Two singing contest rivals end up with same producer, launch recording careers as close mates

A good rivalry often leads to development that benefits both the involved parties and those outside looking in.

This is the case for singers Mark Mercado and John Michael Cudiamat who often see themselves competing against each other in various singing tiffs. Once their rivalry led them to talent development advocate and producer Pat Achas, it became apparent both of them would end up as winners. They’re now talents of the producer’s APAT TV, a social media channel promoting deserving acts, and together they launched their recording careers. 

John Michael debuted with a song called “Pangako” which was part of Apat TV Artists First EP released last December. The track had its official music video premiered on YouTube last summer. He is currently working on his first full-length album. 

Mark, on the other hand, released his five-song introductory package just last July 30, and launched it with an online concert that premiered the music video of one of his compositions, “Patawad,” which gained considerable traction right on its first week in the public eye. 

Tarlac pride singer-songwriter Mark Mercado released his five-song, self-titled digital debut led by his composition 'Patawad' which premiered its musical video on YouTube. Check it via this link:

“Madalas kaming magkalaban sa singing contests at dun na rin kami naging magkaibigan,” quipped Mark who couldn’t be more thankful for the support of his Apat TV channel family which also includes his former rival. 

“Until now I can’t believe I made it this far, having my original songs properly recorded and released,” he stressed. 
Other songs in his album are “Aning”, “Dating Tagpuan,” “Comeback,” and “Para Sa’yo Mahal Ko.” 

Both he and John Michael, along with fellow Apat TV talent Noela Amparo, who herself debuted with her brilliant cover of The Voice Philippines Kids finalist Angel Andal’s “Sandalan”, and has appeared in online shows and mainstream print media exposures, virtually chatted with the press last August 3. 

“Apat TV channel,” according to John, “is about helping, livelihood, and discovering talents as well as uplifting small entrepreneurs as advocacy. He expressed, “As part of the family, I make sure to give inspiration to everyone through music and entertainment.” 

John Michael Cudiamat, who is currently working on his debut album, is the singer behind “Pangako”, one of the songs making up the Apat TV Artists First EP released last December. Here’s the link to the song’s official music video:

Mark belongs to a family with musical inclination. He shared how his first try at competing toughened him to make it through. “Bata palang ako ay talagang kumakanta na din ako. Madalas akong pinapakanta sa school pero nagsimula akong  sumali ng singing contest nuong high school ako. Nadismaya ako dahil yun din yung unang pagkatalo ko. Pero hindi ako sumuko at nagpatuloy pa din ako hanggang sa nakakakuha na din ako ng mga kampeonato.”

John Michael regarded his mom as a catalyst for his determination to prove his worth. He recalled, “My mom had been patient in training me. She started teaching me how to sing at the age of three after she realized my potential.”

Both rivals are natives of Moncada, Tarlac. With its Paniqui stronghold, Apat TV has established itself as key promoter of the Tarlac music scene. 

Mark added, “Para sa akin, pamilya na ang tingin ko sa Apat TV channel ganun na din sa mga staff nito dahil napakarami kong natutunan dito at mas naenhance pa ability ko sa ano mang aspeto ng buhay ko lalong lalo na sa pagkanta at paghohost. Gagawin ko din ang part ko as artist para mas mapalago pa ang talento ko at mas may patutunguhan pa ang lahat.”