Filipino’s are best known as one of the world’s most talented singers. You can head on to different localities and find amazingly skilled vocalists, no matter how young or old they are. No doubt, Filipino’s are lined as the finest and we can pretty much say the talent in the country is considered world-class.
For years, local TV competitions such as Star for a Night, Star in a Million, Pinoy Dream Academy, such others, have produced the biggest singing sensations in the country— from Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, Angeline Quinto, and Sarah Geronimo. These shows have proved that the country has so much talent to offer and such talent deserves to be given a major break in the industry. But there is so much talent that is yet to be put to the spotlight, which explains the existence of popular reality singing shows that are continuously on the lookout.
In 2016, It’s Showtime launched the comeback of famous 60’s search Tawag ng Tanghalan, and it was a sleeper hit. The talent has been incredible on its first season, and it was a major game changer on noontime television. Now that a new season is airing, and new talents are on the rise, people are still following the every move of their first season bets. Who wouldn’t? After all, the finalists have all gained a big following from fans all over the country.
We got to talk to 17-year-old Pauline Agupitan who is known as the powerhouse belter of the season, and the teen singer shares about what she is missing from the TV show, “Siguro po yung mismong pagsabak onstage, yung pagkanta sa maraming tao, kasi iba po yung pakiramdam pag nakatungtong ka sa stage ng TNT.” Despite the fact that the season has already ended, she still gets to spend a lot of time with her fellow finalists, “Sa ngayon po dahil magkasama naman kami ni ate Marielle sa TNT house, lumalabas po kami halos araw-araw din. Yung iba naman po halos lagi din po kami nagkikita pag pumupunta po kami sa ABS.”
Pauline, being the youngest of the grand finalists, also has the most powerful voice. Her vocal abilities are “out of this world”, as the hurados have mentioned from time to time. From her close-to-perfect renditions of big hits like All By Myself, And I Am Telling You, Listen and Proud Mary, the Big Sister Belter ng Batangas has proved that she deserved a place in the finale, even after being eliminated on her first try on the first quarter. But Pauline isn’t a newbie to TV competitions, as she was also a part of the third season of Pilipinas Got Talent in 2011. She shares that her teachers in grade school discovered her good singing voice and convinced her to join competitions which led to a huge one, “Nung 11 po ako, nakapasok po ako sa semi-finals ng Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3. Doon po ako nagsimulang mangarap na maging singer.” It became a big motivation to begin her music career on a serious note, “After po nun, nag decide po akong mag take ng voice lessons at i-pursue ang pagkanta. Hanggang sa nahasa po ako sa pagsali ko sa mga singing contest.” Hoping that she’d finally get her shot, she also tried out for more singing competitions, “Sinubukan ko rin pong sumali sa iba pang contest sa TV tulad ng Talentadong Pinoy Kids at The Voice Kids.”
The year 2016 has been a very good year for her as she was considered as one of the front-runners of Tawag ng Tangahalan, which eventually led her to the top 6. People were astounded that a big voice came out from a small little girl, and she was definitely a favorite. The young singer from Cavite shares about her musical influences, “Siguro si Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Jessie J, kasi sobrang nagagandahan ako sa boses nila at sobra ko pong naaappreciate yung sincerity nila when it comes to performing.”
The hit TV search also opened her to meet her biggest fans, and she is grateful of their presence, “Wala man po akong daan-daang supporters pero masasabi ko pong kahit maliit ang bilang nila, sila na yata ang pinaka sincere na mga tagahangang nakilala ko.” The singer adds that these are the people who motivate her to keep going, “Isa po sila sa nagpapalakas ng loob ko at nagpapaalala sakin na may mga tao pa rin akong napapasaya.” Regardless of how busy she may be, she tries to keep in touch with her supporters, “Kung minsan po lumalabas kami at nagbobonding pero para sa akin, ang malaman na mga taong sumusuporta sakin, sapat na para mapasaya ako.”
But her most loyal followers only come second to the people that supports her music career, because she believes that her family is her biggest fans, “Sila ang inspirasyon ko at ang pinakamahahalagang tao sa buhay ko. Sila ang rason sa pagsali ko sa TNT. Masaya akong nakatulong ako sa pamilya ko habang nagagawa ko rin ang bagay na nagpapasaya sakin. Sila po ang mga taong walang kapagurang sumasama at nagche-cheer sa’kin sa mga laban ko.” She is also inspired to work even harder because of her mom and dad, “—kasi kapag nakikita ko po yung suporta at paghihirap nila, mas lalo ko pa pong gustong pag-igihan na matupad ko ang pangarap ko.”
