Easter Joy Parsacala of South Cotabato Chorale out-performed three other singers on Saturday, Dec. 08, to become the first champion of the solo sing-off category of the Manila Broadcasting Company’s (MBC) National Chorale Competition.
Parsacala, who received a Php 10,000 cash prize, said that she feels overwhelmed and thankful for the ‘answered prayer’.
The 21-year old singer from Southern Mindanao also mentioned that she dedicated her song to her family, who inspired her and was watching among the audience, especially to her father who coached her and also chose the piece that she used for the tournament.
She also said that the trust given by her chorale group and the province of South Cotabato gave her strength during her preparations for the competition.
“After chorale practice, meron pang practice sa bahay. Kahit late na, nag-prapractice pa rin. Nag-woworry nga kami ni tatay baka mabulabog yung kapit-bahay kasi gabing-gabi na nag-rerehearse pa rin kami,” Parasacala shared regarding her preparations.
“Pero worth it naman,” Parasacala added.
Prior to winning the maiden category of the annual chorale tournament hosted by MBC, Parasacala has also joined other singing competitions including TV shows Tawag ng Tanghalan, and the Davao leg of Little Big Star.
During the grand finals of the 2018 MBC National Chorale Championships, Ligao National High School Children’s Chorus also defended their reign over the children’s division of the tournament.
A happy Celger Venzon, the group’s conductor, said that they still feel overwhelmed even after winning the championship in two straight years.
Venzon believed that the difficulty of their pieces and the happiness that their performance brought to the audience paved their way to victory.
He also thanked Ligao city mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua, the principal of their school, the families and friends of the children for their support.
“Maraming-maraming salamat sa mga nanood at sumuporta sa amin, part kayo ng tagumpay namin ngayon,” Venzon said.
As for their future plans, the conductor said that the group will hold on to their Php 100,000 cash prize so that they can finally join an international tournament. He also mentioned that they might hold a concert to increase their funds.
Venzon also promised that his chorale group will once again give it their all to defend their crown next year.
Aside from Ligao National High School Children’s Chorus, first runner-up Oratory Boys Chorus also took home a trophy and Php 50,000 cash prize while third placer Balon Dagupan Children’s Choir got a Php 30,000 cash prize and fourth placer Batanes National Science High School Voices received a Php 15,000 cash prize.
Meanwhile, third time’s the charm for the Adamson University Chorale as they took home both the championship trophy for the open category and the Best Show Choir special award.
Darwin Vargas, the conductor of the Adamson University Choral, said that they didn’t expect to win the championship since this is the first time, after three attempts, that they advanced in the grand finals.
Vargas said that he chose difficult pieces for his group to perform, and also developed their dance moves for the tournament.
“Pinasayaw ko sila ng todo kasi that’s one of the things na medyo hindi okay yung choir ko. Ang aming goal is really to do a dance performance na maganda sa competition and I think it worked out well,” Vargas revealed.
The conductor admitted that they faced many concerns before the tournament, including scheduling practices. He said that the schedule of the tournament collided with the finals week of the students.
Vargas even mentioned that the group didn’t have practices after qualifying to the finals on Wednesday, Dec. 05, since their members have to study for their exams. The group only had their practice at 8:00AM on the finals day.
“Finals week kasi, sobrang hirap maghanap ng time to rehearse together,” Vargas explained. “Thank God naitawid naman kaninang umaga.”
The group also plans to save their total Php 160,000 cash prize, Php 150,000 from topping the open category and Php 10,000 for winning a special award, for ‘bigger plans’ like joining an international tournament particularly in Asia.
Vargas, meanwhile, is grateful to the management of the Adamson University for providing support by excusing members of the choral group from their classes in order to join practices, and giving them costumes and meals.
“Super pampered yung choir and, siguro, ito yung aming way of thanking them as well,” Vargas said.
The second place, meanwhile, went to the Philippine Normal University Chorale, who received Php 75,000; third place went to T.I.P. Chorale Society, who received a Php 40,000 cash prize; and fourth place went to Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, who received a Php 20,000 cash prize.
T.I.P Chorale Society also received an additional Php 10,000 cash prize for winning the Best Original Novelty Arrangement special award.
The four other finalists Coro Regina Coeli, DYCI Dagalak, the Baganihan Singers, and the South Cotabato Chorale each received Php 10,000 for passing through the semi-finals.