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Wishcovery 2 Finalists gear up for ultimate battle at the Big Dome

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The finalists of the Wishcovery Season 2: the Singer and the Song are gearing up for the final battle of the freshest online singing competition in the Philippines, set to be held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday (February 26).

Eight finalists hailing from different regions in the country and the United States will perform original song pieces created by some of today’s prolific Filipino songwriters, who also served as Wishcoverees’ mentors for this season.

They are Tweetie Salas from Iloilo City, Jemy Picardal from Dagupan City, Pangasinan; Paula Guevara who hails from Bicol; Anna Marie Guinsisana from Bayugan, Agusan del Sur; Angelika Bermoy from Davao del Norte, Nashrene Casas from Cebu City, Rhea Basco from Taguig City, Metro Manila and Audrey Rose Arellano from the U.S.

During rehearsals on Sunday (February 24), this season’s top contenders showed focus in practicing their song pieces, with the help of the pointers from their coaches who also showed up during the run-through.

The Wishcoverees also expressed excitement and nervousness over their impending performance.

“Super kinakabahan ako pero preparation-wise, siguro more on vocal rest ako kasi everyday ang hectic ng schedule. So, kailangan mahabol talaga sa tulog sa pahinga,” said Salas, who represents Camp Noel Cabangon.

“First time ko po na ganoon kalaki ang crowd. This is something else. It’s very big, I’m very blessed,” said Arellano, who represents Camp Odette Quesada.

Picardal and Casas also showed equal determination to render the best performance during the ultimate sing-off despite feeling under the weather due to fatigue and hectic schedules.

“Kinakabahan for my voice. But the moment na mag-start na po ang grandfinals, I will just enjoy the moment because ito ‘yung moment na magdiriwang po lahat ng OPM songs at maipapakilala sa buong mundo [kung] gaano kaganda ang musikong Pilipino,” said Picardal, who is mentored by Rannie Raymundo.

“Actually, I’m not feeling well ngayon dahil sa schedules. Parang, nababaguhan po yung katawan ko. But I will just do my best po for the grand finals,” Casas, who represents Camp Top Suzara, assured.

Despite intense pressure, Wishcoverer-Composers firmly believe that their chosen artists will be able to deliver smooth and stellar interpretation of the original songs they penned.

“I think, we have done pretty much all the things that we need to do,” said Jungee Marcelo, who mentors Rhea Basco.

“Abangan ninyo dahil aside from the original songs that we wrote, meron pang ipe-perform ang bawat isa. Mga hit songs namin, doon sa camp ko will be a totally different attack,” he added.

Raymundo, for his part, assured that, “Everything is okay. Everything is scheduled. Na-instill naman namin ‘yung trust, pagmamahal at faith sa aming camp. We’re ready. Everybody is good, but I think we have the best.”

Other Wishcovery season 2 top contenders are Paula Guevara representing Camp Moy Ortiz, Anna Marie Guinsisana from Camp Vehnee Saturno and Angelika Bermoy under Camp Boy Christopher.

The finalists and their coaches also expressed gratitude to the organizers of Wish 107-5’s Wishcovery Season 2 and its innovator, BMPI Chief Executive Officer Daniel Razon, for the competition’s concept that highlighted and promoted the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) to the international scene.

“This is really an unprecedented contest or competition. I think, you have been a pioneer to new kind of out of the box, not just in entertainment, especially in promoting Filipino music. Kaya, Kuya Daniel, maraming, maraming, maraming salamat,” hitmaker Cabangon said.

“It is such a fantastic idea! It has its merits because nowadays it’s hard to get new artists their new songs out there. Even for song writers like me, it’s always encouraging to have a new venue, an outlet to expose new material out there,” US-based Filipino songwriter Quesada said.

“Hindi siya mainstream eh na parang ‘yung mga sikat na singers ang talagang nagco-compete. Ngayon talaga, they are looking for raw and undiscovered talents. Very thankful ako na nandito ako ngayon. Thank you kay Kuya Daniel for coming up in this kind of competition,” Wishcovery 2 finalist Guevara said.

The Wishcovery season 2 Final Battle will begin at 7 p.m. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Wishcovery runner-up Kimberly Baluzo reaches new heights in ‘Rak of Aegis’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019

Kimberly Baluzo

Wishcovery Season 1 first runner-up Kimberly Baluzo takes on new heights as she plays the role of ‘Aileen’ in the hit musical ‘Rak of Aegis’.

Born in Daet, Camarines Norte, the 20-year-old Kimberly started singing when she was only three years old.

