Pinoy kid in Canada writes about WCOPA win

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

Last July 18, the 12-year-old Ethan David bested 200 other contestants in the 11 to 15 years old category of the World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) where he represented Canada. He was proclaimed Junior Grand Champion Vocalist of the World. Ethan is the son of Froilan and Maridael David, who come from Pampanga but who have made their home in Canada. He was scouted by Janice Lozano, the WCOPA’s recently-appointed Western Canada director. 

While WCOPA champs have become a dime a dozen around here, they are a rarity in Canada, and Ethan is the first-ever champ from the area in a long, long time. And he had to be a Filipino. It makes you feel really proud. What really struck me about Ethan though is the story of how he made it to Long Beach to compete at the WCOPA. He wrote about it in a sweet, touching letter to his supporters. It is not only a thank-you note, it is also an inspiring message to others who like Ethan, dare to dream. Let me share it with you.  

“Six months ago, I learned that WCOPA was accepting auditions in Canada. Janice Lozano, the Western BC director and scout posted it on her wall. I quickly prepared my audition piece. A few weeks later, I learned that I got into Team Canada, but my Mom said we could not proceed because we did not have enough money. My Mom is a full-time student. My Dad is the only one who is working at present. That was my first rejection. I told my Mom I will work hard for the fees. I will sell chocolates and collect bottles because we still have time to do it. My Mom said that was not possible because we were busy. 

“The next day while I was heading to school, I asked my neighbor if she could give me her recycled bottles. She said yes. I asked my Dad to help me get to the depot and I got $37 for them. This made me happy. My Mom was still not happy about it. She said, ‘I do not want you to think that this is possible but I will support you.’ That answer was enough for me.

“I talked to my Mom one night and asked if I could borrow $200 from her credit card to buy chocolates online. She said OK. From then on, I targeted 100 houses to sell 30 pieces of chocolate bars every day. I knew half of those would reject me. I was prepared for that. Thank God, I was able to sell 30 chocolate bars every day. I paid my Mom her $200 and I ordered chocolates again and my neighbors gave me their recycled bottles that I collected with my Dad. Sometimes, our friends would drop off recycled bottles at my house. Some relatives and friends sent me money.

“Friends of my parents planned fundraising concerts. I was scared at first because I knew that it would be really hard to sell tickets. I just prayed to God to guide me. I had my first sold-out concert and a second sold-out concert and then a third sold-out concert. This one was the biggest because a Filipino singer and songwriter, Joey Albert, was my very special guest. She was undergoing chemo that time but she was able to make it. I love her so much.

“My Mom, while studying would organize and plan the concerts. She slept at 3 a.m. for a few months straight. Once I saw her on the corner crying for being so tired. I cried silently, too. My Dad would always encourage me to do whatever I thought was best for me. My Mom was very supportive of me and even apologized she said, ‘No’ at first. 

“I did vocal warm-up exercises in the mornings, sold chocolates after school and collected bottles. Then I would do my assignments. Then rehearse. Until I was able to raise funds enough to take my Mom and Dad with me to my WCOPA competition.

“My experience in WCOPA was most memorable. Aside from winning, I gained extremely talented friends from all parts of the world. My teammates were like brothers and sisters to me since I was the youngest in Team Canada. I am thankful to Belinda Reyes who was helpful to all of us. I am thankful she said ‘yes’ when I auditioned. I am thankful to Janice Lozano for posting the event on her wall and for supporting me and Team Canada in Los Angeles. I saw her and my Mom crying when my name was announced as the Grand Champion Vocalist of the World.

“Thank you to all my supporters who believed in me, to my sponsors, to those who prayed for me. I will never forget you. I wrote your names in my small notebook and will keep this forever. 

“To all of you who feel that your dream is not possible, think again. I tell you everything is possible. Just pray. Never give up. Stay strong. Stay positive. There will always be rejections and distractions but keep moving forward. That’s what my Mom always says.

“Wherever this journey takes me, please remember that I will always be your little Ethan. I love you all!!! Thank you, Lord.”












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