At only 17, people consider Pauline as one of the best belters of her generation. Her vocal range is unbelievable and she definitely slays every song that she sings. Does this make her one of the best biriteras in the country? She shares that she doesn’t consider herself a biritera, “Hindi ko po nile-labelan ang sarili ko as belter or biritera. Nasanay lang po siguro yung mga tao na palaging matataas yung mga kinakanta ko. Nakikinig din po ako ng ibang kanta.” She is also open to showing off her versatility, “As an artist, gusto ko pong ma-explore pa kung hanggang saan pa ang kaya kong ibigay kasi marami pa po akong dapat i-improve sa sarili ko.” But her willingness to be different doesn’t mean she wants to completely change her singing style, “Hindi ko po papalitan ang style of singing ko kasi yun talaga ang strength ko. Gusto ko lang ma-improve ang iba pang vocal abilities na meron ako.” The 17-year-old also believes that every artist has their own unique sound and style, “Lahat ng artists ay may distinct qualities na hindi nakikita o naririnig ng mga tao kaya pinapaubaya ko na sa kanila kung paano nila yun makikita sa akin.”
So what is next in store for Pauline? From non-stop invitations as a guest artist on different shows, from Wish Bus FM, to Laffline, and It’s Showtime, she admits that she is planning to continue her studies, “Sa ngayon, mag-aaral muna po ako pero hindi ko ise-set aside ang pagkanta ko. Open po ako sa mga possibilities na pwedeng mangyare dahil naniniwala akong mas maganda ang plano ng Diyos kaysa sa mga plano ko. Hindi ko po susukuan ang pangarap ko at mas pagbubutihan ko pa.” The young dreamer isn’t afraid to dream even bigger, too, as she believes that she can inspire and touch more people through her God-given talent, “Tataasan ko na po yung pangarap ko. Gusto ko po [na makapag perform] sa labas ng bansa para po mas marami pa akong mainspire na tao at syempre dahil na rin gusto kong makita ang mga taong iniidolo ko.”
With the break that Tawag ng Tanghalan gave her, she didn’t only just inspire a lot of aspiring artists, she also met new people in her life, and most importantly, she became an even stronger person who is willing to fight for her dreams no matter what, “Natutunan ko pong maniwala sa sarili ko sa kabila ng mga taong nagmamaliit sa kakayanan ko.” Being in the public eye wasn’t all about the popularity. People will try to hit you with criticism and she doesn’t deny the fact that it had hurt her, “Nung mga panahong yun nasubukan yung tatag ko dahil sobra po akong naapektuhan sa mga sinasabi ng ibang tao at nawala yung fighting spirit ko pero ginawa ko silang motivation para lalong magpursige. Nagtiwala ako sa sarili ko dahil naisip kong walang ibang maniniwala sa akin, kung mismong ako ay hindi naniniwala sa saril ko.”
She also shares about her future plans, and it doesn’t stray far from her dreams, “Gusto ko pong magtuloy sa college at mag Conservatory of Music.” When asked if she has other plans outside music, she confesses that she wants to choose what makes her genuinely happy, and it still goes back to her love for music, “Palagi po yan pumapasok sa isip ko pero kahit anong gawin ko, ang lagi kong sagot ay singing pa rin dahil yun na po ang buhay ko. Hindi ko po naiimagine ang buhay ko na iba ang ginagawa ko kasi gusto ko pong gawin ang bagay na totoong magpapasaya sa akin.”
It is impressive that a very young and talented small-town girl knows exactly what she wants. There is no doubt that if you’re head on focused to what you really wanna do, you’ll absolutely be who you wanna be. No matter how young you are, or where you’re from, anything is bound to come to life. Pauline has proved that she doesn’t only have the talent that can lead to numerous standing ovations and millions of views. She has the courage to dream big and move to higher grounds. She’s more than just a so-called biritera, and her compelling positivity will definitely take her to a ride that’s truly worth the shot.