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Winnipegger Paul Ong performs in China

Paul Ong Ong Award We Remember Poster

 

Paul Ong, a well-known singer in Winnipeg’s Filipino and Chinese communities, is heading to Beijing, China this month to perform in the Water Cube Cup 2017 Overseas Chinese Youth Singing Competition. Participants from more than 55 countries will sing Chinese songs in the competition, which is sponsored by the Chinese government and several Chinese companies.

Paul was born in the Philippines and he speaks Tagalog fluently as well as Mandarin and Fukien. He was selected to represent Winnipeg after winning a regional competition.

“I am very excited to once again represent the country and the Filipino-Chinese community in Winnipeg. And I’m quite delighted that I will represent not only the Chinese community in Winnipeg, but of course, the Filipino community as well,” said Paul.

Delegates representing their countries will be undergoing workshops when they arrive in China. They will engage in four rounds of competitions from July 20 to August 8 at the Water Cube, Olympic Park in Beijing, China. Aside from workshops there will also be activities that will immerse participants in Chinese culture.

The annual event aims to promote Chinese culture and to encourage Chinese youth overseas to be culturally aware and to be proud of being Chinese.

This is not Paul’s first singing competition. In 2015, he was one of Canada’s representatives at the World Championships of Performing Arts. He won in all of his chosen categories. He was also awarded the Overall Champion of the World for Vocal Contemporary for his age division and a two-year scholarship from the New York Film Academy. In 2012, he was a part of Canada’s Got Talent and was selected as the Hometown Hero for Manitoba featured in a Tim Horton’s television advertisement. He has also participated in several shows with artists from the Philippines, China, and local artists in the city. In November 2016, he launched his album Paul Ong: Broadway Classics.

Concert for a Cause

Singing is not merely a competitive sport for Paul. He also uses his talent as a platform to inspire, empower, and support others and the community. His “concerts for a cause” have become an annual charity event. The theme for this year’s concert is We Remember, in honour of the brave men and women we commemorate on Remembrance Day, and also to celebrate Canada’s 150th year of confederation. Proceeds will go toward the Military Family Resource Centre.

This year’s concert will highlight classical pieces, Broadway songs, show tunes, and especially, jazz, with the Royal Canadian Navy Band of HMCS Chippawa collaborating with Paul. And, as part of Paul’s aim to provide opportunities for inner-city youth, he hopes that jazz band students will have the opportunity to play with this navy band. The concert is set for Saturday, November 4, 2017 at TecVoc High School.

Aside from being a singer, Paul is also Special Education Resource Teacher in the Winnipeg School Division, and is currently pursuing his Masters at the University of Manitoba.