Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 May 2019

Focus on the Philippines: Domestic worker impresses on X Factor Denmark

Filipino contestant appears in South Korean singing show; Michael Cinco launches ready-to-wear line in Manila; Katarina Rodriguez finishes runner-up in Miss Intercontinental; Filipino film to screen in Egypt film festival.

Vanessa Latefa Pampilo on The X Factor Denmark. Bjarne Bergius Hermansen / DR1
Vanessa Latefa Pampilo on The X Factor Denmark. Bjarne Bergius Hermansen / DR1

Vanessa Latefa Pampilo, a 24-year-old Filipino domestic worker from Zambaonga del Sur, impressed the three judges of The X Factor Denmark during the reality talent competition’s five-chair challenge, where singers compete for five slots in each of the show’s categories: age 15 to 22s, over 23s and groups.

The judging panel is comprised of singer Sanne Salomonsen, jazz musician Thomas Blachman and composer and producer Remee, who mentors the over-23s.

Remee gave Pampilo one of the five chairs after her performance of the song Unsteady by the American rock band X Ambassadors.

“What you did there, with all due respect — that performance will take you directly to the finale,” Blachman told her.

Pampilo has been working in domestic jobs in Denmark for four years.

In an interview with The Filipino Channel, she said: “I never saw myself joining singing contests because I thought I wasn’t good enough. But, at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself no matter what it takes.”

Filipino contestant appears in South Korean singing show

Another Filipino contestant has made waves in a foreign reality singing programme: Sephy Francisco, who works as a call-centre representative in Manila, appeared in the premiere episode of the South Korean edition of I Can See Your Voice.

The show’s format features professional musicians and artists attempting to guess whether a contestant is a competent singer or not.

Francisco covered the song The Prayer, performing both Andrea Bocelli’s and Celine Dion’s vocal parts. The guest panel, which featured members of the boy bands Block B and Super Junior, thought Francisco did not have the vocal chops to pull of the song — and so were stunned throughout her performance.

Francisco previously appeared in the Philippine edition of I Can See Your Voice.

Michael Cinco launches ready-to-wear line in Manila

Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco flew to Manila over the weekend to launch his prêt-à-porter label Couturissimo. His store is located in the high-end mall Greenbelt 5 in Makati, the commercial and business centre of the country’s capital. It is Cinco’s first foray in ready-to-wear fashion in his home country.

The store currently carries pieces from Cinco’s fall/winter 2017 collection, which he showcased at Paris Couture Week in 2016. His recent spring/summer collection that showed in London Fashion Week is scheduled to arrive in April.

“It has always been my dream to have a store back home,” Cinco told the Philippine Star. “I get a lot of inquiries from Filipina clients who want to buy some of my clothes, but I always tell them that I don’t have a prêt-à-porter line. It’s good for them now that they can afford mini-couture.”

The launch party of Couturissimo was attended by several celebrities and personalities, including Laura Lehmann, Karylle Padilla, Marian Rivera, Vicky Belo, Margie Moran and Audrey Tan Zubiri.

Katarina Rodriguez finishes runner-up in Miss Intercontinental

Filipino contestant Katarina Rodriguez placed first runner-up in the Miss Intercontinental 2017 beauty pageant, held in Hurghada, Egypt on Wednesday.

Mexico’s Veronica Salas Vallejo won the crown, while contestants from the Netherlands, Brazil, Colombia and Korea completed the final six.

Rodriguez, 24, previously appeared in the reality television programme Asia’s Next Top Model, where she also finished as runner-up.

“The most important thing that I have learned in joining Miss Intercontinental is the word ‘meraki’,” Rodriguez said during the competition’s question-and-answer round. “It means to do all things with passion, soul, and creativity. When I heard this word and its definition, it resonated with me — and I think it will for the rest of my life.”

Filipino film to screen in Egypt film festival

Filipino director Arbi Barbarona’s latest feature, Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right to Kill), has been selected to compete in the Freedom and Human Rights section of the 7th Luxor African Film Festival, to be held in Egypt from March 16 to 22.

The film chronicles the story of an indigenous family in the Southern Philippine region of Mindanao as they struggle with threats of mining and militarisation in their ancestral land.

“It’s an honour to be the only Asian film to be invited to the Luxor African fest, especially for a section that highlights human rights and the dignity of people,” Barbarona told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“It’s important for audiences to watch Tu Pug Imatuy because it tackles the same advocacies pursued by people everywhere: the struggle for human rights, land reform and other noteworthy aspirations.”


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Updated: February 1, 2018 03:46 PM