MANILA, Philippines — Both are good-looking and talented yet Miko Juarez and Gab Umali didn’t succeed in clinching a spot in the ABS-CBN boyband search, Pinoy Boyband Superstar, where the winners were groomed as a sing-and-dance group. But the two didn’t lose heart as they continued to hone their vocal talent, clueless that they were destined to become a duo.
“We kept on practicing even after the competition because I really love singing since I was young,” said Miko who remained until only the 12 finalists were left. “Back in Canada, me and my siblings used to perform during Canada Day.”
Gab, on the other hand, was a member of a dance troupe in his school in Quezon City when he tried his luck in Pinoy Boyband. “Hilig ko na din dati pa ang ’pag kanta lalo na mga songs ng One Direction. My parents are good singers since both of them were choir members before they got married.”
Miko and Gab became close when the latter started tagging along with the former’s siblings during the competition. “I was eliminated first kaya nakakatabi ko ‘yung mga kapatid n’ya sa panunuod ng mga natirang contestants. After he got eliminated, that was the time na nagpra-praktis na kami sa bahay nila,” shared Gab.
“We do covers together with my brothers and sister at home and we do watch shows together until fate led us to Tito Boy,” added the 21-year-old Miko who hails from Cebu.
Now being managed as the singing duo Miko&Gab by Asian Artists Agency, Inc. (AAAI) headed by Boy Abunda, these two young talents are starting to gain attention from music aficionados with their special chemistry. Small wonder that the millennials are familiar with their debut single titled Hugot released by Star Music. The song consistently enjoys the top spot of MOR 101.9’s most requested OPM tunes. According to their manager Philip Rojas, Hugot is on top of the Kapamilya FM radio music chart for two weeks now. As of this writing, the song is on the No. 2 spot of the MOR Biga10 (Top 10 OPM Hits of the Day) list.
“It was my brother Anton who composed the song. Bale sinimulan namin ang pag-sulat ng 11 p.m. hanggang 3 a.m., ito ‘yung mga hugot lines na dinaan sa kanta,” said Miko.
Its LSS-inducing lines, “Buti pa sa mga selfies mo, nakangiti ka pero dito sa piling ko hinde” and “Mabuti pa ‘yung pera nasusuklian pero yung pagmamahal ko hinde” speak about unrequited love that many can relate to.
Hugot’s official music video, as stated in the press release, has already gained a number of views, shares and likes. The single can also be downloaded from Spotify and iTunes.
On Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Miko&Gab will perform in the benefit concert titled Rise 2 Shine at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The show is for the benefit of the Marawi war victims, Make Your Nanay Proud (MYNP) Foundation and Ko-Ph World Foundation, which supports Filipino-Korean families and children.
Concert producer-artist Val John related that the concert also marks the return of Korean pop star Rain to the Philippines whose first visit was back in 2010.
“The concert, in a way, also promotes the strong bond between the Philippines and Korea, with our very own artists and Korean stars sharing the same goal and performing on the same stage,” said Val who has been a cultural diplomat of the Korean Cultural Center since 2015.
Like many Pinoys who are eager to see K-Pop stars up close and personal, Miko and Gab are equally excited to meet and perform with them.
“It is an opportunity for us to be on one stage and I hope many will support the show,” Gab said.
Other artists performing in Rise 2 Shine are Sam Concepcion, Isabelle de Leon, Kris Lawrence, Jay-R, Loisa Andalio, Krissha Viaje, Bendeatha, Cursebox, Dasuri Choi and Jinho Bae.
(Tickets to the benefit concert are now being offered with 50 percent discount: VIP Moshpit, P2,500; VIP SRO, P2,000; VIP Seated, P1,750; Gold, P1,300; Silver, P800; and Bronze, P500.)
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