After ABS-CBN made the announcement that Megastar Sharon Cuneta is the newest judge for the upcoming season of The Voice Kids Philippines, she couldn’t help but reminisce her earliest days as a recording artist.
Cuneta, who turned 50 years old in January, began her career at age 12, and shot to fame with songs like “Tawag ng Pag-ibig” and “Mr. DJ.” Since then she churned out hit after hit in the last four decades, popularizing more than 30 singles and recording more than 40 albums, many of which garnered multi-platinum and diamond record awards.
While she never joined any singing contests to fulfill her dream (her maternal aunt’s husband, now Sen. Tito Sotto paved her path in showbiz), Cuneta believes she has valuable lessons to impart to the young ones who plan to audition to the successful talent search.
“In order to survive this competition, they should learn to enjoy themselves,” the OPM stalwart and multi-awarded actress began. “Also, whoever among them wins, I really hope they continue going to school. Sana wag sila titigil kasi importanteng makatapos sila ng pag-aaral.”
As a coach, Cuneta, whose first experience in judging talent contests was via the network’s Star Power (2010), she promised to do her best to offer the best advice in the most positive way. “You cannot traumatize a kid. Kasi baka masira ang dream niya. It’s just a matter of picking the right words, making them feel na magaling pa rin siya. They will also have their own place on the sun.”
Asked by The Manila Times how she plans to reign in her famed sweetness and soft heartedness (the Megastar is known to cry over the smallest situations that touch her), she laughingly replied, “Even Direk Lauren [Dyogi] has been telling me wag daw ako masyadong maawa! But napaso na ako sa isang contestant that I tended to spoil before in Star Power and even in The Biggest Loser, and I do believe my experience in those two shows has prepared me for this.
“Rest assured, I know that hindi ito contest ng palungkutan ng life story kundi pagalingan ng pagkantahan,” she added firmly.
“It came full circle, and now I’m back, and it’s back with me.”
Despite receiving negative comments in social media even before the show proper has begun—there are those who call her “Sarah Geronimo’s replacement,” while others continue to bash her about her weight—Cuneta, who has in fact lost 30 pounds and counting, is simply grateful to be in such a well-followed program.
“My happiness is immeasurable. I don’t want to seem a mayabang person—I mean, I’m a very masayahin person—but I hope—I’d like to think and I hope—I bring some substance to show business also,” she shared.
“It’s been 38 years singing and 35 years (acting)! And I still don’t know how I got here except for God’s hand. Really. And the support of people God sent my way. They’re all my angels. Everything just fell into place for me.
“This show is wonderful and it could have been anyone else but ABS-CBN thought of me. The Voice bosses of America they approved me. There are some things that you cannot plan and my manager [Sandra Chavez] and I learned that.
“God is so good. Just when you think you’re done, something comes along na parang He wants me to do something else.”
The Voice Kids is the biggest and top-rating singing reality competition for kids in the country. Starting this May, Cuneta will be working with Lea Salonga and Bamboo as they screen and mentor kids who will showcase their singing talent and live out their dreams.