Western Union chooses Rhap Salazar to sing Galing ng Pinoy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To voice “Galing ng Pinoy,” Western Union chooses singing champion Rhap Salazar, who feels very excited about promoting the anthem around the world. For him, “Galing ng Pinoy” speaks of the strength and perseverance of the OFW. “Filipinos have a can-do spirit. They don't stop until they reach their dreams,” he says. “OFWs leave their families to work in other places. They really are our heroes.”

Rhap, himself, has become a little hero of the country. In July 2009, he brought home top honors, as the junior grand champion solo vocalist and junior grand champion performer, at the World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA). Besting thousands of contestants from 48 countries, he continued the Philippine's winning streak in the competition, which, in past years, had hailed Jed Madela, Reymond Sajor, and Catherine Loria, among others, as top performers.

For Jonathan, it is only fitting that Rhap sings “Galing ng Pinoy.” “At a very young age, while representing our country, he became a world champion. He is a world-class talent for a song that talks about the world-class Filipino,” the music manager declares. Choosing the 12-year-old also adds authenticity to the song. He continues, “When Rhap sings 'Galing ng Pinoy,' it becomes purer. There is more emotion. There is more heart. You can feel the sincerity in every line he delivers because you cannot hide the innocence of a child.”

Singing comes naturally to Rhap, who, at the age of three, began his affair with making music with his voice. In a little town, in the province of Mindoro, his parents, Aida and Emmanuel, noticed that their son knew how to hold a microphone. At town fiestas, they encouraged this interest by joining him in singing competitions. Though he didn't win first prize in his debut, Rhap, with his version of “I'll Be There” by The Jackson 5, soon collected an armful of trophies in contests that followed, Fast forward to 2005, Rhap took on the whole country, winning the ABS-CBN singing tilt Little Big Star. In 2009, he dreamed of the world, joining WCOPA in Los Angeles. Apart from taking home top honors, Rhap swept the WCOPA's junior division, winning five gold medals in the vocal categories of Broadway, gospel, open, pop, and R&B.

Now and then, fans do recognize him. When it happens, the young star feels happy, knowing that people enjoy what he's doing. “It makes me want to do better so that I can make them happier,” proclaims Rhap. “Making people feel good is what I really love about singing.”

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