The best and brightest of the world have been taming the stage this week at the World Championships of Performing Arts — and among the brightest talents, the Philippines.
Team Philippines sent 109 contestants, and 24 made the semi finalists — while 10 have made the finals to compete on Friday night.
The group cheered and cried on Philippine night as finalists were announced.
“Gusto ko irepresent yung Philippines sa ibang bansa tsaka gusto ko ishare Yung talent ko sa ibang bansa,” said finalist Nhikzy Calma.
Aside from Calma, many familiar kapamilya joined the team — including past WCOPA champions Rhap Salazar and Jed Madela, who is now coaching the team.
“My goal every time I see a new budding Filipino artist I have this urge to really help out… because I know how it feels starting its difficult to find support especially if you do not have a name yet,” Madela said.
It’s not just Filipinos representing the Philippines. Global Filipinos also take pride in representing other countries.
“It’s a bit mixed feelings because I have to stick with my Great Britain, but half of me says I have to stick to the Philippine team as well. But I am definitely representing Great Britain but in my heart as well I’m a Filipino,” said Joel Miranda from Team Great Britain.
While championships last for only about a week, for the Filipinos who worked hard to get here, it is year round commitment and dedication.
Considered the Olympics of performing arts, talents — many who come from humble backgrounds — train and compete year round as they try to raise money to get to the big event, despite the declining value of the Philippine pesos.
“It’s never stopped us working very hard, looking for sponsors to be able to be able to participate. We’re not only representing the Philippines, but the Filipino people were giving a good name to Filipinos world wide, so we get more respect from a lot of countries,” said Gerry Mercado, WCOPA Philippines National Director.
Filipino finalists in a variety of categories from music, to dance, to modeling will put on their final performances on Friday night at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, with the awards ceremony will take place Saturday morning.