Writer’s Recap: Unveiling homegrown talents in ‘Lasallian Showtime’

Representing the best of Lasallian talent, 10 performing acts competed for the ultimate spotlight during the University Vision-Mission Week’s talent showdown.

As the University bustled in anticipation of this year’s University Vision-Mission Week (UVMW), talent and panache met in the staple talent show Lasallian Showtime last June 5 at the Natividad Fajardo-Rosario Gonzalez Auditorium. The competition witnessed a range of Taft’s electrifying performances and moving tunes. With the promise of an Animusika 2024 debut for the prizewinning act, ten chosen contestants held their own in delivering a performance of unparalleled talent and impressing the panel of judges, each of whom come from rich backgrounds in the performing arts. 

Bringing out the big guns

Looking to waste no time, Uanne Bañez was first to take the stage with her cover of summer hit HOT TO GO! by Chappell Roan. To keep the audience hooked, Bañez taught the audience Roan’s signature dance moves to spell out the song’s title, after which she delivered a performance that matched Roan’s energy and earned herself a loud ovation from the crowd. 

Next in line was Adriel Exconde, who eagerly delivered a heartfelt rendition of Adam Levine’s Lost Stars. Exconde made sure to pack the emotions behind every line as he serenaded the crowd with a performance that turned heads and pulled at heartstrings—and reminded listeners that it’s alright to feel like lost stars sometimes. 

Shortly after, Harlequin Theatre Guild member Murline Uddin graced the crowd with a soulful delivery of the Sara Bareilles-written She Used to Be Mine from the Broadway musical Waitress. With her theatrical and musical experience, Uddin charmed the audience with a nuanced conveyance of how it feels to lose oneself. 

In contrast to Uddin’s sentimental number, the following act was rather invigorating. ANIBINI, a group comprised of Zapirah Gemuelle Britos, Mary Grace Domingo, Sofia Palisoc, Johanna Alliyah Marie Robles, and Timothy Brian Tiu, covered two of P-pop group BINI’s trending hits. Their performance of Pantropiko showed a healthy balance of their talents in simultaneously singing, dancing, and entertaining the audience. ANIBINI also exhibited their incontestable skills and energy through a lively dance cover of Salamin, Salamin.

Finally, Aaron Villanueva set on stage to deliver the last performance for the first half of the competition. Emphasizing the importance of staying true to oneself, Villanueva showed the crowd an energetic dance cover of K-pop group ITZY’s WANNABE. Through Villanueva’s skillful exhibition, the audience was reminded of the power of self-love and esteem, which served as a meaningful close to the first leg of the talent show.

Animusika warm-up

After a short and sweet intermission by DLSU Innersoul, musical duo Thomas Ortica and Philip Nava were more than ready to reel the audience into a good old-fashioned jamming session. The duo’s matching vocals blended in perfect harmony with Ortica’s masterful strumming. Their acoustic cover of Zack Tabudlo’s Pulso and MAX! and keshi’s It’s You captivated listeners who couldn’t resist but sing along and follow the beat. 

Mikhail Yu followed with another nostalgic rendition of OPM classic When I Met You by APO Hiking Society, sustaining the energy fostered by the previous performers. Yu covered another R&B classic Stickwitu by The Pussycat Dolls. His vocal and mastery of the guitar invoked a warm atmosphere for those tuning in at the auditorium. 

A shift in the currents in the room came with the empowering lyrics and loud instrumental of Wings by Little Mix, which boomed throughout the hall as seasoned singer and songwriter Reine Bangug stepped forward. Her upbeat performance and vocal prowess showed the crowd what it meant to spread one’s wings and soar to greater heights. 

After Bangug’s number, another musical duo readily seized their opportunity on stage. Glenn and Lex Mendoza complemented each other in their version of NIKI’s Oceans and Engines and La La Lost You with Glenn’s vocals and Lex on the guitar. The homegrown Lasallian siblings asserted that a natural ear for music and stage presence runs in the blood.

Lastly, it was Vera Arveri’s time in the limelight. Baring her soul with her performance of original composition In My Manic Metanoia, Arveri highlighted a journey of self-discovery and establishing her own name. She belted powerfully and moved with sophistication. Arveri was ultimately greeted by a loud applause for her showstopping performance that wrapped up the day’s show.

All performances of the day undoubtedly demonstrated Lasallian talent across different genres, but certain acts prevailed. In the end, Arveri was crowned grand champion and performed at the fully booked Animusika 2024 last June 21. Clinching the second and third place were Murline Uddine and ANIBINI, respectively. This year’s Lasallian Showtime amplified a rich harmony of voices and narratives that swayed the hearts of its DLSU audience and proved that even through music, the Animo spirit bridges together anyone who bears witness to it.

Elijah Duanan

By Elijah Duanan

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