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)