Pinoy talents topped WCOPA 2013

wcopa2013winnersPinoy Pride is shining bright and soaring high again.

In the recently concluded World Championship Of The Performing Arts held in Hollywood, California USA, the Philippine flag was raised to the highest level again as we dominate its 2013 Grand Championship.

Dubbed as the Olympics of the Performing Arts, WCOPA is an annual event showcasing different talents from all over the world. And for this year Filipino’s again proved that we are the nation to beat when it comes to talent competitions.

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I am a Filipino, proud …yet suffers, too

This is the 3rd installment to the 4 poems of Mr. Apolinario Villalobos. A very heartfelt piece which tackles our being Filipino. It’s really indeed a pride to be part of this race, but more should still be done for us to develop and prosper.

I am a Filipino, proud
…yet suffers, too
By Apolinario B Villalobos

“Let us not lose hope…”
This I have to say first
For if I won’t, but instead
Put that line at the end
I will be stirring your anger
That I will just regret later.

When foreign people
Set foot on our sacred shore
Our ancestors welcomed them -
Not just with smile
But warm embrace
Showed them kindness
Showed them love -
The way of Filipinos
As the whole world knows.

The Chinese brought pots and silk
Gave names to our islands and islets,
The Japanese brought their skill
And goods of steel,
Spain sent forth Christianity
Tainted with gracious civility,
The Americans brought more-
More than what we could muster
And all of these-
Supposed to enrich our culture
But instead, defiled our identity
Stained much of it with sheer gravity!

I hear Filipinos speak English with a twang
But should not be, when they speak our language –
Filipino, the rich language of every Juan.

I see Filipinos enjoy foreign food, every bit of it
But should not be, when they push aside
Our own sinigang and pinakbet.

I hear Filipinos sing foreign songs so soulfully
It’s just nice, but not when they despise
Our own that should be sung with dignity.

Deep inside, I suffer as I see and hear them
I know that just like me, others out there
Are gritting their teeth but can’t do anything;
Proud as a Filipino, yes I am
But so many things are left undone –
Things that our heroes in the past have begun
They who put color
To the vivid pages of our history;
Things that should have been done
By our heroes of today
But who died just when a new light
Started to shine on our democracy.

Leaders, policy makers, lawmakers…
Are they…really?
They who warble promises
And steal the people’s money?
Paid with lofty sum from the coffer
Where money for those who suffer
Should have come
Should have been done
But only the few – these warblers
Enjoyed no end, they who are supposed
To be brimming with wisdom!

After the father, comes the wife
Then the daughter, and the son
Not contented, the cousins and in-laws
All in the family, to power they strut
With a taunt in their face that says:
“What are we in power for,
And you with money has none
Eat your heart out, here we come!”

Rain that used to bless the earth
Filipinos now desist
Especially those who live
Along the river banks of the cities
For with it comes the flood
A curse that only the Bible says
Shall wipe out sinners
From the face of the earth;
But why…the floods?
Simple: the money for saving projects
The conscienceless -
Unscrupulously pocketed!

Innocent lengths of asphalted roads
That for long defied the trash of nature
Helplessly wrecked by greedy contractors
So that low-grade fresh overlay can be spread
Later giving up to rain’s patters
And treading of cars, trucks, and all…

Even the precious school books are not spared
By purported educators blinded with greed
Seeing to it that new ones, yearly will be printed
Exam questions, at the end of every chapter
Are cleverly printed!
So then, closing school years would also see
These books so dear, become useless -
Thrown to the garbage, not to be used
By aspiring younger brood of the family.

I am pained by the sight
Of plates at restaurants
and food stations of the malls -
Half –finished food left with pride
By those who seem to say
“I am rich, I can squander money”
And who never thought
That out there in the dumps
Some brethren try to salvage morsels -
Precious food that could be stuffed
Into their guts so they can live
Better than nothing, or they’re dead.

I said in the beginning of this:
Let us not lose hope…
But wish for the best
If we strive together
And do what is right
Then new life for us
Will be in sight!

Jessica Sanchez, The People’s Idol, Pinoy Unity Ambassador

She may not have won the title of American Idol but Jessica definitely gained the stars of her own. Singing her way to the finals, she was able to once again raise the pride of the Filipino people. Being a Filipina-Mexican immigrant in the US, 16 year old Jessica made Filipinos glued to their TV screens every time she sings and competes in the American Idol stage. Her dreams and aspirations became source of inspiration to many people especially Pinoys here and in the U.S.

Since childhood she was already accustomed to performing in front of many people. At her early age she was already joining several singing competitions which helped her hone her vocal skills. She in fact also competed in America’s Got Talent but she wasn’t able to advanced into the finals.

During her American Idol journey, she became an early favorite, getting several standing ovation performances from the audience and the Idol judges. She also experienced some trips to the bottom 3 and her elimination in the Top 7 which was derailed by the judges 1-time saving power. From then on she proved to be the girl to beat as she became the only female contender in the top 3 and eventually entering the finals. Her ascension to stardom is really something that inspires aspiring singers and other dreamers, that dreams really do come true to those who are persistent and determined.

But what’s more notable about Sanchez’ journey is the unity that was again shown by the Filipinos. This is evident by the resounding online campaigns for Jessica for her not to be eliminated in the competition. It can be compared to how Pinoys are supporting every bouts of Manny Pacquiao. The competition which is ought to be among American’s only became another battle of races as Filipinos in and outside the U.S. went out their way to throw their support for Jessica. Indeed it was another shining moment for Pinoy Pride, because for some time we became united again to support a Kababayan. Just like with Pacman’s fights, several free viewings of the Idol Finale were slated in Manila and other parts of the country as a show of support for Jessica. Filipino community in the U.S. were also united in campaigning for her. Numerous voting parties were organized by the Filipino communities to attract more votes for her. It was indeed a united Philippines in support of the Filipina Jessica.

It’s really happy to see Pinoys united for the sake of another Kababyan. How I wish it’s always Pacquiao Day or Jessica Day, so we can always see this unity among us. Now that we knew that unity among Filipinos is not an impossible thing, hope we can try this everyday to push for the improvement and development of this country. Jessica maybe an icon or symbol of unity but can’t we, each one of us be that symbol or unifying factor for our own’s best interest? If we can do it with Pacquiao or Jessica, it’s not impossible to do it for our family and for the future generations of this country. Let our future became our inspiration to become unified in pushing for a better Philippines.

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“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”- J.K. Rowling