Feb 19
LITTLE MISS TRICIA by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Feb 19, 2010

There’s a saying that contestants are made to be broken. That’s the problem with contests, only a few winners and, in some cases, there’s only one winner but almost always plenty of losers.

Win some, lose some. Ask any contest judge and the usual reply would be, “They all have talents but unfortunately, not all can be winners.” And all judges are aware that contestants would be giving it their best shot. Being a contestant is a challenge some people dare to take, not just for winning but also for the experience.

Tricia is one little miss who was willing to try anything just to get the eyes of the audience. A natural showgirl whose confidence is always at a high, Tricia would render her performance with no sweat at all.

Last week, Tricia went to audition for the Little Miss Philippines contest of Eat Bulaga. Of the 500 wannabes in line, only 100 would be given the chance to show their wares. Tricia was included in group 201 so she had to return on the afternoon of the next day for her scheduled appearance.

The audition requires 15 kids at a time to undergo screening. Tricia was in the 5th batch. Each contestant, along with parent or guardian, were asked to enter the audition room. One by one, gloom was evident in the parent’s face as they come out of the audition room. Obviously, they failed to pass the test and were advised to practice more in order to enhance the child’s talent.

When it was Tricia’s turn, she sidled past the door and started her act by introducing herself to the 6 members of the panel while her mother was still closing the door. Considering that she’s only 3 years old, the toddler is certainly showbiz material.

Tricia with her poses

After answering some questions, Tricia gamely sang the theme song of Dyesebel. The multi-talented girl also danced to her heart’s delight such that her parent thought aloud, “bigay na bigay.” Tricia was rewarded with an applause from the small crowd in the room, mainly EB Babes.

* If you want to watch Tricia’s first performance of the Endless Bahay Kubo song when she was 2 years old, please click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGpcZGri7lI

After Tricia’s performance, the chairman of the screening committee told Tricia’s parent to wait awhile for the second screening which proceeded after an hour of waiting. Later on, a staff of Eat Bulaga approached them to verify their contact numbers. Apparently, Tricia had hurdled the second audition.

The audition proved to be tiring and trying, more on the part of the parent. “Syempre andun yung tense ka saka hoping na makapasa.” Unfortunately, the awaited call from Eat Bulaga did not materialize.

Tricia and her parents

For a stage parent, that missing call was both frustrating and relieving. Dashed hopes do not necessarily mean permanent failure and the realization that they’re still okay and nothing was really lost was a salve for a parent’s broken heart.

For Tricia, the audition was well worth the trouble. The missed opportunity fueled her inspiration to enhance her skills and to nurture her talents. As a bonus, Tricia had gained a new friend in the auditions by the name of Kimberly whose parents were so nice and very supportive of her.

It is therefore logical to assume that Tricia stands by her concocted saying, “Ang batang makulit napapalo sa puwit, kaya di na kami mangungulit at maghihintay na lang ng tawag ulit.” Hopefully, lady luck will give them a call someday.

Venus Tricia Marie Orbeta is turning 4 years old on March 9. Her mother Gigi is a Davaoeña who’s a graduate of STI while Mon, her father, is a children’s book writer and book illustrator who had won a Palanca award in 2002 for his teleplay.

About a decade ago, my youngest sister brought her daughter to that same GMA studio for a possible slot in the Little Miss Philippines contest. But like Tricia and so many others, Mikha Balicana did not pass the auditions.

In the advent of the reality contests for kids, some concerned people made a furor over the effect on the losing contestants, considering that most were of pre-school age. Some psychologists say that failure may create permanent psychological scars in a child. More often, the child tends to be aloof and some develop hangups.

As a positive reaction, contest organizers saw to it that a resident psychologist was present in the studio to soften the impact on the losing candidates.

With the prevalence of reality contests on television, Pinoys are getting used to the rigors of losing like the tension-filled elimination portion of American Idol, Starstruck, Pinoy Big Brother, etc. One good thing coming out of it is the idea of losing in such a contest, in the eyes of the television audience, is no big deal.

In the case of Mikha – facing the judges with her rehearsed act and eventually being told to just go home – she had learned to overcome her shyness. Although still not an extrovert now, Mikha is able to be a standout in a crowd simply by just being herself, oozing with natural confidence.

Mikha Balicana with her escort during last summer’s Santacruzan

And maybe like Mikha, Tricia would someday be winning high grades in school and excelling in extra-curricular activities. Thanks to that wonderful opportunity of joining and losing auditions. A loser can still be a winner.

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