Marcelito Pomoy excited to barnstorm 14 states for his US concert tour

Marcelito Pomoy’s happy demeanor and positive outlook in life belie the pain and hardship he had to go through to be where he is today.

Barnstorming across the United States until April for a series of shows, Pomoy sat down in a chat with the Asian Journal to promote his concerts and share his inspiring tale. As of press time, Pomoy and his team are midway through their 18-city, 14-state tour.

“I’m so happy to be back. Mahaba-haba rin na walang events kaya ako ay nagpapasalamat at nakabalik ako dito sa U.S. and yung mga OFW dito, yung mag Pilipino, gusto ko siiang mapasaya,” the singer said.

He said he is looking forward to performing for kababayans even in states and cities where Filipino shows are rare as his concert tour will bring them to Biloxi, Wichita, Memphis, and Northern Arkansas.

Pomoy won Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) in 2011 and nine years later, made it to America’s Got Talent: The Champions as one of the 40 acts from Got Talent franchises around the world who were invited to participate. His uncanny talent of seamlessly shifting between soprano and tenor voices made him a household name in the United States and he felt the momentum building up as there were offers for concerts left and right.

“After ng AGT, biglang nagkaroon ng COVID, ng pandemic kaya nawala yung excitement,” he said, noting that it was just another hiccup that they had to recover from.

Pomoy acknowledged and paid tribute to his wife Joan, the wind beneath his wings, for being able to rise above life’s challenges.

He shared that there was a point when he wanted to give up because his career was getting nowhere after he won the title in the Philippines. When he was at his lowest, his wife was there guiding him and telling him not to give up because as long as he has his voice, the possibilities are endless.

It was also Joan who was responsible for Marcelito’s appearance in The Ellen Show. She was also the one who egged him to perform on the Wish Bus, which has become a platform for viral performances that made it around the world.

Nag-away pa kami kasi ayoko talaga. Sabi ko ako na lang mag-handle ng negosyo. Pinasampa niya talaga ako sa WishBus kaya napilitan ako,” he recalled.

That performance became the epitome of viral as hundreds of non-Filipino reactors made their respective reaction videos. That was how they were able to get into Ellen’s radar, catching the attention of the show’s producers who invited him to appear on the show.

Pomoy, who had picked to sing Celine Dion songs for the episode, mentioned to Ellen that she was his favorite singer. The host arranged for Pomoy and his wife to go to Las Vegas to watch Celine’s concert and have a meet-and-greet, a memory that he says he’ll treasure for life.

Pomoy told the Asian Journal that he credits whatever he does now to the upbringing he had, hardships and all.

His story may have been heartbreaking – his mother left the family when he was only two years old and his father was in jail for arson – but his spirit was never broken.

He became – in his own words, a “palaboy” at the age of eight years old because he left the home of his adoptive parents who got him from his father in prison.

Little did he know that the cousins he grew up with in that household were actually his siblings. He only found out when he sold balut to someone who turned out to be a best friend of his father’s when they got to talk about their lives. Marcelito was 16 years old then when he met his father for the first time and the truth about his past was revealed.

He took on odd jobs: he became a pin boy, sold ice drop during the day, and balut during the evening. He earned fifty pesos a day as a pin boy, which was not enough to buy three square meals a day so sometimes, he ended up eating only one meal per day.

Then he became a construction worker and after a hard day’s work, his co-workers would ask him for a round of drinks. He would beg off because he didn’t want to spend money so the co-workers would cover his portion and would just ask him to sing a few songs.

Singing became his ambag, his contribution.

Pomoy is a firm believer in the adage “We Rise by Lifting Others” and during the height of the lockdown during the pandemic, he stepped up.

Nasa puso ko talaga ang pagtulong siguro dahil naging pulubi ako at naranasan ko kumain ng tira-tira sa mga restaurant sa sobrang gutom,” he recalled. “Ibinabalik ko lang yung mga biyayang natanggap ko sa mga taong walang-wala.”

The singer said he is happy to share his blessings and this is evidenced by the numerous charity work and various acts of kindness like distributing food, milk, diapers, and supplies, and supporting local schools, in the town of Calauag, Quezon where he now lives with Joan and their growing family.

Marcelito and Joan are expecting baby number two, their first kid Marcella Janiah is now six years old. He wanted a boy but according to the gender reveal, it’s going to be another girl.

Gusto ko sana lalaki pero ok naman ako sa kahit anong kasarian, kasi bigay ng Panginoon,” he said.

For his followers who may be downtrodden or are going through tough times, Pomoy said they shouldn’t give up.

Hindi ako bumitaw dahil alam ko, may Diyos,” he said. “Huwag kayong bumitaw sa inyong mga pangarap, always pray and magtiwala kayo sa sarili ninyo.”

This is also the reason why he always sings The Prayer, which has become his signature song, the one that propelled his name to reach greater heights.

The Prayer was his winning song for Pilipinas Got Talent and became his audition song for America’s Got Talent: The Champions. It was also the song that gave Wish Bus millions of views.

Today, the song’s message resonates more than ever, which is not lost on the singer.

Hindi pa tapos ang COVID-19, ngayon may giyera naman sa Ukraine. Hindi na natin maintindihan ang mga nangyayari sa mundo kaya mag-pray na lang po tayo,” he told his Las Vegas audience last week before singing the Celine Dion and Andrea Bocceli duet.

(Catch Marcelito Pomoy in his U.S. and Canada tour. For tickets and details, pleasetext or call Sherly Cheng (503) 746-3900 or Elvie Ferell (971) 344-866))

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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