PAGCOR & OPM pick grand finalists from Visayas and Mindanao

Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 5:30 PM

After a series of auditions were held in the Casino Filipino branches in Bacolod, Cebu and Davao, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) picked the six finalists that will represent Visayas and Mindanao at the “OPM@PAGCOR 2: A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer” grand finals night on June 16, 2012.

PAGCOR & OPM pick grand finalists from Visayas and Mindanao
Davao City-- OPM@PAGCOR 2 semi-finalists Alex Weill Jr. (3rd from left) and Kim Jomarie Arabejo (4th from left) received P25,000 check from PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento (left) during the semi-finals night on May 12, 2012 at CF Davao’s Pantawan Hall. Also in photo are singer and OPM member Cookie Chua (2nd from left), voice coach Vicky Tagle (5th from left) and CF Davao’s Casino Shift Manager Gerardo Napalit, Jr. (6th from left).

Twenty-nine-year-old appliance store manager Romeo Bacalso and graduating Hospitality Management student John Willace Tubalde were named winners at the Casino Filipino Cebu leg last May 7. Bacalso’s exceptional rendition of the song, “May Bukas Pa”, and Tubalde’s impressive voice quality and interpretation of the piece “Sometime, Somewhere”, earned the nod of the judges.

Meanwhile, 19-year old Del Maica Papas captivated the audience and the jury with her unique rendition of the APO Hiking Society’s classic ‘Ewan’, during the semi-finals night in Bacolod City on May 9, 2012.

Joining Maica as Bacolod’s representative to the OPM@PAGCOR 2’s grand finals is 18-year old Marc Lyndon Nacua who delivered a powerful rendition of Martin Nievera’s ‘Ikaw Ang Pangarap. Nacua, a third year Commerce student from the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod noted that the OPM@PAGCOR 2 was the most challenging competition he has thus far joined since all the contestants were very talented.

Meantime, 25-year-old Alex Weill Jr., a wedding singer from Davao, and 18-year-old Kim Jomarie Arabejo shone the brightest during the OPM@PAGCOR 2 semi-finals night at Casino Filipino Davao’s Pantawan Hall on May 12. Weill’s winning piece was “Ikaw,” while Arabejo won the hearts of the judges with her soulful rendition of “Kunin Mo Na Ang Lahat Sa Akin”.

PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento who was one of the judges in the auditions and semi-finals in Davao expressed gladness for the continued support of aspiring Filipino singers in this year’s singing competition. “Last year's OPM@PAGCOR was very successful. We found some of the most promising singers in the country and we were able to give them a chance to perform in our casinos alongside some of the country’s OPM icons. I hope we will be able to duplicate – if not surpass – that success this year.”

PAGCOR & OPM pick grand finalists from Visayas and Mindanao
Cebu City— John Willace Tubalde (3rd from left) and Romeo Bacalso (4th from left) couldn’t contain their joy after they were picked as the top two winners in the OPM@PAGCOR2 semi-finals in Casino Filipino Cebu. Tubalde and Bacalso will join other finalists in the “OPM@PAGCOR 2, A Nationwide Search For A Total OPM Performer” grand finals on June 16, 2012 at the Airport Casino Filipino in Parañaque. PAGCOR Board of Director Lito Tanjuatco (2nd from left), and Chairman of the Board of Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit Mitch Valdez (left) turned over the mock-check to Tubalde and Bacalso.

Meantime, PAGCOR’s Assistant VP for Entertainment Bong Quintana noted that there are more talented aspiring Pinoy singers who joined the Visayas-Mindanao auditions this year. “We are happy to note that the contestants who have so far auditioned for the OPM@PAGCOR 2 are quality performers. Talagang may potential ang mga batang ito. We hope we can help hone their skills and make them total performers which is actually one of the objectives of this competition.”

OPM Board Chairman Mitch Valdez, who was one of the celebrity jurors for the OPM@PAGCOR 2 leg in Bacolod and Cebu, noted that the auditions gave her the opportunity to once again witness how gifted Filipinos are.

“Napakarami nating kilalang magagaling na singers na nagmula sa Visayas at ito’y patunay lang kung gaano sila kahuhusay sa larangan ng pag-awit. Sa pamamagitan ng OPM@PAGCOR 2, muli natin itong napatunayan at tiyak na madaragdagan pa ang bilang ng magagaling na singers na galing sa Cebu at Bacolod,” she cited.

Young aspiring singers still have the chance to be part of OPM@PAGCOR 2 as auditions will still be held at the Casino Filipino Angeles on May 19 and Airport Casino Filipino from May 22 to May 25, 2012 for the participants from Metro Manila.

For more inquiries on the OPM@PAGCOR 2, visit or You may also call OPM at 576-5069 or 945-7003 or PAGCOR Entertainment Department at 852-7760 or 852-7752.

Go back