Calgary’s pride and The Voice Kids Philippines’ first runner-up Darren Espanto came back to his hometown with a sold out one-night concert at the Grey Eagle hotel.
Darrenatics from all over Alberta and neighbouring provinces came to watch their young idol perform after being away from Canada for many months. He went back to the Philippines to compete in the first-ever The Voice Kids Philippines, where he shot to fame worldwide with his impressive song and dance performances.
As a crowd favourite, Espanto captivated the hearts of Filipinos. He started his path to musical stardom when he became one of the finalists in YTV’s The Next Star singing contest last year.
Sherrill Ang, a member of the Darrenatics Fans Club of Saskatoon has been waiting to watch her idol perform live in Canada.
“Of course, ina-admire namin siya sa sobrang humility, kindness and of course, super talented,” she says. “We love you, Darren.”
Espanto’s fellow Calgarians were happy to see him finally have a concert in Calgary.
“Simula pa noong nandito si Darren sa Calgary, sa Northeast, nakikita ko na sa C-Train iyan, kaya ng simula ng pumunta sa Pilipinas iyan, at sumali sa Voice
Philippines, talagang idol ko na iyan simula’t sapol,” says Allan Bryan Mendros. “Kaya Darren, nandito ako para sa iyo.”
Although Espanto was under the weather, he still gave his all and thrilled the crowd by singing the songs he sang in The Voice Kids like Domino, One Moment in Time and Ngayon.
Espanto says his stint at The Voice was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and he
learned a lot of things from the contest.
“The experience I had on The Voice was amazing kasi po not everyone could have the same experience that I did and not every 13-year-old boy, actually po,” Espanto says.
Espanto and his family are thankful for all the people who have supported him throughout the competition.
“I’d like to thank them po because their support is incredible, they’re amazing and ah, maraming maraming salamat po sa pag-believe sa kakayanan ko at talento ko po, maraming salamat po,” Espanto says.
Espanto’s proud dad says they could not be happier for their son.
“Naku, walang sawang pasasalamat po sa lahat ng sumuporta kay Darren,” dad Lyndon Espanto says. “Ever since iyung journey niya nag-start sa The Voice, he is so blessed na napakaraming tao talagang nagmahal at sumuporta despite hindi siya nanalo naipakita niya ang kakayanan niya, talento niya.”
R&B OPM music artist Jayar, Espanto’s special guest artist at his concert, only had praise for the young star.
“You know Darren is very impressive talaga,” Jay-ar says. “The first time I saw him singing talaga, sabi ko this kid is amazing. So you know our first guesting together, the first time I met him actually was at Kris TV in the morning at kumanta siya. Sabi ko, ‘Wow, ilang taon ka na ba?’ Thirteen lang pala tapos ganoon na kagaling kumanta. So you know, I’m very proud to be part of his homecoming show. I’m very proud of him. He’s the first Filipino to fill-up and to do a concert here at Grey Eagle and it’s sold out pa, 2,500 Filipinos ang nandito so it’s really good to see the support for Darren in his hometown.”