MANILA – At 13, Roel Manlangit wowed “Pilipinas Got Talent” (PGT) judges and the public with his soaring take on pop ballads, eventually earning him the top prize in the talent search’s fourth season.
His repertoire included Whitney Houston — a viral video of him singing “I Will Always Love You” prompted his “PGT” audition — as well as Filipino love tunes sang by the likes of Regine Velasquez.
Manlangit, whose confidence shone through in his performances, became a household name at the time. He became known not only for his talent, but also for his inspiring story of surviving a catastrophic typhoon that claimed his family’s home in Valencia, Bukidnon.
This, he harkened back to before performing on the grand finals stage an orchestral version of Bamboo’s “Noypi,” about the everyday Filipino’s resilience amid hardships.
By the end of the night, he was declared champion and had a ready answer to what he would do with the P2-million cash prize — to rebuild his family’s home.
That was five years ago in 2013, and “PGT” has since aired another season with another set to premiere Saturday, also on ABS-CBN.
Despite being largely out of the limelight, Manlangit continues to impress long-time followers with his vocal prowess, by way of videos of his performances shared on social media.
A recent one shows him pulling of a “doble kara,” or singing both the male and female parts of an established duet, in this case “I’ll Be There” by Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz. Another video features him utilizing his falsetto to reach the high notes of “Secret Love Song” by Little Mix.
His singing isn’t the only thing catching the attention of fans; many comment on Manlangit’s good looks, and physical changes after having gone through puberty.
“Binata na! Pogi!” are typical responses to photo albums posted on a Facebook fan page named after him. Others inquire whether Manlangit intends to more actively pursue showbiz, similar to previous “PGT” winners Jovit Baldivino and Marcelito Pomoy.
His most recent television appearance was in April 2016, when he performed alongside the Maasinhon Trio, also a past winning act, for the finale of the fifth season of “PGT”.
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