Music teacher shines brightest during the OPM@PAGCOR 2 Grand Finals

PAGCOR & OPM pick grand finalists from Visayas and Mindanao
PAGCOR & OPM pick grand finalists from Visayas and Mindanao

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A music teacher from Quezon City emerged as the grand winner of the recently concluded “OPM@PAGCOR 2: A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer”. The nationwide singing competition – now on its second season - is a joint project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM).

Twenty-eight-year old Froilan Canlas outshone 13 other finalists who came from various parts of the country during the OPM@PAGCOR 2 Grand Finals Night at the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Airport Casino Filipino, Parañaque City last June 16. His heartfelt and unique rendition of the classic Filipino song “Dahil Sa’yo” earned the judges’ nod and also captured the hearts of the audience.

“We all know that “Dahil Sa’yo” is a classic song. Ang ginawa ni Froilan, iniba nya yung version. Ang galing ng technique. Ang sarap pakinggan,” said Star in A Million Season 2 Champion Frenchie Dy who was one of the Board of Judges.

Canlas, who earned an Asian Music degree from the University of the Philippines College of Music said he wasn’t expecting to win. “Andun sa akin yung hope na manalo. But all grand finalists have an edge. Ang sarap manalo kung ganun kagagaling yung mga kalaban mo tapos ikaw ang magiging champion,” he said.

The OPM@PAGCOR 2 champion shared he almost gave up on singing after he lost in a TV singing competition in 2005. “I stopped singing. But because of this opportunity, I will sing again. Nabuhay muli yung passion ko for music. Maraming salamat sa pagkakataon na ito at nabigyan kami ng oportunidad na ipakita ang aming talento.”

Canlas added that the experiences he gained during the entire competition will help him achieve his dream of putting up a music school someday. “Yung karangalan na maging champion sa ganitong talent competition ang dadalhin ko sa pagtupad ng aking pangarap.”

Meanwhile, 18-year old Arah May Rodriguez from Pangasinan bagged the 2nd place while 18-year old Jennifer Maravilla from Naga City placed third.

Rodriguez shared that of all the singing competitions she joined, OPM@PAGCOR 2 is the only one that offers free performance workshop. “Sa workshops pa lang, masasabi kong panalo na kami. Hinasa kami bago tumungtong sa stage na ‘to. Tinuruan kami ng iba’t ibang techniques at na-build yung confidence namin,” she said. Besides singing, Rodriguez also learned how to project and carry herself well in front of an audience.

As for Maravilla, the competition taught her to trust in her talent and capabilities. “If you love what you’re doing, it will take you to where you want to go. Maraming salamat sa OPM@PAGCOR 2. Hindi lang ito basta show o talent search. Tinulungan ninyo kami na isapuso yung tunay na diwa ng pagkanta.”

OPM Secretary Dingdong Avanzado who was one of the panel of judges said the Total OPM Performer is not just designed for singing competitions. “You are there to entertain. At the same time your performance should be felt by your audience,” he said.

“Music is part of our culture and Filipinos are musically inclined. Sana kasabay ng pagdami ng mga singers natin, ganun din ang maging paglaki ng musika natin. I laud PAGCOR for its continued support to the upliftment of Filipino talent. Sana ay marami pang institusyon na katulad ninyo ang magbibigay ng suporta kasi our music industry needs all the support. I am also happy that I’m part of this revolution to promote Filipino music for the next generation to listen and appreciate,” Avanzado added.

PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Entertainment Bong Quintana is elated that PAGCOR and OPM have discovered another batch of equally talented performers. “We wish our winners well. I believe that with this talent search, PAGCOR has once again opened doors of opportunity to many aspiring yet deserving Filipino singers.”

Canlas took home a cash prize of P300,000 and a performance contract from PAGCOR. On the other hand, Rodriguez and Maravilla received P200,000 and P100,000, respectively as well as performance contracts from PAGCOR. The other grand finalists were awarded a consolation prize of P20,000 each.

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