A proud Pinoy moment
First posted 10:49pm (Mla time) Aug 30, 2005
By Ernie Pecho
Inquirer News Service
Editor’s Note: Published on page A2-1 of the August 31, 2005 issue
of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT WAS a proud Pinoy moment.
For the first time in the 11-year history of the World Championship
of Performing Arts (WCOPA)-dubbed “Talent Olympics”-recently held in
Hollywood, a single country swept all but a few major awards.
The Philippines’ Jed Madela and Rizza Navales bagged a total of 11
gold medals, one silver medal, three Champion of the World plaques
and the Grand Champion trophy.
Madela and Navales were the country’s only representatives. The
United States fielded 150 talents and South Africa sent 250.
The WCOPA is staged annually in Hollywood. This year’s competition
was participated in by 51 countries, from Armenia to Zimbabwe.
Madela won the gold in all six events that he joined. Navales won
five golds and a silver.
Jed was declared Champion of the World in the Male Singing Division
and Rizza won parallel honors in the Female Division. They also won
Champion of the World in the Duet category.
Overall winner was Jed, who was declared Grand Champion. He bested
hundreds of contenders in the Dance, Acting, Instrumental and
The duo’s recording company, Universal Records, said that, on the
first day of the competition, the heads of delegations introduced
their participants. It was then that the leader of the South African
group proudly announced that he had brought a “planeload” of
contestants. South Africa and the US were enthusiastically
applauded, Universal executives said.
Ida Henares of GMA Artist Center, head of the Philippine group, next
took the podium. She proudly announced that her country sent two
contestants, one male and one female. This was reportedly greeted
with snickers-even laughter. But after a few days, many of those who
laughed were shouting, “Bravo!” after every Pinoy performance.
The Philippine delegation celebrated their triumph in Las Vegas,
where they watched a performance by now US-based Lani Misalucha.
There, Jed and Rizza also performed for international bookers and
talent agents. That same evening, they both received several
tempting offers-for example, a permanent slot in a Vegas nightspot
But the winners are taking things slowly. First in their immediate
plans is a Manila homecoming, of course.