SM City Iloilo’s little stars shine brighter

SM City Iloilo is not just a haven for family bonding moments, shopping and convenience but it provides children the chance to hone their talents so they could someday reach their full potential and realize their dreams.

SM Little Stars, one of the programs of SM Supermalls is an annual search for the brightest, most charming and talented kids. Here, children gifted with varied talents participate in the mall search, then winners will compete in the regional finals and eventually in the grand competition which is held at the SM Mall of Asia.

SM Little Stars has produced child actors such as Vince Angeles and JM Ibanez and a model, Makee Dulalia.

For 2015, SM City Iloilo’s grand finalists and representatives of the Visayas region were Arnell John Borre, 7 of St. Mary’s Academy of Iloilo City and Raphaela  Louise Arellano Aguila, 7 of Medonn Learning Center in Cabatuan.  They both sang and danced in the competition.

Arnell John Borre, SM Little Stars 2015 grand finalist

Both love to read, that is why they are very articulate even at a young age. They are also bubbly, witty and confident.

The following is an interview with Iloilo City’s stars, Arnell and Raphaela:

Tell us about your experience when you joined the search.
Arnell:  I had a great experience in Cebu and Manila (regional and national/grand finals, respectively). We did many rehearsals and we practiced hard. We did fun things at the amusement park.
During the regional finals, I was amazed when my name was called. I was so happy! I prayed to God that I would make it to the national finals.
Though I did not win in the national finals, it is okay. It does not mean ‘failure’ but rather a ‘first attempt in life’.

My mom said that I am still the winner in their hearts.
Raphaela: We had rehearsals and pictorials. We went to many places, went bowling, skating and many more. I gained more friends.
I felt sad that my name was not called among the grand winners but I’m still a winner with my parents. They are proud of me.
At school, everybody smiled at me and said ‘congratulations’.
To everyone, thank you for your support and prayers.

Raphaela Louise Arellano Aguila, SM Little Stars 2015 grand finalist

What are your plans after SM Little Stars?
Arnell: I will join ABS-CBN’s The Voice Kids and aim to be the next Ilonggo champion.
I want to enter showbiz. I want to be a national hiphop dancer, a national artist. I will show everybody that I have what it takes to be an artist.

Raphaela: Well, I’m so happy to be back in Iloilo. I miss Iloilo very much. In school, I’ll get busy with art class, painting, sports and other activities.

What is your message to future SM Little Stars contenders?
Arnel: Do your best and gain new friends. I also hope you make it to the grand finals and be the next champion. Make the Ilonggos proud. God bless.

Being SM City Iloilo’s ambassadors, tell us about what you do in the mall.
Arnell: When in SM City Iloilo, I go to Bibo and play games. We shop for toys and run around and see the good things. We also buy our clothes for contests and any event.

Raphaela: We buy our toys in SM if dad and mom have money. We also watch the shows in the mall.

While Raphaela was busy tinkering with her tablet, I asked about her favorite game.
Raphaela:  I like Minecraft. I have created a home, wherein one floor is for my bedroom and another floor is for the library.

So, you read many books? No wonder you are so fluent in English and that you are smart.
Raphaela: Yes. I love to read school books and story books. During card day, my grade is above 90.
Arnell: I read many books, too. Mostly adventure. But any kind of book would do.

It was indeed a fun interview with Arnell and Raphaela. Also, meeting them made me want to highlight these important elements in a child’s success:
1. Parental support. Arnell and Raphaela’s parents are very supportive of their children’s desires by providing them with the resources so they could do well.
2. Reading books.  Arnell and Raphaela read many books and this hobby has built their vocabulary, made them open-minded about the world around them, and has fostered their academic excellence.
3. More companies should create programs that discover, hone and reward talented individuals in their communities, such as the SM Little Stars.

To Arnell and his parents Arnel and Emily Borre, Raphaela and her parents Luvilla and Ronaldo Aguila, and SM City Supermalls, congratulations!/Kathy Villalon


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