Fun and Fast Facts About UTAWIT 2011
by Stephanie Jones Jallorina
At natapos na naman ang taunang UTAWIT!!! Sa mga di nakadalo sa matagumpay na UTAWIT noong Linggo, November 6, sa Nissho Hall, heto at ibinabahagi namin sa inyo ang masasayang kaganapan:
7/11 – Hindi yung conbini kungdi para ipaalam na Seven Years Old in 2011 Na ang UTAWIT.
30 - at isa sa pinakaunang dumating na mga panauhing nangga-ling pa sa Shizuoka! Naka-uniform pa sila ng green na jacket bilang suporta sa kanilang kalahok.
50 – ang panauhing dumating galing sa Nagano, na may dala-dalang mga banner para bigyan ng lakas ng loob ang kanilang mang-aawit.
600 – humigit-kumulang ang kabuaang dumating na panauhin kahit malakas ang ulan, na animo’y biyaya na ikinatagumpay ng paligsahan.
On-time at Malinis– Nagsimula sa eksaktong oras, natapos ng 10 minutes bago ang naitakdang oras. Di makalat at madaling nakapagligpit, malaking puntos para sa Pinoy!
Lalaki – Lalaki pa rin ang nanalo, taga-Tokyo, si Mark Warren T. de Luna. Mga 3-seconds late siya bago naka-react ng tinawag ang pangalan niya bilang Kampeon, at nasa likod pa mandin siya ng mga Emcee na bumanggit ng kanyang pangalan.
Hiyawan, sigawan at tilian – ang iilan lang ngunit solid sa suporta na mga kaibigan ni Mark Warren sa kanyang Encore.
Produksyon – “Anak ng Teting” ang pamosong expresyon ng Director na si Ms Edith Bautista, ang cool at astig na lider ng produksyon na cute na cute nasa gilid ng kurtina sa stage sa kabuuan ng program.
Production & Staff – mga perstaymers halos pero nairaos din ng mahusay ang programa, salamat sa Diyos!
Emcee – na kwela, may drama at tatatlong pares pa! Makulay, ma-beauty at ma-three!
Usherettes – genki na naka-Filipiniana at nagtatakbo noong raffle.
Gawad-Kalinga Sibol (Felicity) – 23 noong 2009, 33 noong 2010 ang natulungan, sa ipinakitang suporta, binigay na donasyon ng taong itong, siguradong marami-raming bata pa ang masasagip at matutulungan, marami ang sisibol ng makulay at haharapin ang bukas na puno ng pag-asa.
Teary-eyed din si Ms Irene Kaneko, Chairman ng UTAWIT ExeCom, ng nag-encore si Mark dahil sa magandang kinalabasan ng programa sa kabila ng mga challenges sa pag-organize ng UTAWIT 2011.
ConGen Confiado at Madam Precie Confiado – Advisers ng UTAWIT, ngunit aalis na ng Japan for their next post. Kaya mula sa lahat ng bumubuo, sumusu-baybay at tumatangkilik ng UTAWIT, maraming, maraming salamat po! Hanggang sa muling pagkikita!
The Stars of Hope
UTAWIT 2011 Grand Finalists
by Stephanie Jones Jallorina
Maria Lourdes “Odette” Adachi
The Philippine Star
Not the Philippine daily newspaper but Odette is the Star who will stand to shine for the Philippines at all platforms, at all times. Her earning the title as the “Child Wonder” from the Grand Finals of the Showbiz with The Salvador’s proves her tremendously overwhelming singing vitae all throughout the entertaining years of her life. Her decision to work in Japan was strongly motivated by her desire to enhance her skills, to grow more professional in her field, and to achieve what her inspirations Marlene de la Pena and Charito have here in Japan. More than that, Odette shows dedication to her craft by self-imposing a two-hour vocalization everyday and avoiding drinking and smoking to keep her vocal chords well, a discipline that Filipinos can also religiously observe. With her piece, Kailangan Kita, Odette shall express the beautiful feeling of caring, loving and later on, returning to her love, among which is, the Philippines.
Janet “Net” Portugal
The Maternal Star
Net is the Star who was influenced by her mother to pursue her singing talent. Now that she is a mother herself as well, Net dreams of inspiring her own kids and the world by striving to become a famous singer like her idol, Whitney Houston. From her singing experiences at church, in a band, and some clubs, Net pushes her luck through UTAWIT to not only put Nagoya in Filipino-Japanese singing map, but to emphasize her maternal instinct, through her rendition of Isang Lahi, that above all, we are all one in the eyes of our Creator.
Christine “Cris” Sasaki
The Charity Star
Cris should have been named “Charity” instead, as she has quite devoted her life to it. But as they say, there is no accident in life; who knows, maybe her name “Cris” is her secret to easy success. Yes, Cris has only gained her singing experience in the last two years that she was invited to perform for family and friends in charity events. Thus, she is so happy and honored to become part of UTAWIT 2011 which for her is definitely a good training ground to hone her performing skills. Cris, a Filipina, is yet to render a Japanese song entitled, “Wasuremono” which is about a woman who does not know how to express her true feelings for the man she loves.
