‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ alumni make waves with debut song » Manila Bulletin Entertainment


It pays to be kind to everyone – including the utility guy backstage.

Miko Juarez (left) and Gabriel Umali

When Miko Juarez was eliminated from “Pinoy Boyband Superstar,” he found an unlikely ally in an “utility guy” named Choppy. The latter told him not to lose heart as “may kilala ako na kilala si (famed talk show host-manager) Boy Abunda.”

That guy is Philip Rojas, one of the artist managers of Asian Artists Agency headed by Abunda.

Choppy, it turned out, was not only telling the truth but he was true to his word.

Philip shared, “Tumawag si Choppy sa akin na may papakilala. Sabi ko, ‘Patingin ng picture,’ pagkita ko parang ‘Ay tisoy.’ So sabi ko, sabihin mo Choppy imi-meet ko siya (Miko) sa office, so dinala siya sa office ni Sir Boy.”

Incidentally, Philip said Choppy is a “masseur.” Miko said they have yet to thank him for what he did as he had not seen him after that.

So, the King of Talk took Miko under his wings and started developing him. A few months later, Boy also ran into Gabriel Umali and decided to build them up as a duo. The latter was also a “Pinoy Boyband Superstar” alumnus.

Now the two are making it big in show business with the release of their single-gone-viral “Hugot,” which Miko composed with his brother, Anton.

The song has been gaining ground as many millennials relate to the EDM vibe and catchy lines as “Mabuti pa ’yung pera nasusuklian pero ’yung pagmamahal ko hindi” and “Buti pa sa mga selfies mo nakangiti ka pero dito sa piling ko hindi.”

Miko said the song was written “out of boredom” in the wee hours of the morning.

“Ginawa namin itong song ng mga 3 a.m. then natapos ng 5 a.m.,” he recalled.

In good hands

Gab is grateful that Boy always reminds them of what’s important as artist.

“Laging sinasabi nila Tito Boy na sa industriyang ito, walang lugar ang uma-attitude,” Gab said. “Kaya kahit sinong makikita mo, kahit saan ka makarating, be humble lang lagi.”

A scene from ‘Hugot’ (Screengrab from YouTube) /mb.com.ph

A scene from ‘Hugot’ (Screengrab from YouTube)

Miko and Gab are no strangers to performing.

Miko belongs to a musically-inclined family. Though he was born and raised in Cebu, he migrated to Canada when he was 15 years old and finished high school there. When he learned about “Pinoy Boyband Superstar” he flew back to Manila to audition.

On the other hand, 18-year-old Gab was a member of a dance group in school. He said they were supposed to represent the Philippines last year in Sydney, Australia in a hip hop competition but it didn’t push through due to lack of financial resources.

Asked how each of them would feel if the other goes solo someday, they had same response.

“Okay lang naman po ’yun,” Miko said.

“Normal lang naman po siguro,” he added.

The only thing that matters to them is they help and support each other as long as possible.

Fly high as a kite

Miko and Gab are set to perform at K-pop artist Rain’s the “Rise 2 Shine Benefit Concert” on Nov. 3, 8 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

They are both excited and nervous as it will be their first time to sing at such a huge venue and on the same stage as the famed foreign artist.

The concert is for the benefit of Marawi, MYNP Foundation, and Ko-Ph world Foundation.

“Parang hindi pa po nag-si-sink in,” Gab related. “Parang kailan lang po nag-o-audition lang kami tapos ngayon Araneta na.”

The duo will sing “Hugot” and a mash-up of hit songs “Despacito,” “Wild Thoughts,” and “I’m The One,” to name a few.

Other artists who are part of the event are Sam Concepcion, Val John, Kris Lawrence, Jinho Bae, Jay R, Dasuri Choi, Isabelle de Leon, Krissha Viaje, Bendeatha, and Cursebox.

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