By LUCKY MAE F. QUILAO May 22, 2015 2:08pm
AL AIN, United Arab Emirates — While others would join singing contests to win prizes or start a career, Mark Rodel Sularte Arellano joined one for a different reason — to boost his self-confidence.
After surviving his first karaoke contest in 2010, it was all a walk in the park for the 34-year-old sales associate.
Mark Rodel Sularte Arellano
“After that first competition, dun na nag-start yung desire [ko] na kumanta sa stage at sumali sa mga contest kasi parang from there, parang bumalik yung tiwala ko sa sarili na puwede rin pala ako manalo ulit,” Mark shared an email, referring to the karaoke contest at the Rockwell Bar in Capitol Hotel-Al Mina, Dubai.
To date, Arellano has joined 10 singing contests, winning in six of them.
“2010 ako unang nanalo pero di ako nakasali ng grand finals kasi nataon na vacation ko nun sa Pinas,” he said. “Four times akong runner-up and twice din na nakapag-champion.”
Just this March, Arellano was hailed “The Last Singer Standing,” a karaoke competition held at the New Pegasus in Dubai.
For his family
But Mark is not the only one benefitting from his success in the microphone, as he makes it a point to send part of his cash prizes to his family back in the Philippines.
“Bukod sa napunan yung desire mo na kumanta at ma-appreciate ng mga audience ang performance mo, after that may extra money ka pa out of the contest,” said Mark, who works in an industrial gas company.
“Dun ako nagsimula na sumali ng sumali kasi naisip ko na malaki maitutulong nito bilang extra na padala sa pamilya ko sa Pinas if ever na manalo ako,” he added.
Despite his achievements, Mark still considers himself an “amateur” when it comes to singing. “I consider myself pa rin na amateur kasi I am not doing it professionally. Kumbaga, parang part-time lang siya at kung may pagkakataon,” he said.
Mark, however, admitted that he was a late bloomer when it comes to singing.
Back in elementary and high school, he was a dancer. Then, for four years, he was a teacher, teaching the subjects Math, Religion, Physical Education, Health & Music in a Catholic school in the Philippines.
“[Pero] dahil sa salary is not enough, I decided to take a chance to fly abroad dala ng pangarap para sa buo kong pamilya,” he said.
“That very moment na nag-resign ako at lumipad to work here in Dubai, it all ended from there. But, since for almost eight years ay heto na ginagawa ko, I don’t see myself anymore going back to the teaching world. I just love that fulfilment of singing, making my audience believe on what I am singing,” Mark added.
Mark concluded that singing “will always be my passion.”
“Consolation na lang ang palakpakan ng mga tao,” he said.