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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Juvie Pelos, an alumna of the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), impressed the superstar coaches of the high-rating ABS-CBN reality singing search "The Voice of the Philippines" by singing "Uwahig", last Saturday.

Starting with an a capella, the 'kundiman' singer warbled the lyrics of the little-known folk ballad “Uwahig” (Bukidnon for ‘water’). It is an original piece from a critically acclaimed play of the same title written by Stephen Patrick Fernandez and performed by MSU-IIT’s Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) theater company, where Pelos was a resident-artist. The song was written by Geejay Arriola and the Mebuyan Peace Project, seven years ago.

The coach-judges were apparently dumbfounded from what they’ve heard from the 21-year old Surigaonon. At the early moments of the performance, the dazed Lea Salonga can be overheard saying "What song is this, do we know?". Another judge,, mumbled in bewilderment: “It's different... Oh man.” It was the first time that such song genre was heard in a national reality TV show.

It was midway through the song, when judge Bamboo MaƱalac, hit the button in order to signify that he wants the shipping lines boarding officer to be on his team. He repeatedly slammed the button which drew laughs from the audience. Lea Salonga, on the other hand, was the second judge to turn her chair for the MSU-IITian singer. Sarah Geronimo and also followed on the dying seconds of the song, completing the four-chair turn – a rarity in the said show since its premiere last June 15.
After the performance, Lea Salonga described the Surigaonon singer’s performance as "too interesting to ignore.", after pulling off his antic of contacting with his phone, felt that the song brought him “way back to his roots”. Another judge, Sarah Geronimo, said that Pelos brought them to "a different dimension". The popstar said that Pelos’ exceptional voice is the perfect representative of the country. Lastly, clearly blown away, Bamboo said that Pelos was his “diwata” (fairy). He also jokingly said that he needs a “doctor in the house” for he might he actually hurt his right hand by incessantly hitting the button. In the end, the IPAG singer eventually chose her "idol", the Tony Award-winning artist Lea Salonga.
Unknown to many, from her humble roots in Surigao City, Pelos went to Iligan to pursue a college education and had to join MSU-IIT’s theater company in order to study for free. She also made ends meet in the university by selling glutathione soap and instant coffee. She earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science two years ago in MSU-IIT. Pelos was also the recipient of the college awards for Performing Arts and also was the Singer of the Year in 2011.

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