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Friday, June 24, 2011

Marie Tañaña as Total OPM Performer

The Philippine music industry recently welcomed new OPM star Marie Joyce Brade Tañaña, grand champion of the OPM@PAGCOR, A Nationwide Search for the Total OPM Performer.

Joyce says she almost gave up on her dream of becoming a successful singer. “Four years ago, I joined a contest where I invested too much effort, time and money. I lost in that competition and I was so frustrated that I stopped joining singing contests.”

Joyce’s decision to join the OPM@PAGCOR search was her last attempt to chase that seemingly elusive singing career. The contest, a joint project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), aims to discover new OPM stars.

“I told myself that if I lose in this contest, I will stop singing and I will just settle as a regular employee.” Joyce was recently hired by an international cruise ship.

As fate would have it, Joyce’s destiny is to become a winner… to be the country’s next OPM star. Her potential was seen by the OPM@PAGCOR judging panel composed of OPM president Ogie Alcasid, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, OPM founding president Celeste Legaspi, PAGCOR president and COO Jorge Sarmiento, and Mrs. Tet Naguiat (wife of PAGCOR chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr.).

The judges’ decision to name Joyce as the first Total OPM Performer was unanimous. She bested 13 other grand finalists, chosen from a field of 2,000 auditionees nationwide. She won the title through her soulful rendition of Lani Misalucha’s Tila. Joyce considers it her lucky song.

“I never expected to win because all the grand finalists were exceptional. Lahat sila bumibirit,” she says. “I believe my triumph was God’s way of telling me to never give up on what I love most, which is singing.”

The new OPM star credits the honing of her singing ability through her experiences and training as a member of the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Concert Chorus in Angeles City, Pampanga. According to Joyce, she usually represented AUF in inter-school competitions. She has also performed in several events outside the country like China and Thailand together with the AUF choir.

As the OPM@PAGCOR grand winner, Joyce took home a cash prize of P300,000, a recording contract and P500,000 worth of performance contract with PAGCOR.

According to Joyce, the lessons she gained from the week-long workshop with music educators and renowned music icons in the country added to the wonderful experience she had with OPM@PAGCOR.

“I remember what Sir Ogie Alcasid once said... that we should not be motivated by money. Dapat masaya ka din sa ginagawa mo. Importante yun. I am also very happy that all of us became friends. Sa lahat ng contests na sinalihan ko, ang OPM@PAGCOR talaga ang kakaiba,” says Joyce.

“Tinanggap ng singing search na ito kung sino ako at kung ano ang kaya ko. Walang Joyce kung wala ang PAGCOR at OPM.”

The prizes she received, says Joyce, will help finance the education of his younger brother and will help her family financially as well.

Despite her recent success, Joyce remains humble. “Kahit hindi ako makita sa TV basta marinig ko lang yung boses ko sa radyo at makapag-perform. Hindi ako nagkwekwenta kung magkano ang kikitain ko sa pagkanta. Basta para sa akin, kung hindi man ako mayaman, masaya naman ako basta nakakakanta ako.”

This pretty young singer has another great dream — to sing the Philippine National Anthem in one of Manny Pacquiao’s fights. Who knows?… Joyce’s dream isn’t all that far-fetched.

With all the struggles that she had gone through, it could have been easier for Joyce to stop dreaming. But like a real winner, she continued to strive for her dreams until victory was finally hers. Indeed, great things happen to those who believe. And “winners are losers who don’t quit.”

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