The Next Superstar Kids

The Next Superstar Kids

By Kristelle Bechayda

Parents can’t help but feel proud and inspired when their child is driven and set on achieving a particular goal. A recent competition proved that hard work and determination wins as Danaielle Haley Magtoto and Kyle Quinzel Tapdasan were crowned as the grand winners of this year’s SM Little Stars.

Out of more than 5,000 talented children from all over the country who registered to join, only 30 participants made it to the grand finals held at the SMX Convention Center where they awed the audience with their upbeat dance moves, angelic voices, and musical prowess during the talent category.

Danaielle, 8, and Kyle, 7, who represented SM City East Ortigas and SM City North Edsa respectively, both played the piano. According to their parents, the children themselves had selected which musical piece they were going to play, with Danaielle opting for Mozart’s “Alla Turca” and Kyle choosing Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.”

WHAT A PERFORMANCE Kyle plays Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” for his talent number

“It’s all him,” says Kyle’s mother, Mary Joy Tapdasan, who shares that it was her son who insisted on joining the competition. “From our part, we exerted maybe only 40 percent but the 60 percent came from him. It’s his dream, he really worked hard for it.”

Danaielle had the same drive as well. It was her second time to compete in SM Little Stars. Despite not having made it to last year’s grand finals, the current girl grand winner was only more determined to try once again.

“She was the one who was really decided,” shares Danaielle’s dad, Roldan Magtoto. “We just supported her and helped her out during her practices, which she did everyday for a minimum of one to three hours. She was that dedicated.”

Where superstars are from

Now on its 13th year, SM Little Stars continues to provide a platform for Filipino kids to showcase their talents, as well as opportunities to hone their skills. It has produced several child stars like Marcus Cabais, Nhikzy Calma, and Esang de Torres, who was invited to judge this year’s competition.

“Actually, it is very heartwarming,” says Jonjon San Agustin, who is SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing. “A lot of them have actually moved on and have become superstars in their own right. But we are very happy they always take time to come back and help us out, particularly help the other children out to be able to live their dreams as well.”

Joining Esang in the roster of judges were singer-actress Karylle Tatlonghari-Yuzon, movie director Joey Reyes, and TV personality Tuesday Vargas, who selected the winners based on star quality (40 percent), personality (20 percent), and talent (40 percent).

I’M A WINNER Danaielle gives the audience a wide smile as she introduces herself during the program’s opening

Apart from the grand winners, third runner-up Patrice Michaela Asuncion of SM City North Edsa, second runner-up Gio Ryan Valerio of SM City Baliwag, and first runner-up Ludwig Hans Carizo of SM City Marikina also emerged victorious.

Meanwhile, Lyka Jane Bayang of SM City General Santos, Iyana Abrielle Yturralde of SM City Telabastagan, Caleb Hans Ong of SM City Cagayan de Oro, James Tamondong of SM City Rosales, Francis Lee of SM City Calamba were announced as part of the top 10 finalists.

Family support is important

When asked on how to show their support to their children, the parents of Danaielle and Kyle suggest to let them pursue their interests. “If the kid doesn’t want it, don’t push it. Wait until it’s what he wants,” says Danaielle’s mom, Shendelle Magtoto.

Kyle’s mother agrees to this. “Ask your child what he really wants because it’s hard if you force something on him. Their happiness is genuine if they are really into it. Also give them the opportunity to pursue their interests, so they can focus on something aside from their studies,” she ends.