Last update: February 14 2011, 11:56 PM

No text votes for ‘OPM@Pagcor’ talent search

February 14, 2011

THE BEST thing about it is that there won’t be any text votes to determine the winner. Ogie Alcasid describes the newly launched singing contest “OPM@Pagcor” as “an advocacy.” He says it’s all about finding genuine fresh talents who will hopefully comprise the country’s next generation of pop stars.

Alcasid, president of the local singers’ group Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mangaawit (OPM), came with his fellow officers Noel Cabangon and Dingdong Avanzado to the contest’s press con held at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) office in Casino Filipino Parañaque.

“We initiated the project and approached Pagcor,” Cabangon, OPM vice president for external affairs, told the Inquirer. “We lack the resources to mount this on a nationwide scale and we felt Pagcor would be receptive to the idea.”

True enough, the state-run gaming firm saw the beauty of the project and the opportunities it offered. Pagcor will have first crack in showcasing the talents who will join the competition. Still cash-rich, but its income deeply affected by the opening of Resorts World, Pagcor needed to tweak its image and the singing contest might give it a nice boost.

Musical entertainment

For the past several years, Pagcor has been offering musical entertainment fare in its casinos featuring veteran and young performers.

It’s hiring of Bong Quintana as assistant vice president for entertainment is a strategic move to have access to as many music acts as possible, given his links with Boy Abunda’s talent and public relations firm Backroom where he used to work.

Apparently he played a key role in convincing Pagcor officials to consider the merits of joining forces with OPM for the contest.

“The contest has good intentions and we have high hopes for it,” said Quintana. He added that he’s happy with his job. “We’re not allowed to gamble,” he quipped.

“OPM@Pagcor” is formally titled as “A Nationwide Search For the Total OPM Performer” because the finalists will undergo workshops and training sessions with music professionals to prepare them for their possible careers.

“It will be like a reality show without the live TV coverage,” Quintana said.

Apart from the chance to learn from the country’s music pros, the grand prize winner will receive P300,000 cash, an album deal with a major record label, and another contract to perform at Pagcor’s Casino Filipino branches.

The second placer will take home P200,000 while the third placer will get P100,000.

The talent search is open to all amateur Filipino singers or persons with dual citizenship who are at least 18 years old. Applicants for the competition should not have won any major prize in any national singing competition.

Contestants may sing any local composition in Filipino, English, Visayan or other languages.

Deadline for submission of applications is on March 10. Auditions officially start on March 18 in Casino Filipino Angeles. Other audition venues are the Casino Filipino branches in Manila Pavilion, Tagaytay, Bacolod, Cebu and Davao.

The top two winners from the regional Casino Filipino competitions will qualify for the finals and performance workshop from May 28 to June 4.

Grand finals will be on June 10 to be held at the Pagcor Grand Theater, Casino Filipino Parañaque.

Log on to pagcor.ph or opm.org.ph or call 503-9878 or 852-7752 or 852-7760.

‘Organik Muzik’ concert tour

Joey Ayala and his former Bagong Lumad bandmates Popong Landero and Onie Badiang played together again at the Main Theater lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines recently for the preview of “Organik Muzik”—a concert tour mounted in conjunction with the 2011 Philippine International Arts Festival.

The event is part of the National Arts Month program of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“Organik Muzik” has shows and workshops scheduled on February 11 and 12 at the Matina Town Square, Davao; February 20 and 21 at Kamarikutan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan; and February 25 and 26 at Silliman University, Dumaguete.

Local artists, students and teachers are invited to the shows.

Favorite artist

Gloc-9, Tanya Markova and Sarah Geronimo are three of dozens of nominees for the 2011 MYX Music Awards whose winners are determined by text votes.

Voting officially started February 7 and ends March 7.

There are 19 categories, including Favorite Artist, Favorite Group and Favorite Music Video.

Gloc-9 and Sarah are in the running for Favorite Male and Female Artist, respectively; and Tanya Markova’s “Disney” is nominated for Favorite Music Video.

Log on to myxph.com for updates.

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