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Emmie Joaquin    See you at the Pinoy Pop Star Semi-finals!

When we launched Pinoy Pop Star 2010 last November we did not expect to meet so many aspiring singers from our community. I met some of them when they were still children or teen-agers in the 1990s and early 2000s. This was due mainly to my producing the Tuklas Talino singing contest with CKJS Radio from 1990 to 2002. Now those children are young adults. Some are studying in university or practicing their chosen profession. Some have also settled down and are raising their young families. It was a joy to see that they have not abandoned their interest in the art of singing.

But more significantly, we met an outstanding number of new faces, most of them recent immigrants to Canada from the Philippines. This was undeniable confirmation that our Filipino-Canadian community will never run out of musical talents.


And the excitement is now building. For two consecutive nights on February 23 and 24, a total of 52 amateur singers will showcase their musical talents at the Pinoy Pop Star Semi-finals. It will be held in the Jaguars Dance Club at the Club Regent Casino with 30 semi-finalists performing on February 23rd and the remaining 22 displaying their artistry on February 24th. The sequence of the 52 semi-finalists and how they were divided to perform on two nights was determined by the luck of the draw.

Another highlight of the February 24th event is a special guest performance of local talent Jessica Viray. Jessica has participated in and won several competitions in singing and dancing in Canada and the U.S. She will be joined by back-up dancers Danielle Briol and Talia Kibsey, and by another young talent, Gino Yso.

Out of the 52 contestants, the board of judges will select 12 finalists. Their names will be announced on the second night, February 24th. Of course, we will highlight the 12 Pinoy Pop Star finalists in the March 1st issue of Pilipino Express but wouldn’t it be more exciting if you were there when their names are announced?

If you haven’t bought your tickets for the semi-finals yet, there’s still time. If you have a Club Card, you can avail of the discounted ticket price if you buy it at the Ticketmaster offices in the Club Regent Casino or McPhillips Station Casino. You can also buy the tickets at the regular price directly from Ticketmaster online or by phone.

See the 52 semi-finalists and find out when they are competing.

The 12 chosen finalists will compete for the major awards on the Grand Finals night scheduled for March 23 on the main stage of the McPhillips Station Casino.


Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Last February 14, we not only celebrated Valentine’s Day but we officially welcomed the arrival of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Metal Tiger.

And did you know how special this year’s arrival of Chinese New Year was? Just a little interesting trivia, it fell on the same day as Valentine’s Day. The last time that happened was in 1953, and the next time that will happen again is in the year 2048!

I love Chinese New Year. Looking back when we were growing up in the Philippines, I recall how my sisters and I eagerly looked forward to joining our Chinese kinakapatids (god-sisters and god-brothers) at the Lauriat table during their Chinese New Year celebrations. The full-course Chinese Lauriat comprised of no less than 10 main course dishes. By the time we got to the third or fourth dish, we, the children, would all be full but would still try to keep alert because we would want to be wide awake to get as many coins when the host would toss the lucky coins towards the end of the Lauriat party.

We also dressed in red or had red ribbons. They said it was for good luck – to drive away the bad spirits. Our parents had numerous kumpadres and kumadres from the Chinese community in Kalookan City and we would have an abundance of tikoy (traditional Chinese rice cake) and Chinese leg ham delivered to our house on Chinese New Year.

My Chinese friend told me that the Year of the Tiger will be a good year. It may have its ups and downs but as long as we try to overcome any obstacle with courage, we will win. The tiger is revered by the Chinese as the “king of animals” because it possesses a beautiful, strong body and at the same time, ferocious character. If there is a tiger in a family, that family is protected, according to their belief.

To all our Chinese friends, we wish you good fortune and prosperity, Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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