Still another singer wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’
New season, same result.
As if to preempt a possible backlash from crowning yet another male singer as grand winner of the reality talent search “Pilipinas Got Talent,” judges Kris Aquino and Freddie Garcia urged viewers to vote for their favorites at the start of the show’s results night at the Pagcor Grand Theater in Parañaque City last Sunday. “Para walang sisihan,” they said.
But it seemed the public couldn’t get enough of singing talents—and who could blame them if one of the finalists was Roel Manlangit?
Just 13 years of age, the powerhouse belter from Valencia City, Bukidnon, became the contest’s fourth and youngest champion after receiving 30.22 percent of the nationwide votes.
Still trembling and catching his breath, Manlangit told reporters in Filipino after his win: “I’m so happy. I thank God, my family and those who supported me. I feel really blessed because the other finalists were also good. I was nervous; I didn’t expect to win.”
With a voice still unaltered by puberty, Manlangit can belt out soaring power ballads without much effort. On performance night Saturday, he stood tall among five other contenders, flooring spectators with a slowed-down, sky-high version of Bamboo’s “Noypi,” punctuated by a forceful glory note.
As season 4 winner, Manlangit, who looks up to Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as music idols, received a check for P2 million. “We’ll use the cash prize to build a new house,” said the boy, whose family home was lost to floods brought by Typhoon “Pablo” last December.
He added, bashfully, “I’ll probably also buy … what do you call that again? A laptop?”
People first saw a glimpse of Manlangit’s talent when a video of him singing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” with a karaoke machine outside an appliance store in his native city went viral on YouTube. Uploaded in August last year, the video now has over two million views.
So, while extremely gifted, Manlangit wasn’t exactly unknown prior to joining “PGT4.” Did he think his online exposure was an advantage?
“It was up to the audience if they thought I should win. It was also up to God,” said Manlangit who, on that night, wore a crisp, white barong with a rosary peeking out from the collar. It was a far cry from the nondescript sleeveless shirt and shorts that he had on in the viral video, which made him look like a street child.
Asked how he would react if someone told him that he/she was tired of seeing singers win “PGT,” Manlangit, apparently baffled and clearly too young to handle such a question, merely smiled.
Before the competition even started, judges Aquino, Garcia and Ai-Ai de las Alas expressed their desire to have a nonsinger champ after the triumphs of Jovit Baldivino, Marcelito Pomoy and the Maasinhon Trio in previous seasons. And although they combed the country for a wider variety of acts this season, the judges’ opinions were useful only in narrowing the field down to 36 contestants.
Winning second place with 26.07 percent of the votes, Cyr wheel dancer Frankendel Fabroa almost broke the streak of singers. But while he failed to do so, he said he was delighted to see Roel—whom he considered his anak-anakan—walk away with the prize.
“I didn’t even expect to get so many votes,” Fabroa said. “Win or lose, being in ‘PGT4’ is a victory in itself. Roel is a very deserving winner. He’s talented, kindhearted and charismatic.”
Fabroa received P100,000—as much as the third-place finisher, the musical trio MP3 Band, who garnered 17.48 percent of the votes.
Receiving P50,000 each were three other finalists with the lowest number of votes: dance groups Zilent Overload (11.91 percent), D’Intensity Breakers (11.87 percent) and car-drifting duo Lateral Drift Productions (2.44 percent).
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.