Arts & Leisure

Chinese yoyo master is Talentadong Pinoy’s last grand champion

Posted on August 20, 2013

CHINESE yoyo master Marco Betito -- a.k.a. Spyro Marco -- was proclaimed the grand champion in the finale of the TV5 talent contest Talentadong Pinoy held Sunday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

After a four-hour telecast, the 18-year-old US-born yoyo expert was declared the winner by a panel of judges that included actress Sharon Cuneta, singer Ogie Alcasid, actress Judy Ann Santos, TV host Joey de Leon, actor Edu Manzano, and director Jose Javier Reyes.

Spyro Marco beat six other finalists to the Talentadong Pinoy Battle Royale, including singers Rina Forbes, Haina Udin, and Sor Apao, as well as illusionist JB "Laserman" dela Cruz, hip-hop dance group Nocturnal, and contortionist group Larvae.

Sypro Marco, who is currently a freshman at the Wesleyan University in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, became Talentadong Pinoy’s fourth grand champion, following yoyo artist Yoyo Tricker, sand artist Joseph, and hula hoop dancer Astroboy.

During a press conference last week, Spyro Marco said he became interested in Chinese yoyos after seeing them on a trip to Disneyland in California. He then learned tricks from watching YouTube videos.

"While growing up, I experienced bullying in the US. My peers would call me names, but I refused to fight them back. Because of this, I lost my confidence, and always asked myself what’s wrong with me," Spyro Marco told reporters.

"When I learned the [Chinese yoyo] tricks, I got a chance to perform in school... Performing redeemed my confidence," he said.

The grand finals on Sunday was Talentadong Pinoy’s last episode after being TV5’s highest rated program since it debuted five years ago. TV5 earlier announced the cancellation of the show to give way to new programs.

Program host Ryan Agoncillo did not hide his disappointment over the network’s decision to ax the show.

"I think the management’s decision to cancel our show sucks," Mr. Agoncillo told reporters. "That’s what I feel, you know, but it is beyond my pay grade to decide what happens to the program," he added.

TV5 First Vice-President for creative and entertainment production Perci M. Intalan explained that it was a tough decision for the network’s management to cancel the show.

"We all love Talentadong Pinoy," Mr. Intalan told reporters. "But eventually, the management decided that we should try out other things for the time slot," he added.

Mr. Intalan said TV5 will launch a new Sunday primetime programming line-up next month, starting with the return of Aga Muhlach’s educational and travel show Pinoy Explorer, and the return of the Philippine version of the international quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, still hosted by Vic Sotto.

Mr. Intalan said TV5 will also bring back its hidden camera show Wow Mali! (which will be renamed Wow Mali Pa Rin!) hosted by Joey de Leon.

Pinoy Explorer will air Sundays, 6 p.m., followed by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? at 7 p.m., and Wow Mali at 8 p.m.

He added that the network will also launch a new musical variety show next month called The Mega and The Songwriter featuring TV5 exclusive contract stars Sharon Cuneta and Ogie Alcasid. The new show will air Sundays at 9 p.m.

"While the network is preparing to launch the new shows, we will air Filipino-dubbed Hollywood blockbuster movies in the time slot that will be vacated by Talentadong Pinoy starting next week," Mr. Intalan said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. -- which is a subsidiary of the Beneficial Trust Fund of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), and which operates TV5 -- has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. -- JOV