BACOLOD CITY - Twenty-one-year-old Annie Rose Britania may not have been blessed with the gift of sight, but her vision of making it in the music business remains as bright as daylight.
"I love challenges. I don't let my impairment get in the way in my effort to become a successful performer. Gusto kong makilala bilang isang magaling na singer," said Britania as she awaits her turn to demonstrate her vocal talent during the Bacolod leg of the auditions
for the OPM@PAGCOR, A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer.
Britania was the lone disabled auditionee in the field of nearly 160 amateur hopefuls who trooped to Casino Filipino Bacolod to try out for the talent search which promises fame and fortune to aspiring OPM artists. A cash prize of P300,000 awaits the grand winner of the contest, apart from a recording contract with a major recording outfit and a performance contract with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
A high school graduate from the Bacolod City National High School, Britania learned of the competition through a promotional
advertisement on television. "Narinig ko sa TV yung advertisement ng OPM@PAGCOR kaya't agad akong nagpasama sa father at sa brother ko para mag-audition." She joked about not having felt any jitters when she belted "Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin" in front of the five judges led by seasoned OPM performer Nanette Inventor. "Paano ako kakabahan, hindi ko naman sila nakikita."
Unlike Britania, pretty band singer Miles Palma nearly succumbed to pressure as she performed before the jurors, but nonetheless was able to deliver a near-flawless rendition of her audition piece, "Araw-Gabi" popularized by Regine Velasquez. "Nanginig talaga ako habang nasa harap ng judges. Mabuti na lang, hindi naapektuhan ang pagkanta ko," she said.
Palma attends to motherly duties to her two-year-old son during daytime and works at night as a band performer in various music bars in the city. She auditioned for the event in the hope of taking the fastest route out of poverty. "Maraming problema ang family ko, lalo na pagdating sa financial na bagay kaya't sumubok akong mag-audition dito. Sana suwertehin para bukod sa masiguro ko ang kinabukasan ng anak ko, makatulong pa ako sa mga magulang ko," she explained, adding that she also seeks to mend severed ties with the father of her child.
The OPM@PAGCOR nationwide talent search is one of the biggest projects undertaken by PAGCOR and the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) with the aim of giving talented Filipino singers a chance to break into the local music industry.