Golden Cañedo: I’m thankful that people see Sarah (Geronimo) in me. She’s my inspiration; she’s also a contesera like me.
A Golden journey
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 4, 2019 - 12:00am

When Golden Cañedo flies to New York City for the Kapusong Pinoy Studio 7 Musikalye sa Brooklyn, she will be traveling 8,491 miles, the longest in the journey of her life that kicked off in Cebu. She and her parents had posted 355 miles when they flew from Cebu to Manila for her appointment with destiny — to compete in the GMA talent search The Clash which was co-hosted by “screaming diva” Regine Velasquez before she leaped ober da bakod to the Kapamilya Network. Golden topped the search with her “golden” voice which was how Nora Aunor’s vocal prowess was described when she won Tawag ng Tanghalan in the late ’60s.

“Excited po,” Golden told Funfare during the recent launch of Tayo Pa Rin, her second single (after Ngayon) composed by Rica del Rosario for GMA Music. “Very excited po.” (Tayo Pa Rin can now be heard on-air in Barangay LS 97.1 and other FM stations nationwide, and available on Apple Music, Spotify and other digital stores worldwide.)

It’s Golden’s first trip out of the country, made much more exciting because she’s joining fellow Kapuso stars (Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Rayver Cruz, Kyline Alcantara, Betong Sumaya and Alden Richards) in the show to be mounted on May 11 at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.

“Para pong pangarap lang,” gushed Golden.

No, Golden, it’s not just a dream. It’s as real as the long, bright road to fame you’re now treading on, so fasten your seat belt and don’t get too heady with fame and fortune and suffer amnesia that can make you forget where you’re coming from. Stardom can make some people myopic and, that’s it, amnesiac. Case in point: Sarah Geronimo with whom Golden is being compared because of their humble beginnings, the future Mrs. Matteo Guidicelli having come from a crowded neighborhood in Sta. Cruz, Manila, and Golden from the quiet town of Minglanilla, 30 minutes away from Cebu City.

The eldest of three siblings (one more coming up), Roma Mae Apa-ap Cañedo was born on April 5, 2002, to a tricycle-driver father and a housewife mother. Golden got her nickname even before she was born.

“When my mother daw was pregnant, she was told that the baby in her tummy would bring good luck,” said Golden. “Suwerte daw ang bata.”

She started singing when she was in kindergarten, a scholar by day and (in her own word) a contesera at night.

“When I was 12, join-join na ako sa mga singing contests. My father worked in Saudi and when he came home he noticed my singing voice so he asked me to compete in a contest sa kabilang bayan. ‘Baka manalo ka,’ he told me. I sang Listen (by Beyoncé) and I won.”

Since she won in The Clash in September last year, Golden has found her life radically changed overnight.

“Marami nang nakakakilala sa akin, nagpapa-picture. Not only am I meeting my idols, I am now performing with them (on the GMA Sunday night show Studio 7).

Aside from a contract with GMA, Golden’s prizes included a car and P1M cash which she and her family have been spending for their daily needs now that they all live in Cavite.

Other singers that she looks up to are Ariana Grande, Celine Dion, Julie Anne San Jose, Lani Misalucha, Regine Velasquez and Sarah Geronimo.

She’s flattered to be “the new Sarah Geronimo.”

“I’m thankful that people see Sarah Geronimo in me,” admitted Golden who, properly promoted, could equal, if not surpass, Sarah’s record. “Inspirasyon ko siya kasi contesera din siya, nangarap din siya at natupad ang kanyang mga pangarap.”

Having “moved up” to Grade 11 last April 4, Golden is seeing to it that she finished college (with a B.S. Management degree). She temporarily quit school last year to focus on the The Clash grand finals.

“I used to dream to be a flight stewardess but I think I lack in height,” revealed Golden.

No regrets, though. She was destined to be in showbiz.

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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