UAE: Filipinos do things only Filipinos can. In Dubai, a number of Filipino revelers flocked to Rocky’s Café in Regent Hotel for a pre-New Year celebrations, the Filipino way – singing showdown. Aptly dubbed “Voice Quest 2015”, organized by UAE’s master showman Enrico Cardoniga, a total of 27 hopefuls belted out their best for the win on the night of December 30, 2015.
Filipino-Puerto Rican Maureen Marcelo, winner of Philippine Idol 2006, won first place followed by Angela Libiternos, Aldrin Lumaban, and Bonz Safonteza, respectively. According to Cardoniga, Marcelo automatically qualifies for the Battle of Champions where in only first placers in singing contests would be qualified to join, which is slated this year.
Already in its fourth year, the Voice Quest singing competition is an annual event that has been attracting many aspiring singers across the UAE because of the generous take-home prizes at stake.
“I started organizing this event four years ago. I started at Lamcy Plaza with Voice Quest 1, Voice Quest 2 at Reef Mall, Voice Quest 3 in the old Makati Bar, and this is the fourth time that I organized this event. My main purpose for holding this kind of event is to give aspiring singers an opportunity to shine especially now that the number of good performers are increasing. The new breed of contestants are now better than before. Before most of them are stage-shy, but now they are more daring,” Cardoniga told The Filipino Times.
“Aside from Dh1,000 cash, we have given away a round-trip ticket, a karaoke unti and a flat TV for the champion. For the second prize we gave away Dh700 and an Xbox 360, Third prize is Dh500 plus Playstation 2 and fourth prize is Dh300 plus a karaoke unit. The internet has motivated these young aspiring artists to join singing contests like this. Aside from that, there are many event organizers now who hold competitions. As for the one I organize, we give away big prizes to encourage many
to join,” added the master showman.
For this year’s competition, Cardoniga has added special awards to be given to participants who did not make it to the top 4. He said, “This year we have seven special awards aside from the four major prize. We have Best in Voice Quality Male; Best in Voice Quality Female; Best in Interpretation; Best in Showmanship; X Factor Award; and Best in Costume to show appreciation to those contestants who really made an effort to look their best for the contest.”