Robi Domingo on what set The Voice winner Mitoy Yonting apart from other finalists: “Two things: heart and personality.”

Robi Domingo believes Mitoy Yonting deserves the title The Voice of the Philippines, "Everyone else deserved the title but that guy stood out because of his Aerosmith type of voice. Some people say he’s the noise of the Philippines, but, you know, ano lang naman yan, e kanya-kaniyang mga opinyon. I respect their opinions but you have to respect the opinions of the ones who voted for them."


Robi Domingo is happy about the success of The Voice of the Philippines’ first season.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a chat with Robi last Thursday, October 3, at the Edge of Light Studios in Quezon City.

Along with the Gonzaga sisters, Toni and Alex, Robi hosted the top-rating weekend show, which ended last September 29.

Mitoy Yonting of Team Lea emerged as the grand winner of the reality talent competition.

Some viewers have expressed their opinions online on who they think should have won the contest.

Robi says, “Mitoy Yonting. Feeling ko kasi, lahat sila, I’m not gonna say na talagang everyone deserves to win. But, yun talaga, e.

“Everyone who entered that competition really deserved to win. But for this case, if you’re asking me if he really deserved the title, for me, yes.

“Everyone else deserved the title but that guy stood out because of his Aerosmith type of voice.

“Some people say he’s the noise of the Philippines, but, you know, ano lang naman yan, e. Kanya-kanyang mga opinyon.

“I respect their opinions but you have to respect the opinions of the ones who voted for them.”

On what had set Mitoy apart from runner-up Clarisse, the former PBB housemate said, “Mitoy, for me, and I had the privilege to interview him first-hand before even sumalang siya sa blind auditions...

“For me, I’ve seen his growth, I’ve seen his passion, I have seen his desire to win.

“But for me, what sets Mitoy apart from other people? Two things: heart and personality.”

WORKING WITH THE COACHES. Robi admitted being initially intimidated with the show’s stellar lineup of coaches.

The four coaches of The Voice of the Philippines were Lea Salonga, Apl de Ap, Bamboo Mañalac, and Sarah Geronimo.

He relates, “At first, when Ma’am Malou [Almaden], when Direk Lauren [Dyogi] told me, ‘Ang mga coach natin Lea Salonga, Bamboo, Apl de Ap, and Sarah Geronimo.’

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“Feeling ko as a field reporter, mahihirapan ako nang sobra. Kasi, world-class yan, e.

“And I had this notion na, pag sila nagsama-sama, mas parang high-end. They will be on a pedestal.

“Sabihin nila, ‘Okay, I’m a coach. You’re just one of those guys who would ask questions na hindi naman importante para sa kanila.’”

Robi was pleasantly surprised to find that his initial notions about them were unfounded.

“But when I got to talk to them, my god, they’re human after all. I mean, they have the talent, they’re kings and queens of greatness.

“Pero off-cam, they’re just crazy people. And I’m really happy I got to meet and talk to those people, na hindi usually nakikita ng mga tao.

“Like Lea Salonga, professional siya when it comes to work, pero off-cam, she will get her stilettos and poke them at me.

“Bamboo, he would wrestle me. Apl, akala mo cool guy-cool guy lang, he’s serious.

“Sarah, we all know that she’s sweet, she’s lovely, but backstage, she laughs all the time, plus, she has this spunk.

“So yun ang mga qualities na na-embrace ko.”

HOSTING. On his experience hosting the show, Robi relates, “It has been a great, great journey for me.

“I felt like I matured, I grew as a host. And not just as a host, but as a person.

“It’s fun working with the Gonzaga sisters, fun working with the new business unit, namely Ma’am Malou Almaden.

“And everything is so, so great. Voices were heard, I’m happy for all the contestants who went in. And I’m looking forward to [the next seasons].”

In what sense has he matured as a host? “From MYX, I just introduced videos.

“From PBB, I had to memorize spiels.

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"For The Voice, I got to empathize.

“I can’t sing, I can’t hit the high notes, but I know what’s the feeling of standing there, showcasing your talent to everyone and hoping that, you know, you’ll be the next one to be entitled The Voice of the Philippines, or the first one.

On who he tries to emulate when in terms of hosting, he says, “Right now, siguro, local kasi, it’s really hard to find one na sakto talaga.

“Pero yung hinahanap ko ngayon, it’s either, the cross of Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest.

“So kung top na pag-usapan, punta na ko dun sa magagaling talaga.”

For Robi, getting into hosting was rather circumstantial. He confesses, “Frankly, it’s accident lang.

“Aksidente lang lahat ng nangyari kasi, before PBB, bulol ako. Up to now naman bulol pa rin ako, e. Hindi naman ako tumatanggi dun.

“But ang nangyari, PBB, I went to MYX, just for the reason na, wala akong time kumbaga.

“Kasi before, I had to go to Ateneo, so I prioritized my school first. And after school, I would go to MYX, then after MYX, I’m done.

“Like, I have the luxury of time to study, hang-out with my friends, and all that jazz.

“Biglang nasundan ng mga ASAP, sunud-sunod na. Aksidente lang siya pero, hey, what the heck, it’s a good accident.”

Doesn’t he have any plans of getting into acting?

Robi muses, “Siguro, I will focus more on hosting.

“I’m not saying I’m gonna close my door to acting, pero ngayon kasi I’m going with what the demand requires me to do.

“And ngayon, feeling ko, kulang ng hosts. So I just have this urge to step up and take the challenge.”

GRETCHEN HO. On what makes him smile these days, Robi candidly replied, “Wow. A lot of things, actually—my work, my family, even Gretchen.

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"If that’s the answer that you’re waiting for, sige, ibibigay ko na.

Though they have not divulged the exact date, it was around March when Robi and athlete Gretchen Ho went steady.

How has their relationship been so far?

Robi replied, “Okay naman. It’s fun hanging out with her. I get to know myself better through her.”

He says they enjoy doing the simplest things together.

“Malling lang. We’re not into bars. We’re not into going super hardcore concerts.

“We just go malling, watch TV, enjoy, read a book together. Those boring stuff na akala ng tao, ako para sa kin, exciting na yun.”

Robi and Gretchen don’t have qualms about posting their photos on Instagram and being open about their relationship.

“Not open-open pero we’re open na we’re together. And I think I should stop right there na. I don’t wanna divulge any information. Kasi I wanna keep things private with her,” he clarifies.

It’s too early to ask, but could Gretchen be "the one?"

Robi quips, “Too early to answer the question din. Pero hopefully, hopefully.”


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