Competition as foundation

Top One Project (TOP) members Louie Pedroso, Adrian Pascual, Miko Manguba, Joshua Jacobe and Mico Cruz

Top One Project (TOP) members Louie Pedroso, Adrian Pascual, Miko Manguba, Joshua Jacobe and Mico Cruz

Boy group TOP applies valuable lessons in the making of debut album
Eight months after GMA Network produced its very own boy group through the multi-platform competition To The Top, winners Adrian Pascual, Joshua Jacobe, Louie Pedroso, Mico Cruz, and Miko Manguba—collectively known as TOP (Top One Project)—are ecstatic to finally have their self-titled, debut album out in the market this month.

Yet more than the fruit of their hard labor, the band members also treasure the valuable lessons they learned throughout the four-month competition, all of which were aptly applied in the making of their album.

At a press conference last week at GMA, Pascual was first to share that he developed self-confidence.

He expressed, “Kasi po hindi ako sanay mag-perform on stage and in front of many people especially on television. Tinuruan po nila ako kung paano magkaroon ng tiwala sa sarili, at i-express yung talent ko sa mga tao.”

As the youngest at 17, Pascual is naturally the group’s eager-beaver member, but is always serious in absorbing all the lessons he is taught.

Meanwhile, for 22-year-old Magua, “having the right motivation” is his takeaway from the competition, thanks to the show’s vocal coaches namely Ryan Cayabyab and The Company.

“Ang The Company, sinabi talaga nila sa amin na huwag gawing motivation ang fame or money and music should really carry the group in every composition and every shows that we do. So ngayon, parang hindi kami napapagod na gumawa ng songs kasi yun talaga ‘yong gusto naming gawin for the group,” Magua, considered to be the most musically matured in the group, shared.

This resulted to their original composition “San Na” as part of the album under GMA Records. Their carrier single now heard on radio is “Pag-gising,” while “Bakit Ganon,” “Alaala,” “Kaya Ko Kaya Mo,” and “Somebody” complete the lineup of songs.

For Jacobe, 22—who was once an intern for GMA Records and a member of an underground rock band—continuous improvement is something he would apply beyond the competition.

“Sobrang dami naming natutunan from the show pero ang pinakatumatak sa akin ay ‘yong kailangan mong mag-improve every day. Never settle for the capabilities and the level of skill that you have today. Kailangan everyday may mindset ka na kailangan mo mag-improve bukas at sa isa pang bukas,” Jacobe detailed.

Cruz, 21, echoed Jacobe’s answer: “Madami akong natutunan sa mga coaches especially kay sir Moy Ortiz at ang isa dun ay ‘Never really settle with what you have.’ ‘Don sa material mo kasi there’s always a chance to improve. It will never be perfect but you always have to think that someday it will be, and that’s where continuous improvement enters.”

Lastly, the show instilled in 20-year-old Pedroso that hard work on top of talent is always better.

“Before when I used to see singers and dancers, I used to see them as people who are so blessed with talent na parang ‘Uy pinanganak kang ganyan, galing mong kumanta, galing mong sumayaw.’ Pero yun pala, I figured that they don’t get to that point without hard work,” he explained.

“It’s always work, work, work. Kahit may talent, skill, time and the money to do everything you can, if you don’t work on it, you won’t get it,” Pedroso concluded as his groupmates nodded in agreement.


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