July 21, 2024

Six Cordilleran talents contributed to the 362 medal haul of Team Philippines at the close of the 26th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) on Aug. 6 in California, United States.

Sesy Lou Bucalen-Salazar, Gina Ulat Emuang, Angelica Pen Licudan, and Carlos Puno bagged medals in the singing categories while Jason Ivan Timbal Sobremonte showed his mettle in the dance category and Xyza Nicole Aguilar in the modeling category.

Kalinga’s Sgt. Bucalen-Salazar of the Philippine Army displayed her powerhouse vocals in the senior solo vocal competition, winning two silver medals in the open category and variety category and bronze in the RnB/soul/jazz category.

Gina Emuang of Baguio City won a gold medal and hailed as the division champion in the Latin category, and two bronze medals in the broadway and original works category. For the latter, Emuang sang an original composition called “Hold my Heart” composed by Paul and Dinah Armesin. 

Angelica Pen Licudan of Baguio and Isabela bagged silver medals apiece in the opera and Latin ca-tegories and another silver as semi-finalist, and added one bronze for the world category.

Musician Carlos Puno of Baguio was declared champion of the world division vocals for rock genre, as well as a multi-gold medalist as the top vocals for rock and instrumentalist original category.

He added another silver medal by winning the country genre and bronze medal in the original category.

Jason Ivan Timbal Sobremonte of Tuba, Benguet brought home the gold medal in the contortion flexibility dance, silver medal in the contortion advance, bronze in the contortion open, and plaques as the division champion in contortion flexibility dance and contortion advance.

Xyza Nicole Aguilar of La Trinidad, Benguet shone in the modeling division, bagging a gold medal apiece in the formal and casual wear, silver medal in the swimwear category, and recognized as the division champion for both the formal and casual wear categories.

The Cordilleran talents were part of the Team Philippines contenders during the global event where the country’s talented acts took home 362 medals. The medal haul includes 86 gold, 91 silver, and 59 bronze medals.

The team also produced 10 finalist medals, 56 semifinalist medals, and 53 division winner plaques. 

The junior grand champion performer and vocalist of the world went to Thedd Maglocot, junior grand champion dancer of the world went to Simone Avisado, and the junior grand champion dance group of the world went to En Avant, while the senior grand champion dancer of the world went to Pia Torino.

The WCOPA gathered talents from more than 70 countries where participants showcased their masteries in singing, dancing, acting, and various acts in the performing arts.

The talents underwent rigorous screening from a panel of judges composed of seasoned talent managers, coaches, and award-winning casting directors. – Ofelia C. Empian