Maria Laroco recalls her heartbreaking experience in The X Factor 2018

by Rommel Gonzales
Feb 13, 2020
Maria Laroco of The X Factor UK fame will hold her Manila concert titled First Love on February 14 and 15, 2020.

Gaganapin ang Valentine concert ni Maria Laroco titled First Love sa February 14 at 15, 2020 sa Iagos restaurant, Sct. Rallos St., Quezon City.

Kasali si Maria sa team ni Lea Salonga sa The Voice Kids Philippines noong 2014.

Lumaban siya sa British reality TV music competition na The X Factor UK Season 15 noong 2018, kung saan umabot siya sa Top 6 sa Girls Category.

“Before I went to the U.K., I joined this competition po, The Great British Festival. I won the grand prize po which is two tickets to the U.K.,” kuwento ni Maria.

“So, sabi po ni Papa, ‘Kung pupunta tayo doon, sana kasali ka na sa isang competition doon.’

“Pero po actually, like three years ago before po ako manalo ng tickets, we sent them [The X Factor] a video audition na po of me. Like every year po, nagse-send po kami ni Papa ng videos ko po for their online audition.

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“So, after three years, finally po na-notice nila yung videos ko, and then they sent us an email saying na I got in and they were inviting me po to come to the U.K. for the audition.”

At suwerte namang may libreng plane tickets na si Maria para pumunta sa UK.

“Kasi po, like all the expenses po, kami po yung sasagot. So, sabi po namin, kung sakali man na makapasok ako sa X Factor, mahihirapan kami for the tickets, kung paano po kami pupunta doon, kung saan kami titira.

“Kasi, we really aren’t like fortunate po sa life. Kasi, talagang laki po ako sa hirap and I am proud na sabihin po iyon, kasi siyempre, me and my family po worked hard din po, and also me, kaya nandito din po ako where I am today and because of their help din po.

“So yes, iyon na yung nangyari sa X Factor. We went there po with two tickets and then my mom and brother, may mga nag-sponsor po sa kanila para makasama sa amin. So, apat po kaming nagpunta sa U.K., buong family po kaming pumunta dun.

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“I auditioned po… actually I auditioned pa po like thrice doon, before yung actual audition po, na nandun na sina Simon Cowell, si Louis Tomlinson, and yung mga iba pa pong judges.

“So it was very… alam mo iyun, parang panaginip po siya na nangyari and it was… I can’t actually believe it na nangyari siya, parang nanaginip lang po ako na, ‘Wow, it happened!’

“Kasi po, like I have always seen Filipinos like 4th Impact joining international competitions like X Factor and talagang I have looked up po sa artists po na na-produce ng X Factor like One Direction, and marami pa pong iba.

“And, of course, Simon Cowell, and sobrang kabado po ako kasi we all know naman po na Simon Cowell is very hard to please, kaya sobrang kinakabahan din po ako noon and at the same time, very excited to perform sa lahat po ng mga British people and also sa mga Filipino po dahil super suporta ng Filipino community sa U.K., pumunta po sila sa audition and sa lahat po ng performances ko sa X Factor, they were all there and sila rin po yung kumupkop sa amin.

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“Siguro po, almost ten po yata iyung mga natirahan namin doon. Kasi, every week, parang sabi nila, ‘Uy, dito naman kayo sa amin,’ ‘Uy next week naman sa amin,’ ‘Dinner tayo sa ganito, dinner tayo sa ganyan.’

“Sobrang welcoming po nila and sobrang supportive nila hanggang nakaabot po ako sa Six-Chair Challenge, ng judges' house...”

Sa puntong ito ng paligsahan, sobrang na-heartbroken si Maria.

Salaysay niya, “Kasi po, iyon na po yun e, like one step na lang po for the live shows, iyon na po iyung pinaka-last for the live shows, and yung live shows, iyon po iyong parang finals, parang semi-finals, iyon na po yung live shows. So, sabi ko, ‘Bakit?’

“Kasi, my visa po… I wasn’t denied, nagkaroon lang po ng problem sa visa ko to the U.S.

“Kasi po, like every year, the judges po choose yung mga bahay po nila abroad, kung saan nila gagawin yung judges' houses.

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“Simon Cowell po picked his house sa L.A., California, so ako lang po yung Filipina na natira noon, kaya I wasn’t able to go po sa U.S., kasi hindi pa po ako nabigyan ng visa.

“Kasi po, sabi nila sa embassy na… kasi X Factor made me apply for a visitor’s visa. Mali raw po, sabi sa embassy, I should’ve applied daw po for like a performer’s visa po, ganyan.

“Kasi, even though I’m not gonna be paid daw po, it’s still gonna be televised, so hindi po ako pinalad na makapunta sa U.S. for the judges house.

“Ang ginawa po si Simon Cowell, it’s actually the first time na ginawa po nila iyon, yung ginawa po nila sa case ko... kasi po, usually po pag may mga nade-deny ng visa or hindi na-a-approve, parang nire-replace po sila ng ibang contestants and I was very lucky that Simon still kept me going po sa competition na iyon, and nag-decide po siya na still i-keep po ako sa competition.

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“Ang ginawa nila, parang like Skype iyung style niya na parang video shoot po siya sa London.

“I was in London po, lahat sila nasa California po, so I was the only one left po sa London noong time na iyon.

“But unfortunately po, magkaiba po kasi talaga yung feels ko pag live kang magpe-perform sa kanilang lahat.

“So, basta I am very thankful po for the opportunity that God has given me, kasi po hindi naman po… not everyone are gonna be as lucky as I was.

“Sobrang unreal, na talagang…actually hanggang ngayon po I still can’t believe na nakikita ko po iyung sarili ko sa video na isang X Factor UK competition...

“Hanggang ngayon, kapag nakikita ko po iyung video ng audition ko, naiiyak po ako.”

Bumalik si Maria sa Pilipinas nitong 2019. Tumanggap siya ng awards na tulad ng Top Global Teen Performing Artist, 2019 Kuala Lumpur Awardee, 2019 Asia’s Music Princess mula sa Global Music, at 2019 Excellence Award Pasadong Mang-aawat sa mga Kabataan.

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Nag-release na siya ng unang album niya, ang Just Maria na available sa Pilipinas at sa United States.

Ang "Pilit Pa Rin" na latest recording niya ay available sa iTunes at Spotify.

P1,500 ang ticket sa Valentine concert ni Maria, kasama na ang buffet dinner. Para sa ticket, makipag-alam kay Michelle o Hyacinth sa mobile number 09266789722, 09171761369, or 09366982077.

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Maria Laroco of The X Factor UK fame will hold her Manila concert titled First Love on February 14 and 15, 2020.
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