I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore. If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before But I have a talent, a wonderful thing ’cause everyone listens when I start to sing. I’m so grateful and proud, All I want is to sing it out loud… – Thank You for the Music (Abba)
When ISS called for the ICE (International Cultural Evening) auditions last July 26, I did not really pay attention. For one, I was not confident enough to perform in front of a big international crowd and two, it was a hell week for us (media studies course) because we were in the midst of finishing a class requirement (a group blog).
Days before the auditions, I was talking to Abigail (fellow Filipino student at ISS) about cooking a Filipino food or putting up a Filipino booth (aside from performing, we were also encouraged to cook our own food or join the exhibit). But our plans did not materialize. I signed up for the auditions anyway.
However, I had second thoughts about the auditions. Then something hit me, I have to do something to represent my country! But what and how? Surely, a cultural dance number is impossible as many of our dances are done in groups. Poem? I can’t. Sing? Hhhhmmmm. Why not?
So I immediately thought of a local song which is appropriate for the occasion and I was already nervous. Yes, I have sang before but not in that setting. I sought song suggestions from my friends by asking them through Facebook. One of my former students, Karen, gave the best one: “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit” (One World, One Song). She was even kind enough to find the youtube link for me! That got me excited and more nervous.
I was one of the last “acts” to audition. I was even reminded by Erlend, the activity coordinator about it. While waiting for my turn, I was memorizing the song lyrics. I have heard of the song before and I know some of its lyrics but I have to know the entire song, in an hour!
When it was my turn to audition, I was shaking a bit! Yet I told myself that I am doing my country a favor and that I should give it my best. I think I heard my voice cracked while singing. But I thought I did well and I was told that it was a good one. They told me to check my email in the morning and see if I got accepted.
The next day, I could not believe the news: I got in! I was happy to find out but it also meant that the butterflies in my tummy grew in number. Then the 3-day rehearsals began. I got more and more nervous each time.
The performance night came. My knees were shaking and my heart was beating faster. I was restless. Backstage, people were busy rehearsing, me included. When my name was called, I said to myself: “This is it girl, we can do this!”
I must admit, seeing the crowd made me very very nervous! It was a huge venue and I felt so small standing in that stage. I could not see the people’s faces but I could hear familiar voices cheering me on.
And after a few seconds, a proud Filipina dressed in traditional purple “barong” sang her heart out.
I don’t know how I did it. I could just remember swaying while singing and even enjoying that moment. In less than 3 minutes, my number was finished. It was followed by applause, cheers and shouts.
It made me very happy and proud of myself. I did it!
The ISS-ICE 2011 was very successful! I was also proud of my friends who performed that night. I think we were all nervous but we managed to get past the nervousness.
It was an amazing night where beautiful cultures of the world were proudly presented. I am grateful for that experience. It is something I will never ever forget.
So here is the video of that exciting performance: