Mayumi Morales, the eldest sister of child star Makisig Morales, will represent the Philippines in the upcoming 13th World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) to be held on July 11 to 18 at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California.
The 13-year-old singer auditioned for the slot and was fortunately selected among a handful of other aspirants.
Mayumi's story is not so different from that of her now-famous brother, she told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the press conference prepared by STAGES last June 25, at the Moomba Bar Café in Quezon City, to officially introduce the RP delegation.
"Since birth!" she chuckled when asked at what age she started singing. "Kasi daw po sobrang iyakin daw po ako, lagi po akong iyak nang iyak. Pero po yun, nung mga three years old po ako kumakanta po ako sa Couples for Christ."
She added in recollection: "Nung bata pa po kami, lagi na po talaga kaming pinakakanta nila daddy. Nung bata pa daw po ako nahiligan ko na kasi pag kumakanta daw po sila inaagaw ko yung mike, tapos lagi po kaming sumasali sa mga contest, tapos pag may mga audition po pumipila po kami kahit mahabang-mahaba."
NO SIBLING RIVALRY. Mayumi's early training in singing and performing was well enhanced by her musical theater experience. She is also currently attending a workshop under the guidance of Isay Alvarez and Tricia Jimenez.
Musical theater helped Mayumi tremendously to learn to highlight a song's emotional undertone rather than use mere lung power.
"Actually po nung bata ako lagi pong birit ang pinapakanta," she offered. "Pero nung nag-musical po ako, so parang emotions lang po sa stage, yung mga stage plays po, hindi naman po kailangan na mataas basta po yung feeling po nung kanta yung importante."
For the competition, Mayumi will showcase her versatility by performing numbers under the musical, pop, jazz, variety and gospel genres. The second year high school student cited Beyonce Knowles, Sarah Geronimo, Charice Pempengco and Lea Salonga as her idols.
By now and with her participation in a prestigious event like WCOPA, Mayumi's entry into mainstream show business is inevitable. Would this scenario raise sibling rivalry between Makisig and Mayumi?
"Hindi po," Mayumi replied, beaming. "Sobrang supportive naman po kaming lahat sa isa't isa."
Reflecting on the upcoming competition, Mayumi told PEP: "Excited po na masaya na hindi ko po alam. Gusto ko po ma-meet yung ibang tao all over the world. Gusto ko po patunayan sa kanila kung gaano kagaling yung mga Pilipino. Sobrang pressure din po na ako lang pero iri-represent ko po yung buong country."
Joining Mayumi in representing the Philippines for WCOPA are fellow singers Martha Joy, Evette Pabalan, Rhap Salazar, Divo Bayer, Keane Andeza, Oreo Vamenta, Maila Mitra, Nicole Espolong, Melchi Bicua, CJ Concepcion, Mia Sinaguinan, Guy Lockwood and Izarzuri Vidal. Model Bryann Foronda, on the other hand, will represent the country in photo and spokesmodeling.