“I just finished promoting ‘Duyan ng Magiting’ during the Cinemalaya festival,” singer-actress and OPM icon Bituin Escalante shared as we began the pocket interview with her in Quezon City. “Happily, we won a jury prize for Best Film and Best Ensemble and napakasarap nung experience na ‘yun because I got the opportunity to read with the best, Dolly De Leon, Joel Saracho, Jojit Lorenzo, Agot Isidro. Ang sarap na mapabilang kasama nila.”

In Philippine entertainment, only a few stars shine. With a powerful voice that can move mountains and a vibrant personality that captures hearts, Bituin has carved a special place for herself in the hearts of Filipinos. Aside from a successful movie project, she was also part of the musical series Still streamed on Viu and aired on GMA. It starred Kapuso stars Julie Anne San Jose and Christian Bautista.

The relatively new It’s Showtime judge is still on a roll even after more than two decades in the industry. “Now, ang suwerte ko, may pelikula tapos biglang nasa public eye, naghuhurado sa Tawag ng Tanghalan, napaka-good vibes, napakasaya,” Bituin said. She playfully raved, “Kasi ‘yung packed lunch ng [It’s] Showtime, isa na sa pinakamasarap na packed lunch sa industriya! ‘Yung caterer nila, that’s how you run a production, feed your people well. Saya ng ulam ko every lunchtime sa Showtime.” She was quick to add that seeing and bonding with her co-singers and co-actors make the job enjoyable.

Bituin also takes her stint as a judge in the highly popular noontime singing contest as an opportunity for learning. “‘Ay ‘yun pala kulang ko as a performer ‘pag nanonood ka ng contestants, ang dami mong natutunan,” she said. As a seasoned performer, she has an unparalleled understanding of what it takes to succeed in the world of music and performance.

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What sets Bituin Escalante apart as a hurado is not just her musical prowess but also her warmth and genuine concern for the contestants. Her kindness radiates as she is considerate as a judge and one who does not want to hinder an aspirant from pursuing a dream. She has a unique ability to connect with the performers on a personal level, offering them not just technical advice but also emotional support.

“I am not a kontesera, isa akong kuwentista. Background ko ‘yan bilang theater person so when I see a contestant at masaya ako sa pagkuwento niya ng kanta, tapos meron naman siyang boses, and it doesn’t have to be a voice na parang blown away tayong lahat, kasi ilan lang naman ang ganung boses. ‘Tsaka ‘yung magagaling sa ‘tin, boses ba talaga o ‘yung ability magkuwento? So ‘pag narinig ko ‘yun sa isang contestant, I tend to favor them,” Bituin explained. “Also, as a performer, I’m not a perfect singer. I do notice I have my flats, I have my sharps. So, kung kami ngang mga professional nagkakaroon ng mga ganung mali, mas forgiving ako sa contestant kasi puwedeng kaba ‘yun eh. And I don’t want to destroy someone’s dream, take their dream away, just because of a moment of kaba. Kasi minsan, kung paano nila binabawi ang moment of weakness, that’s professionalism.”

“Minsan, may sasali talaga for the five minutes of fame. Then, bilangan mo because the other serious contestants, you don’t want their experience to be cheapened by people who just chase fame. It’s a singing contest after all,” Bituin further elaborated. “I think I’m very forgiving but my standards are the standards of everyone else na ‘pag nakalabit mo ang puso ko, ikaw mananalo.” Asked to give an advice for aspiring singers, she offered, “Kuwento muna bago birit. Bago ‘yung notes, mas important sa ‘kin ang kuwento.”

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Tawag ng Tanghalan showcases the incredible vocal talents of Filipinos from all walks of life. As a hurado, Bituin brings her wealth of experience and expertise to the table, offering constructive feedback and valuable insights to contestants who aspire to be the next big singing sensation. In addition to her role on “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” Bituin Escalante’s appearances on “It’s Showtime” are a source of delight for viewers. Whether she’s engaging in witty banter with the show’s hosts or participating in fun and entertaining segments, she brings her signature charm and vivacity to every episode.

A guiding light for the next generation of Filipino artists, Bituin leads them toward a future filled with music, laughter, and endless possibilities. This Christmas, watch out for her new single that is set to tug at our heartstrings. “Magpapaiyak muli sainyo! I’m sure that a lot of people nangungulila ‘pag Pasko. May bago na namang paraan para ikuwento ‘yung ganung experience so yes, I’m releasing a new Christmas song. That is part of an entire concept album na unti-unti kong ilalabas,” Bituin ended.

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