Ilonggo child is new dance sensation

By Marie Katherine Villalon

When he was a day care student in Dumangas,  Iloilo, Jun Carlo Dumaplin Gumacal endured walking from home to school and back everyday under the searing heat of the sun. One day, while he and his mother were walking home, he told her that he would buy a car for the family when he becomes famous someday.

Jun Carlo Gumacal, SM Little Stars 2014 grand winner

This child does not forget his dreams. So, working towards it, he joined the audition for MiniMe at the age of 4. MiniMe is a segment of ABS-CBN’s “Showtime”.

 “I did not force him to join MiniMe. It was his decision and I supported him. There was a long line of children outside the studio because they wanted to audition for the show. It was raining but JC endured it. He also patiently sat on the floor for hours while waiting for his turn,” JC’s mother Concepcion narrated.

Passed the audition he did and danced his way to televiewers’ hearts! (Watch the video)

That was 2 years ago. Since then, he became a better performer and it seems that nothing is going to stop him from succeeding.

With his parents Concepcion and Gregorio and sister Connie

 This year, JC joined and won the SM Little Stars 2014 competition, SM Supermalls’ nationwide search for the brightest little superstars ages 4 to 6 years old. Now on its eight year, this competition has given children the chance to display their talents and gain confidence. It has taught them about camaraderie, respect and good sportsmanship. They select two grand winners – one boy and one girl.
With his choreographer Brett Campbell

 JC bested 15 other finalists coming from other parts of the Philippines during the grand finals at SM Mall of Asia. His fellow grand winner is Chun Sa Angela Jung from SM Clark.

JC and Angela won P2.5 million-worth of prizes each. Their prizes include cash, shopping money, a five-day trip for two in Xiamen, China (which they will avail in May 2015), college scholarship at the National University, music scholarship, modeling and acting scholarships and Toy Kingdom certificates.

“I want to go to China, to go shopping and buy a bike there,” JC told members of the media during a press conference held at CafĂ© Laguna, SM City Iloilo recently when he was asked why he joined SM Little Stars 2014. “And to buy my mother’s high heeled shoes,” he added.

It was a truthful and innocent answer that was expected from a child and the part about his mother’s shoes made everyone at the presscon laugh. Also present were his mother, his father Gregorio, choreographer Brett Campbell, school principal Ma. Teresa Tacan of the Graciano Lopez Jaena Elementary School, godfather Hon. Ronaldo Golez, Atty. Amelita del Rosario and SM City Iloilo officers during the presscon.

“My happiest moments during the competition were dancing and winning,” he shared.

Moreover, JC’s victory was quite memorable for his supporters. “He was the only boy left among the finalists, so before the grand winner for the male category was announced, he was already crying because he knew he made it,” said Lee Pedregosa, marketing officer of SM City Iloilo.

With his godfather Hon. Ronaldo Golez
“Our group screamed even more when one of the judges, Audie Gemora said, ‘Ah, taga diri man ako...” The other judges were beauty queens Patty Betita and Cheska Garcia-Kramer, actress Ciara Sotto and movie director Cathy Garcia Molina.

“But I did not hear the announcement anymore because I fainted. They said I was unconscious for 5 minutes,” Concepcion said.

JC became an instant celebrity among his schoolmates. “Nagpa-picture sila upod sa akon,” JC said when he was asked what his classmates’ reactions were when they found out about his victory.

With his awesome talent and the tremendous support of his family and school, it’s no wonder when 10 or more years from now, JC will be one of the country’s successful celebrities, and a heartthrob at that.

God has given children talents to use. Practice and group participation in related activities is a good way to spend children’s boundless energies. Dancing, for one, has many benefits – good health, better social skills, focus, discipline and confidence – which will be useful in all the areas of a person’s life.

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