Every singing star started somewhere. Most, if not all, succeeded in entering the music scene through singing tilts. Superstar Nora Aunor, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, Julie Anne San Jose, Rita Daniela, Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista are just some of the few who found fame after joining talent competitions.

Mariane Osabel and Vilmark Viray are the latest singing gems discovered by GMA Network via The Clash Season 4. Mariane, who was dubbed the Ultimate Siren of Iligan City, was named the grand champion in the last season of the Kapuso talent show competition, while Vilmark, a.k.a. Kulot Crooner ng Pampanga, was first runner-up.

Last March 3, they officially became part of GMA Music and Sparkle GMA Artist Center after they formally inked their respective contracts with the network executives.

During the virtual media conference, Mariane and Vilmark admitted to being both singer wannabes long before they became GMA artists. Singing tilts, they agreed, are perfect venues to display one’s vocal skills.

Thus, those who are wishing to realize their dream of becoming a singer should take a tip or two from Mariane and Vilmark on joining singing contests. It was in 2019 when the former had her first attempt at competing on national TV singing search, while the latter chose to concentrate on his studies prior to going all-out in clinching a spot in the local music industry.

“’Yung una kong sabak, kabado at tensyonado talaga ako,” began the 24-year-old songstress who, if memory serves her, said that according to her mom, she started displaying her flair for singing at two years old. “So, it’s normal to feel nervous but once you acknowledge your potential, it is best to really focus on it. You have to practice and be focused on your goal.”

Vilmark, on the other hand, firmly believes in destiny and hard work.

“Ako, naniniwala ako if it’s really for you, it’s for you. You just have to try kasi wala namang mawawala at mas mahirap magsisi (sa huli) kapag hindi mo sinubukan. And I have a personal motto which, ever since, I adhere to: Be a dreamer, conquer your fear, go with faith and do what you believe.”

He, too, would like to remind singing aspirants to also be prepared, especially when the competition is aired on TV “because you have to be open about yourself to the people. So, be ready with the negative and positive remarks. Whatever it is that you’ll hear, you just have to use it as motivation to do better kahit na mga negatibo pa ang ibabato sa ‘yo.”

Mariane also deemed important the support coming from family, friends and the fans. “They can suggest better options like me, I would ask for ano ba yung magandang song or magandang arrangement. I’ve been into a band, so I know people who are musically-inclined, so nagtatanong ako kung ano yung mas bagay na song or arrangement. Plus, you have to be ready emotionally, spiritually and physically if you want to join in national competitions.”

Now that Mariane and Vilmark have already passed that stage, they both expressed excitement over what’s in store for them as Kapuso artists.

Vilmark looks forward to the day when he is able to sing his own compositions in shows here and abroad.

“If I’d be given a choice to perform in a concert, well, pipiliin ko na makapag-perform sa Philippine Arena, big venue na agad para marami ang makapanood,” he declared.

Vilmark also wishes to do a collaboration with Julie Anne San Jose.

“I really believe that if it is meant to happen, it will be,” said Vilmark before he added, “Para sa kaalaman n’yo po, isa po akong engineer working full-time. So, wala sa plano, wala sa expectations, pero naniniwala ako na kapag para sa ‘yo, ibibigay at ibibigay sa’yo. Kaya I’m just so thankful to GMA and Sparkle for believing in me.”

Vilmark works as a licensed Electronics engineer with a master’s degree from Mapua University. He used to join in various singing tilts but he had to stop due to his schooling.

“I fulfilled my parents’ wish for me to become an engineer, so after having fulfilled what they wanted, ‘yung gusto ko naman ang sinunod ko at nag desisyon akong sumali sa The Clash. Nakikita ko ang sarili ko na nag-pe-perform on stage like my idol Sam Smith, hahahaha.”

For Mariane, it is only fitting to hold a concert in her hometown Iligan City as her way of thanking her kababayan for their all-out support.

She didn’t deny the fact that her life took a 180-degree turn after The Clash.

“When I auditioned for The Clash, I was a fresh graduate. Galing po ako sa OJT (on-the-job training) and while I was inside the (manufacturing) plant, I was asking myself if this was where I really should be kasi sayang ‘yung talent ko. Gusto ko talaga sa entertainment world,” shared Mariane, an Environmental Engineer Technology graduate from Mindanao State University.

She continued, “Talagang tinatanong ko sa sarili ko kung ito ba ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko. Parang hindi ito ang para sa akin. My dream was really to sing. I’ve been joining singing contests since I was in Grade 3. That’s why, I told myself, I really have to pursue my dream of becoming a singer.”

Indeed, dreams do come true, Mariane gushed. “Of course, after holding a concert in Iligan, I wish to do a concert at the Araneta Coliseum with Miss Lani Misalucha, Vilmark and Jessica Villarubin (The Clash Season 3 champ) kasi mag-kapareho kami ng genre.”

Vilmark and Mariane are among the regular performers in the Kapuso variety show, All-Out Sundays.

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