Manila Bulletin Entertainment by: Walden Sadiri
Another GMAAC star wins in a world Competition!It seems that GMA Artist Center is on a lucky streak this quarter of the year as far as international recognitions are concerned. Just recently, Jonalyn Viray and Brenan Espartinez, two of the Center’s
talented singers, wowed audiences and the judges with their singing prowess at the recently concluded World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) or Talent Olympics last August. They made our country proud as they brought home Gold Medals and Plaques of Recognitions.Then only after a month, here comes Aicelle Santos, another talented performer from GMAAC’s pool of artist who emerged victorious at the 2006 Astana Music Festival held in Astana, Kazakhstan. She won Best Performance of Own Country Song plus a US$3,000 cash prize!“Actually, parang break-even lang ang nangyari because I had to bring my mother with me and I paid for her fare. Siyempre, I need someone to look after my things, help me with my dress and makeup and everything. Vehnee also helped to get me sponsorships for our expenses,” she explained.This annual international music festival had 14 contestant had to interpret a Kazakhstan song and render an original song from their country of residence. Aicelle’s Kazakhstan song was “Aking Ama” with lyrics by Vehnee Saturno and her winning piece was “Ba’t Di Subukan (If We Just Hold On),” with music by Vehnee and Doris Saturno.“I really don’t know the reason I was picked but I’m very greatful that Vehnee Saturno and Ms.Ida Henares of GMA Artist Center chose me to be our country’s representative to the competition. I feel very lucky and happy of course,” related Aicelle.For competition purposes, “Ba’t Di Mo Subukan,” which was originally sang by Jonalyn Viray, was given a new arrangement. Aicelle described her version to be a “fight song”.“Kailangang maraming birit na parts so we’ll have a good chance,” she quipped. I want to have an album someday and to be known as a successful recording artist who has a hit song played on the radio. I also want to do concerts,” she said.After, the 2006 Astana Music Festival, Aicelle hopes to conquer more international singing competitions if given the chance. If ever he wouldn’t mind representing the country too in next year’s WCOPA.