Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Daniel Darwin, na mas kilala bilang si Astroboy, sa results night ng Battle of the Champions ng Talentadong Pinoy kagabi, May 6, sa Quezon Memorial Circle.
Si Astroboy ang tinanghal na grand winner sa talent search ng TV5 hosted by Ryan Agoncillo.
“Overwhelmed with joy, as well as grateful, and I’m so honored,” umpisang sinabi ni Daniel matapos ang announcement.
SURPRISED WINNER. Inasahan ba niya na siya ang mananalo?
“No sir, not at all!” ang natatawa nitong sagot.
Ang pito pang Hall of Famers ay sina Ivy Grace Paredes o Ayegee (singing), Melbelline Caluag (kundiman singer), Dancing Is Fun (dance group), Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos (dancing duo), Johnny Villanueva o Sustantivo (pole dancing), Monica Regalario (sand artist) at wildcard Rhyzza Nicol Kafilas (singing).
Sino sa palagay niya ang mahigpit niyang kalaban among the other seven Hall of Famers?
“I don’t know. They are all so good!
“All eight of us are so incredibly good, up until the very last second I have no idea who’s gonna win and I’m so proud of each and every one of us.
“I feel like all of us gave one hundred percent yesterday, so hindi ko po alam.
“I didn’t know until they announced my name.”
Wala raw siyang maisip na biggest threat sa kanya sa natitirang pito.
“No sir, I can’t think of anyone, sorry. They are all so incredibly good!”
Ano ang plano ni Astroboy ngayong siya ang grand champion?
“I teach hula hooping to people so what I’m gonna do is some of my first students are super-galing sila ngayon.
“So they’re gonna take over for the beginner classes sa Q.C. at sa Makati and then I’m gonna do a dance workshop now.
“I wanna do what I wanna do, siyempre hula-hooping changed my life and it got me here so I wanna spread that to people.”
Tinanong din ng PEP si Astroboy kung ano ang unang gagawin niya paggising niya the following morning.
“Tomorrow morning I’m gonna call my parents in the States.
“They couldn’t be here right now and I miss them so much and I’m gonna call them and let them know," sabi niya.
BIG, BIG PRIZES. Ang premyo ni Astroboy ay isang milyong piso, a brand new car, at college scholarship mula sa AMA Computer College.
Ano gagawin niya sa cash prize niyang one million pesos?
“I haven’t really thought about that yet, but I have a lot of family members who could use the money to support their education.
“My cousins are going to college now and I can’t wait to help them.
“I would really love to go see some of my old professors sa New York where I went to college…
“So I want to go to New York in the next couple of months—for a couple of months, and touch base with them po.
“And then aside from that, I have to pay off some of my student loans from college and then I’m gonna look for an apartment here in Manila.”
Amerikano ang tatay ni Daniel at ang nanay niya ay Pinay.
At dahil nanalo siya sa Talentadong Pinoy, plano niyang mamalagi na dito sa Pilipinas.
“Opo, opo. Dito na po ako.
“I lived in New York for the last six years and then I moved back here, since last July pa po.
“Dapat I was only supposed to be here for three months but then I started performing just for birthday parties and friends…
“And people really liked what I do so I started performing regularly and I started classes.”
BEGINNINGS. Sa isang performance niya, may nagkumbinsi sa kanya na sumali sa Talentadong Pinoy.
Kuwento ni Astroboy, “I was performing in a birthday party, sa aunt ko, ’tapos a guest told me ‘You have to audition for this show called Talentadong Pinoy.
“My background ko po is in theatre so I would really love to participate in more plays here.
“I think really exciting things are happening in the Philippine theater scene now so I really like to be part of that.”
Sa palagay niya, bakit siya ang nanalo, na bukod sa judging ay marami rin ang text votes para sa kanya?
“I think from the beginning, what appealed to the people with what I do is how joyful it makes me feel, and also that I’m on fire!” ang natatawang sinabi ni Astroboy.
“I wanna do something that incorporated a story of fire bringing light to people.”
Sa palagay ba niya ay sawa na ang mga tao na manood ng kumakanta at sumasayaw sa mga ganitong klase ng talent shows kaya siya ang ibinoto ng karamihan?
“I think that people will never get tired of singing and dancing.
“Here in the Philippines, there’re so many singing and dancing competitions.
“But I do think that what I brought was something new and I was really happy to be one of the first people to bring hula hooping as an art form to the forefront.”
IN DISBELIEF. Hindi pa rin makapaniwala si Astroboy sa mga pangyayari, lalo na performance night bago sa results night.
“Absolute disbelief po! I did not expect this at all.
“I don’t know, I think I see the other seven Hall Of Famers as my peers and as really incredible performers…
“And so I guess last night, I was so scared and so nervous, so anxious that I just told myself, ‘Alam mo, you know, you give the best performance you can sa Diyos lang. It’s up to God now.’
“And I have come at peace with whatever verdict. But I didn’t expect it to be me!”
ASTROBOY MONICKER. Four years ago siya nagsimulang mag-hula hoop, bakit Astroboy ang bansag sa kanya?
“The first time I hula hooped on fire, I was wearing a shirt with Astroboy on it so…
“I didn’t actually choose the name Astroboy, people in my fire community [group of hula hoopers/fire dancers] in New York just started calling me that after that.”
Marami na rin daw siyang sugat at paso sa larangang pinasok niya at araw-araw siyang magpraktis.
“Marami na pong burns, in trying to learn new tricks.”
“For me it doesn’t feel like practice. I try to make it a part of my everyday routine, for me its also like meditation or yoga.”
Only 24 years old, single si Daniel at walang karelasyon ngayon.
“I am in a relationship with my hula hoop!” ang tumatawang pahayag ni Astroboy.