Filipinos fast-becoming new global stars on the block

!hola - MJ Marflori - The Philippine Star
Filipinos fast-becoming new global stars on the block
The author (leftmost) with TV5 show PoPinoy’s (from left) Kayla Rivera, Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza, Maja Salvador, Jay R and DJ Loonyo.
STAR / File

From Grammy and Academy Award winning H.E.R. to chart-topping and viral Olivia Rodrigo, as well as Bella Poarch who emerged as TikTok’s biggest star amidst the pandemic with a sticky hit song called Build A B**** plus more than 72 million followers and 1.5 billion (yes, billion) likes on the platform... it is indeed undeniable that this batch of our kababayans are becoming a household name not just in the west, but all over the globe.

Yes, we have had Manny Pacquiao making the world talk about us before but what I’m driving at here is how this batch of stars is already honed to debut with the right formula of what it takes to be a global sensation.

Let’s not go any further. Our homegrown and Philippine-based boy group SB19 has been a mainstay at the Billboard Social charts and they are catapulted by their super supportive fans called A’tins. The group also trained for thousands of hours just to perfect their moves and I remember speaking to one of their members, Josh, who is in it to win it when it comes to global domination, “Ayoko naman mag-assume or mag-sound na mayabang, pero syempre lahat naman tayo lahat naman ng nga artist kagaya namin ang pangarap talaga ay i-dominate ang mundo, kung baga yung Philippine, iyong OPM, makilala talaga sa buong mundo. How Hollywood or other genres did it, tayo rin kaya rin natin iyon.”

The group also adapted this intimate yet massive strategy to keep their brand sticky and their influence more personal to their supporters as Stell shares, “We have this mention party we call it ‘menpa’ at ito talaga iyong time na nakakausap nakin sila individually at kamustahan parang normal na magkakaibigan catching up and this is also special for them because this is the only time makakausap nila kami hindi nga as a fan but as a friend.”

This is genius. This strategy maybe adapted elsewhere but our industry is learning and coming up with solutions on how to further the popularity of our very talented stars. We can slowly bid the days of entertainment frontiers goodbye.

Meanwhile, for the first time ever as well, a Philippine television is launching a show where stars are being honed right off the bat for the global market. Archangel Media, TV5 and TNT have joined forces to search for the next Pinoy pop girl and boy group to showcase their brand of entertainment to the world and not just the Philippine audience alone.

Launching tomorrow, June 13, at 8 p.m. is PoPinoy hosted by Maine Mendoza and Paolo Ballesteros with a fresh batch of Headhunters headed by emerging in-demand talent manager Maja Salvador, Pinoy King of R&B Jay R, Theatre Princess Kayla Rivera and King of viral dance-choreographer DJ Loonyo. The show will take the audience along the journey of the aspiring groups, from their training days until they will be launched or chosen as winners. In the advent of so many talent shows and competitions, this is something new on Philippine television. Fans will be invested and will be present as the groups would be axed or will advance to further success.

As for the show’s Headhunters, Maja shares that she is not looking for perfect but will have her eye on a group with foresight. She explains, “Based on my experience din kasi, ang dami ko rin pinagdaanan bago ko matunton kung nasaan ako. Bago ako tawagin na dance princess, nagka-album madami muna ako dinaanan na proseso. Yan yung ginagawa namin sa PoPinoy, maghahanap kami ng next pop dreamers.”

Kayla adds that “iyong maganda sa amin apat, lahat kami may iba’t ibang areas of expertise. We’ll really take the time to deliberate, to check what the strengths are or the weaknesses.”

Besides talent competitions, the Netflix Original Horror Anime Trese is also making waves on the platform since its debut yesterday having been created by our very own graphic novelists Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo and a team of mostly Filipino talents. We spoke to them just last week as they are still in awe of the show’s success, reminiscing the days where they had to use the office photocopy machine just to get the story out there and have their workmates read it.

Now, more than 200 million people have access to Trese and will enjoy its setting in Manila, where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans and detective Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.

Trese is voiced by Fil-Canadian star Shay Mitchell in the English-language version and Liza Soberano in the Filipino-language version. Liza made sure she would make her kababayan proud. “I had to put in extra effort to make my voice convey those emotions that were needed in each scene, so acting and voice acting they kinda go hand in hand, but in voice acting, it requires more effort.”


(Note: Starting today, TV5 anchor-host and now newest STAR Entertainment columnist, MJ Marfori, will appear Saturdays in this section.)

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