The Imperial Star
From maternal, we introduce you to The Imperial Star that represent and pride on “three empires” with the entry of her name: Valera, Vasquez and Tanikawa. At such an early age though, Jasmin’s family broke up but she took it as a challenge and delt with it by unearthing her singing potentials. As early as 12 years old, Jasmin would hop from one church to another, joining choir groups, singing gospels, and playing the organ. Her wealthy experiences prepared her to Japan, where later on she found herself joining several singing contests, till she bagged the Regional Qualifying spot at Nagano. Her struggles are like raising single-handedly the three beautiful children she is with. It is a dream that continues; it never stops at one failure, or one championship, Patuloy ang Pangarap.
Takeshi “Take” Ashida
The Chemistry Star
Take is yes, the infamous, and the supposed third persona of the Japanese Pop and R & B duo, Chemistry, that won the Asayan audition, similar to American Idol series. The Chemistry must have some chemical reactions to him you can only imagine him singing while working at a gasoline stand in Hokkaido. Take hugely considered joining UTAWIT as a stepping stone to becoming the next icon like Kaname Kawabata of Chemistry. Take will sing for us Yubiwa, meaning “ring” to let every single ladies know that his biggest challenge in life is to find that someone special.
Melita “Milet” Gumatay
The Church Star (Utawit 2011 3rd Place Winner)
Not the Star Church of Walt Disney but Milet is the Star born in the church singing praises and worships. God revealed His gift of music to Milet through her classmates back in school. She would then fervently believe that she will receive whatever she will ask in intimate prayer. True enough, she was blessed even beyond that, her dream of becoming a professional singer came true when she landed here in Japan. It is not her own doing but it is the opportunities that find their way to her. It was her Japanese friends that informed her about UTAWIT but more than her personal ambition, she joins UTAWIT for the noble cause of bringing kids to school so that like her piece, Kahit Isang Saglit, she can show them her love.
Mark “Warren” de Luna
The Opera Star '(UTAWIT 2011 GRAND CHAMPION)
Warren looks like your typical boy next door, a young engineer from the Philippines who simply dream of sharing what he really loves which is singing and, coming to Japan to provide for his family. But lo and behold, Warren, whom he say of himself, can “sing a little bit of opera” competed lang naman in the 4th World Choir Games in Xiamen, China during college. He is now coming back with much humility through UTAWIT to regain his confidence in Solo Performance, and to become the person in his rendition of IKAW, a person who is grateful and faithful to his love, his love for music.
Emily “Ems” Takasu
A Star in Her Own Right
Ems is a self-proclaimed star. She was only six years old when she thought she can sing. Since then, she only has herself to count on in pursuing a dream that Filipinos are well-known of. She is a caregiver by profession but she would never stop imitating her favorite singers. Among them are Mariah Carey, Charice and Exile that, who knows, will eventually lead her to reap equal their riches and fame someday. While longing for that dream, let us hear her interpretation of a Japanese song, Aitakute Ima.
Bernadette “Berna” Okuno
The Star Records
Berna’s favorite song is, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore,” and her favorite singers are Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. She has been singing most of her life that, eventually, she has become more and more professional. She is well-versed with the in and out of music, especially in recording that helped pave the way for her Inder production company to reach Japan. Berna may work on her dreams of having her own recording business one day but she will always pay tribute to her first love, music, with her intepretation of Mahal Kita.
Maria Cristina “Rhie” Mariveles
The Libra Star
Born in October, Rhie’s Libra sign indeed shows her competitiveness socially and intellectually. From joining UTAWIT since 2008, she is determined to win this year’s UTAWIT Grand Finals. She emphasized that she only has one thing to prove by joining UTAWIT again, and that is to let us all know how “a competitive singer” she is like her idols Misia and Sarah Geronimo. Will her birthday gift arrive a little late this year? Is Dreaming, a song about never giving up dreams, her winning piece? Well, let us all together be dazzled with her fighting spirit!
Keiko “Kei” Kuriyama
The TimeFlies Star
Kei is our only female Japanese contender this year, and TimeFlies is a vocal unit that she has started back in 2009. Her earliest UTA memories were singing to her grandparents during her childhood that always make the latter very happy. Since then she performs in club events and dances in street festivals and, time flies so fast that when she reached the age of 22, she considered being asked if she wanted to pursue her singing career as the turning point of her life. Tall, beautiful, and has a deeper voice, but Kei like her piece, Kiseki Wo Nozomu Nara (If You Wish For A Miracle), wishes to attract her listeners with her warmth and love.
Makoto “Mac-Mac” Inoue
The JaPinoy Star
Obviously half-bred as seen in his features, Mac-Mac is also raised in a musically-inclined family. Throughout his much younger days, he would be invited to sing in weddings, events and jam with local and international bands that visit the Philippines. Mac-Mac is close to idealistic youngster of this generation who is set to showcase UTAWIT as a medium for musical dreams to come true for both Filipinos and Japanese, or mixed. Mac-Mac will serenade us with the song Never Ever Say Goodbye, his way of saying that, whether as a professional singer, a recording artist or a composer, to music, he is here to stay.
Florence “Yeye” Liwanag
The Shining Star (UTAWIT 2011 2nd Place Winner)
If not once, twice, thrice still try because who knows you will get it the fourth time. And Yeye did! Truly, situations are sent when we need them. There is always a time and season for everything; provisions are always on time. From her last name “Liwanag,” Yeye’s star shines with her glistening light, at her own special moment. She is humble to say though that she only love singing that much and she only joined UTAWIT to have an experience but all along, she showed this determination to win everytime she loses. Will Lipad ng Pangarap be the source of light that will guide her to dreamland? Well, who knows, there’s this popularized Vanessa Williams single about the best is saved for last.