After a month-long nationwide search for undiscovered amateur Filipino singers with exceptional singing talent, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) have chosen the 14 grand finalists who will vie for the honor of being the country’s first “Total OPM Performer”.
The 14 grand finalists – Russ Narcies Cabico, Faye Danica Abadicio, Louie Murphy Regala, Dioseyl Fornes, Marie Joyce Tañaña, Renz Ruther Robosa, Jell Christie Sumagui, Paullete Cambronero, Hadasa Von Camporaso, Charles Kevin Tan, Arceli Bullo, Fred Abaquita Jr., Steve Fernandez and Gilda Joy Togonon – bested nearly 2,000 auditionees who participated in the “OPM@PAGCOR, A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer”.
They will be participating in the May 28 to June 4 performance workshop in Manila to be handled by some of the country’s OPM icons, music educators, musical concert directors, and professional talent managers.
The search for the “Total OPM Performer” culminates in the Grand Finals to be held on June 10 at the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Airport Casino Filipino, Parañaque City. The grand winner will receive P300,000 in cash, a performance contract with PAGCOR, and a recording contract with a major music recording company. The second place winner will get P200,000 and P100,000 for the third placer. Non-winners will be given P20,000 each.
PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Entertainment Bong Quintana expressed his excitement on the upcoming grand finals. “We have produced 14 equally talented grand finalists and we already prepared all the components needed in their performance workshop and training,” he said.
All 14 grand finalists will be given an all-expense paid trip to Manila and free accommodations for the duration of the performance workshop and preparations for the Grand Finals.
“We are confident that we have found the best, undiscovered Filipino amateur singers who will one day become OPM singing sensations. Ang contest na ito ng PAGCOR at OPM ang magpapatunay na maraming magagaling na Pilipinong mang-aawit ang naghihintay lamang ng pagkakataon na ma-discover,” said Quintana.
Meanwhile, OPM President Ogie Alcasid shared the OPM@PAGCOR singing search gives a big boost to the local music industry especially now when Filipino music no longer gains much public attention and popularity. “Unlike other singing contests na pwede kang kumanta ng foreign songs, dito, strictly OPM lang. Ito lang yata ang contest na ganun ang konsepto,” he said.
Alcasid expressed hope that with the performance workshop component of the search, the finalists will gain valuable singing techniques “so that when they pursue a professional singing career, they already have the proper training.”
“Most importantly, this contest will help give them employment opportunities,” Alcasid added.
The OPM President expressed his appreciation to PAGCOR for its unrelenting support to OPM. “Nagpapasalamat kami sa PAGCOR. It’s really our dream to bring back the glory of OPM. Without PAGCOR, walang ganitong contest,” he said.
APO Hiking Society member and former OPM President Jim Paredes said he was surprised by the impressive performances of the contestants. “We all know that a lot of Filipinos are great performers. But I think this OPM contest was able to find the crème of the crop among amateurs. In just several workshops, they can all be professionals,” he noted.