With only several more weeks before the opening of ‘Rak of Aegis’, Kimberly has three words to describe how she feels about the whole experience: overwhelmed, blessed, and grateful.

She auditioned for ‘Rak of Aegis’ without any idea about the musical. However, she was able to get the part, besting quite a number of aspirants who auditioned for the role.

READ: Wishcovery Season 1 first runner-up Kimberly Baluzo stars in “Rak of Aegis”

“I didn’t have any clue kung ano ang daloy ng play, as in 0%! Talagang expect the unexpected. God is so amazing dahil binigay niya itong Rak of Aegis as part of my journey. Tunay nga ang kasabihan na kung para sa’yo, para sa’yo talaga, (I didn’t have any clue about the flow of the play, as in 0%. It was really an “expect the unexpected” moment. God is so amazing for giving me Rak of Aegis as part of my journey. What people say is really true: if it’s meant for you, it will be yours),”Kimberly said.

What is it like working with the team and other famous singers?

Sobrang nakakainspire (It’s so inspiring), and knowing them more and hearing their experiences make me feel motivated. Also, [they inspire in me] the eagerness to explore and learn more.

What is your most unforgettable experience with the production so far?

For me, the most unforgettable experience is the bonding and family-like relationship that has been established among the Rak of Aegis cast. Dito ko na feel na pantay-pantay kaming lahat. Walang mas sikat o bago. At lahat rin nagtutulungan. Walang lamangan o pagalingan. Magkasama sa hirap at ginahawa (They never made me feel anything less than an equal. No one is a star or a newbie. Everyone helps each other. There is no competition. We are together through thick and thin). [During performances] pinapalakas nila loob ko, (they encourage me) to stand strong and face my fears.

What is your next goal after Rak of Aegis?

I don’t have any goals yet after this. I will keep trusting God’s plan in my life dahil ang plano niya ang the best, (because His plan is the best).

What is your advice for singers who would also like to perform in a musical?

Don’t ever ever give up and just be yourself. Huwag kang mag padala sa takot at kaba (Don’t let fear and anxiety drag you down). When you dream, aim high. Stay humble and don’t forget to thank God for everything that He has given you.

Kimberly Baluzo (right) with original lead star, Aicelle Santos (left) and the rest of the Rak of Aegis cast

Kimberly’s ultimate goal and wish as a singer is to have a solo concert, release an album, serve as an inspiration to others, and be of help to the less fortunate especially abandoned children.

Rak of Aegis is Kimberly’s first professional theater experience

The iconic original Pinoy musical will have its 7th run starting on July 5 to September 29 at the PETA theater. — aac

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Wishcovery Season 1 first runner-up Kimberly Baluzo stars in “Rak of Aegis”

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Kimberly Baluzo

Wishcovery Season 1 first runner-up Kimberly Baluzo stars in “Rak of Aegis” as “Aileen” alternating with Aicelle Santos, Kim Molina, and Shaira Opsima.

“PETA’s iconic Filipino musical phenomenon makes a much-awaited return from July to September 2019 at the PETA Theater Center,” according to the PETA’s official page.

In her Facebook post Kimberly is grateful to be a part of the musical.

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Wishcovery Season 2 The Singer and the Song album gets gold and platinum awards

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Wishcovery Season 2 The Singer and the Song album gets gold and platinum awards after their album launch on Tuesday (June 5).

The eight Wishcoverees finalists also showed off their talent at the Araneta Coliseum Tuesday night during the The Singer and the Song concert.

Wishcoverer-composer Jungee Marcelo was elated with the performance of the Wishcoverees.

“Finally, you see the fledgling little kid that you trained and then she did everything that you asked her to do and more and seeing her finally perform the song even better,” he said.

Composer Noel Cabangon also expressed his excitement for their musical wards. “I’m really proud of our Wishcoverees because they’re very good and now they have a portfolio, one of the things that they can show,” he said.

Following the album-launching concert, Wishcoveree grand finalists, Rhea Basco and Paula Guevarra shared their overwhelming experience.

“Hindi ko maiwasang maluha kasi habang kinakanta ko ang song ko na parang, ‘andito na kami,’ (I couldn’t help but tear up while I was singing my song I thought to myself, ‘we’re here’)” Rhea said.

Paula hopes that their songs will boost the public’s patronage of Filipino music.

“Sana po iyong album namin ma-inspire lahat ng mga Pilipino na i-patronize pa din ang OPM, (I hope our album inspires Filipinos and patronize OPM)” she said.(with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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