August 16, 2021 (12:26 PM)

3 min read


VOCAL BATTLE. With unwavering jive and emotion, SEA Tigers’ Jan Juanillo took home the title of Star Search 2021, streamed via Facebook Live last August 14. Photo credits to Mariah Johanna Uy

True to this year’s fiesta branding, the return of Star Search 2021 encapsulated what “Indayog” stood for. 

The event was marked by individual performances inspired by the 1970s to the 2000s disco genre, with representatives from clusters performing their own rendition of songs by Michael Jackson, Abba, Whitney Houston, Steps, Journey, Irene Cara, and Stevie Wonder. 

Performing his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition,’ School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA) Tigers’ Jan Juanillo took home the title as Star Search 2021.

The star recalled the poor condition of his voice and time management as some of the challenges he encountered in preparation for the event.

“Being a perfectionist has been one of the greatest challenges I’ve encountered. My voice was in poor condition when I started practicing, and I was afraid I might ruin my performance. I didn’t have faith in myself back then because I keep on making the same mistakes,” he said.

“Time management was also hard for me since I had to balance my coursework and my practices for this event. In terms of the video shooting, it was difficult for me to sing and dance at the same time because I pant easily,” he added.

However, these challenges did not hinder his success, as he drew strength from people who believed in him.

“I usually get frustrated during the practices because I cannot perfect the songs, but still, I managed because people believed in me. They gave me strength, which is why I was able to win,” he said.

Juanillo shared that his experience during the whole duration of the event was “fun,” noting that Ateneans, especially those from the SEA cluster, were supportive and cooperative. 

The Star Search champ also commended his fellow performers’ talent in singing.

“It made me realize as a performer and as an individual that we all have our limitations. All of the contestants’ voices are unique and astonishing,” he said.

Juanillo expressed his gratitude for the opportunity of being part of the Star Search, which allowed him to believe more in himself.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of this event because it made me believe in myself more. It made me think that I can reach greater heights and conquer any obstacles that come my way as a performer, especially as an individual,” he said.

Among the top three contestants who made it to the championship round were first runner-up Zarah Manamba from the Business and Management Vipers and second runner-up Rhoyd Pilapil from the Natural Science and Mathematics x School of Education Lions, performing their rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’.

This year’s Star Search finals was streamed live via Facebook during the last day of the Ateneo Fiesta, August 14.

End the silence of the gagged!

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