5059 and 945-7003.