SHE is not a belter, but her smooth rendition of Shamrock band’s “Alipin” was more than enough to earn Jell Christie Sumagui the title “Co-Winner” of the Tagaytay leg of “OPM@PAGCOR, A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer” semifinals held at Casino Filipino Tagaytay last Saturday.
The 30-year-old vocal coach from Dasmariñas, Cavite shared the honor with Paullete Cambronero, a regular participant in various amateur singing tilts who belted a near-flawless version of Lani Misalucha’s “Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin”.
“Hindi ko po inasahang mananalo ako kasi halos lahat ng mga nakalaban ko birit ang pagkanta. Talagang nagulat po ako nang i-announce ang pangalan ko,” Sumagui said.
Sumagui and Cambronero bested 10 other semifinalists who were chosen from a field of nearly 200 auditionees. Each of the Co-Winners received P25,000 each for their feats and advanced to the grand finals of the nationwide talent search, where a top purse of P300,000 is at stake.
The grand winner will also get a recording contract with a major recording company and a contract to perform at Casino Filipino branches.
Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) board secretary Dingdong Avanzado, who came to the event with wife Jessa Zaragosa as celebrity guest jurors, said they were impressed with the performances of the semifinalists but specifically noted the outstanding voice quality of Sumagui and Cambronero.
“They were all good. However, we only have to pick two winners and the ones that we chose really stood out among the rest of the contestants. May nakita kaming potential sa kanila na maging recording stars,” Avanzado said.
Apart from the cash prizes they won, Sumagui and Cambronero also got the privilege of honing their craft under some of the country’s OPM luminaries through a one-week training workshop.
The other semi-finalists, on the other hand, were given a consolation prize of P5,000 each.
“Malaki pong tulong sa pamilya ko ng perang napanalunan ko. Sana po ay suwertehin din ako sa grand finals kasi po higit sa pangarap kong makilala bilang singer, gusto kong makaahon kami sa kahirapan,” said Cambronero, whose experience in joining various singing competitions in the past has boosted her confidence as an amateur performer.
12 SEMI FINALISTS - CASINO FILIPINO TAGAYTAY AUDITIONS