CEBU CITY—Three Cebuanos and three Boholanos made the country proud after they reaped awards in the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), the only Olympic-style talent and performance Competition in the world.
Although they fell short in their bid to advance to the Grand Finals, the six talented performers from Region 7 still made their presence felt by winning medals and individual awards in their respective categories.
Comprising the six-talent Philippine delegation were Maria Flora Mahusay of Mandaue City; Natalie Jeana Bragat and Patricia Kaye Lumahang of Lapu-Lapu City and Boholanos Leoniso Simbajon, and siblings Leirashir Cagas and Ishrazaele Cagas Sanchez.
Mahusay competed in the Senior Vocal Solo (Broadway/Musical); Bragat in the Junior Vocal Solo (Broadway/Musical); Lumahang in the Senior Vocal Solo (World); Simbajon in the Senior Vocal Solo (Pop); Leirashir in the Senior Modeling, Dance and Vocal Solo; and Ishrazael Sanchez in the Junior Vocal Solo (Broadway/Musical, Modeling and Dance Solo.
Ishrazael won gold medals for Broadway/Musical and Junior Modeling and silver for Junior Dance Solo while her sibling Leirashir got silver medals for Senior Dance Solo and Senior Modeling.
Mahusay won a silver medal for Senior Vocals (broadway/Musical) while Bragat won a silver medal for Junior Vocals (Broadway/Musical).
Lumahang got a bronze medal for Senior Vocals (World) while Simbajon also got a bronze medal for Senior Vocals (Pop).
This year’s WCOPA, an annual search for global talents and performers, was supposed to be held in Anaheim, California, USA.
Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s competition was cancelled and was converted into a worldwide virtual competition.
Hundreds showed up during the audition in Cebu last November 10. Hopefuls showcased their group and individual talents before the screening committee composed of national director Gerry Mercado, creative director Annie Mercado and with other bona fide alumni of WCOPA Philippines.
Out of the more than 100 hopefuls, 56 made it to the cut, but only six pursued their dreams of becoming world-class performers through WCOPA.
During the virtual Grand Opening and Traditional Parade of Nations last July 26, each delegate from more than 40 countries showcased their national costumes.
The Philippines garnered the Best Team National Costume and Individual Judges’ Choice awards while Mahusay was awarded as the Fan Favorite (voted via Facebook).
On July 27, the delegates attended the virtual boot camps, with speakers and coaches, who are star builders, artists and directors from Hollywood entertainment and performance industries.
The boot camps were held to help further the preparations of the delegates and make them more confident in their performances.
The competition proper was held last July 28. Mahusay, Bragat, Leirashir and Ishrazael made it to the semifinal round before eventually bowing out.