Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My WCOPA 2015 Journey (Part 2): The Arrival at LAX and The Westin at Long Beach

In my previous blog, I talked about how I got in to this competition and the highlights. But I also don't want to miss you out on the small but important things that happened in the competition week. For those who do not know, I am one of the Philippines' delegates for the WCOPA 2015 that was held in Long Beach, California from July 8-19, 2015 and I want to share to the whole world this wonderful experience. 

Took a selfie right before we landed LAX in my Team Philippines Jacket sponsored by Folded&Hung because why not? :p


As if the overwhelming feeling of touching the grounds of the American soil, passing through immigration and just being fascinated by how beautiful the Los Angeles International Airport were not enough, we were greeted with a very warm welcome by DOT to our delight. Amidst the jetlag and thanks to the food served by PAL during our flight, I found enough strength to pose and manage to smile for what seemed like eternity for the photo ops with Team Philippines, our National Director Mr. Gerry Mercado and Jed Madela himsef, a popular Filipino singer who is a World Champion Superstar. After the photo ops, two buses provided by DOT were already waiting for us. And God bless Mr. Henry Sanchez, one of Team Philippine's sponsors for years, for handing out sweet donuts for the trip to Long Beach. I don't know if you believe in signs, but those donuts were my divination that everything about that week is going to be S-W-E-E-T. 


The whole of WCOPA 2015 Team Pilippines carrying the DOT banner

Mr. Henry Sanchez, handing out donuts to everyone


Our hotel was the PERFECT location for the delegates. Restaurants, Walmart, pharmacies, Starbucks, train stations and even the venue for our Finals night were just a walk away. And I must say, the staff were all courteous. From the front desk, to the bell boys, to the cleaning ladies, everything were well trained to treat their customers in a professional manner. In fact, when I called the lobby about the fridge that was not working, they immediately sent a new fridge. Same thing happened when I called about the lock in the bathtub. To date, that was the longest time I had ever been in a hotel (10 days) and I am so glad that I had a fantastic time while staying. 

with my roomate, Juliet Bahala, in our hotel room. :)

I feel like this is such a poorly written blog so I have to stop. LOL. It was an exhausting day. In fact, I thought about writing this tomorrow but I couldn't sleep so I did it anyway. I promise to be better on my writing for tomorrow's blog because it is all about what happened in the competition week and trust me, you wouldn't want to miss it! ;)


Monday, July 27, 2015

My WCOPA 2015 Journey (Part 1): The Highlights

As of real time, I am writing this blog in my Mom's New York house. It has been three weeks of total chaos as far as my schedule is concerned (being the organized freak that I am when it comes to my schedule) and I got so used to it that having been idle for a couple of days now is driving me crazy. I was dying to do something; so I thought of blogging again since I didn't blog for awhile now. For those who do not know, I am one of the delegates from Davao who represented the Philippines as a vocalist for WCOPA or World Championships of Performing Arts that was held in Long Beach, California this year. We left NAIA on July 8 at 11:30AM, arrived LAX around 7AM on July 8, 2015 PST.

with Christian Bahaya of Y-Fi in our Team Jackets at NAIA while waiting for our flight to LAX


I originally planned to write about my WCOPA Journey as soon as we land in the States and blog real time or daily but jet lag and schedules got through me. Jet lag, boy, that sh*t is serious! I didn't know it could last for a week. I was at my weakest on our competition week because of this condition. I missed all of the celebration because I was too tired all the time. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed our competition week. I just wish I was a bit more of alive than zombie-ish.

Selfie at LAX ;)


To be honest, I didn't give it too much of a priority when I was informed about WCOPA late last year (2014). To me, joining WCOPA and going to the US is like so fetch: It's not going to happen.

So imagine my anxiety when the video auditions and the live auditions for Davao finally happened. I can still remember it vividly. I was not feeling well on live auditions day. I had the worst laryngitis and I didn't get enough sleep the previous night, but, I sang my heart out, as I always do in every song. Below is the video of all the Davao delegates' audition. 

I was in the mall buying a water heater two weeks later when I received the text from Mr. Jeremy Sarmiento, Director of Muzic'sKool and the official Davao Talent Scout for WCOPA that I got in. To my delight, my music family Zhalia, Y-Fi, Juliet Bahala, and Rigel Micolob got in too! Another talented kid for the Junior division was added to the group, Jona Soquite, who turned out to be a real darling. 

Mr. Gerry Mercado, the National Director of WCOPA Philippines who is also the manager of Mr. Jed Madela, personally went to Davao to orient the local delegates. It was such a thrilling experience! My dreams were slowly coming true. 

Briefing day with Mr. Gerry Mercado. Photo grabbed from WCOPA Philippines official instagram account

Everything happened so fast but it didn't come easy! But of course, nothing worth having comes easy. We needed money for our trip. We individually sent out sponsorship letters while Muzic'sKool organized events to raise money for our allowances aside from their sponsorship. Mrs. Katrine Sarmiento, wife of Mr. Jeremy Sarmiento, along with the rest of the MuzicsKool staff made it easier for all of the Davao delegates. They went as far as organizing a Peak Performance workshop with Mr. Rob Rances and a dress rehearsal for us to be confident on stage. 

Peak Performance workshop with Mr. Rob Rances 

I have soooo much to share that I can't share it all in one blog, else, you'd get dragged at and eventually get bored with my endless stories. LOL. This is only first of the series of blogs that I have yet to write about this wonderful experience.There were a lot of interesting things that happened but the highlight of my WCOPA Journey was me bagging medals on ALL of the styles that I joined. I won GOLD for Contemporary, SILVER for Pop, and SILVER for Variety and it was such a wonderful feeling. I've waited for that moment for 12 years! I will never, EVER forget this journey. ;) 

I am one of the worlds' best! Yay! :)