Celebrities / Entertainment / music / Opinion

Pinoy Pride: Filipinos on the global stage


by Nickie Wang

Whether it’s in sports, fashion, entertainment or performing arts, there are Filipinos who excel and make indelible marks in their chosen field. And what makes their countrymen rally behind them is their being proud of their roots.

Charice and Apl.de.Ap are two of the few examples who are making waves on the international scene. We have witnessed Charice’s Cinderella story from being a poor girl from Laguna joining numerous singing contest to becoming a global singing sensation. The 19-year-old singer is now the shining symbol of every Filipino’s undying dream to make it to the world’s entertainment capital.

Apart from his being a member of American hiphop group Black Eyed Peas, Apl.de.Ap (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. in real-life), on the other hand, has been a major supporter of Filipino talents in the US with his own music company called Jeepney Music, Inc. While discovering new talents, he constantly goes back to his homeland to do benefit concerts.

Both Charice and Apl are well-loved by many Filipinos because, apart from raising the Philippine flag everywhere they go, they also share their success through numerous philanthropic deeds.

Recently, two other inidividuals made the country proud. Though they were not born and raised in the Philippines, they identify themselves as Filipino talents.

Lyric dancer Marko Germar from Guam and hip hop artist Tadd Gadduang from Utah, both Filipino Americans, reached the finals of the American reality program So You Think You Can Dance. Marko and Tadd didn’t win the coveted America’s Best Dancer title, they placed third and fourth, respectively, but they both proved that given a chance, Filipinos can stand out on the dance floor.

In one of his interviews, 22-year-old Marko wore a UP Fighting Maroons shirt. Meanwhile, Salt Lake City based Tadd sported a Philippine flag shirt in of one his performances.

Marko and Tadd consider the unprecedented support the Filipino community as the main driver why they reached the finals and became the show’s top male contestants.

It’s also good to note that apart from the young dancers, another Filipino is part of the show. His name is Napoleon D’umo, a hip hop choreographer who has been part of the popular dance reality since its fourth season. He, together with his Italian wife, also supervises the choreography for America’s Best Dance Crew, the dance show that paved the way to other Fil-Am dance groups champions JabbaWockeeZ, Super Cr3w, Quest Crew are Poreotix.

It’s in the blood

It’s not the first time that Filipinos shine on the global stage. Of course, who can forget Lea Salonga, the very first Filipino artist to put the Philippines on the entertainment map of the world when she was signed by Cameron Mackintosh to play the lead role of Kim in the award-winning musical, Miss Saigon?

In the world’s most popular singing competition, American Idol, we saw Filipino singers competing side by side pureblooded Americans. The AI stage became the platform for Jasmine Trias, Ramielle Malubay, and recently, Thia Megia to showcase their singing skills.

Both Jasmine and Ramielle have already visited the country to thank their fans for their unparalleled support during their stint on American Idol. And this September, it’s Thia turn. The young chanteuse is Manila bound together with the finalists of the AI season 10.

YouTube sensations

With advent of new technology, the whole world seems to be living in just one community. Thanks to the power of the internet, people all around the world can communicate and share things with each real-time.

The power of technology was instrumental why Charice turned into an international star that she is now. And that success didn’t stop there as other names emerged in the video sharing site.

Take for example the five year-old identical twins Justin and Jeremy Garcia. The toddles are barely aware of the massive impact their dancing using the Just Dance game on Wii has made on the World Wide Web. In a matter of one month, their video on YouTube, which sees them dancing Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” has gone viral and been viewed more 2.6 million times.

The parents of the twins said that the video “was uploaded just for fun” without any hint that it’s going to be huge and much talked about. It was even picked up by Yahoo News, CBS, ABC, Huffington Post, and recently by TV Patrol. And because of the sudden fame, the Garcia twins are now tapped to do a television commercial.

The Garcia brothers are, of course, not the first Filipinos to make waves on the popular video sharing site. There are other YouTube sensations that we can easily identify as they make each Filipino proud. As they showcase Filipino talent on the global scene they also promote their uniqueness being a true Filipino in every sense of the word.

Prior to the dancing twins we had Maria Aragon, who visited Manila in July to sign an exclusive contract with Star Records. After her web video singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” became a massive viral hit, 11-year-old Maria Aragon, graced the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guesting was followed by Maria’s appearance in a concert with Lady Gaga in Toronto. The pop star personally invited her.

Meanwhile, it’s not always the kids that capture the world’s attention, before Charice, Maria and the Garcia twins, we had Arnel Pineda, who astounded the world with his powerful voice. Arnel was discovered on YouTube in 2007 and became the lead singer of the American rock band Journey since then.

Journey’s loyal fans received Pineda with open arms. They showed their support to the Pinoy pride by rallying behind the singer in numerous sold out arenas in Europe and Asia Pacific.  In 2008, the band released an album entitled Revelation. It’s Journey’s first recording project with Pineda. The record debuted at no. 5 in the Billboard Top 200 album and remained in the Top 20 for six weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA the first few days and eventually achieved platinum status. In May, Journey released its 14th studio album entitled Eclipse. It’s Pineda’s second album with the popular band.

These personalities are just few of the names that inspire more local artists to strive and continuously master their craft as everything doesn’t just depend on sheer luck. And in times when the country is plague by crises, they give boost to the people’s morale. Their achievements always make their countrymen say, “They make us feel proud to be a ­Filipino.”

Featured image taken from here

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