Farmer is ‘Tawag Ng Tanghalan’ grand champion
Noven Belleza, a rice farmer from Negros Occidental, was crowned the first-ever “Tawag ng Tanghalan” grand champion inn It’s Showtime after beating out five grand finalists in the competition’s highly anticipated final showdown on March 11 at Resorts World Manila.
“I can’t believe it. ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ really changed my life. Thank you so much to my Showtime family, my family, the Lord. I can’t believe that I won out of all the thousands who auditioned. God is really good,” said Noven in an interview with the media after the announcement of his victory.
Noven performed “May Bukas Pa” to get through the finals’ first round and enter the final three. He then brought the house down in the second round with a medley of Air Supply songs “The One That You Love,” “Now and Forever,” and “Without You” that received a standing ovation from all the hurados.
The 22-year-old “Bukid Boy Wonder of Negros Occidental” received the highest average score of 99.96 percent from the combined judges’ scores and madlang people’s votes, beating final three contenders Sam Mangubat (49.09 percent) and Froilan Canlas (45.78 percent).
As the first-ever grand champion of “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” Noven won P2 million, house and lot from Camella, a recording contract with Star Music, a musical instruments package from JB Music, a negosyo package, and a family vacation package.
Second and third placers Sam and Froilan, meanwhile, received P500,000 and P250,000, respectively. Top 6 finalists Pauline Agupitan, Carlmalone Montecido, and Marielle Montellano also received P100,000 each.
Aside from the grand finalists’ final showdown, the program also brought together the competition’s hurados Rey Valera, Ogie Alcasid, Karla Estrada, K Brosas, Mitoy, Erik Santos, Rico J. Puno, Billy Crawford, Karylle, Louie Ocampo, Nyoy Volante, Jaya, and Yeng Constantino in a performance with previous “Tawag ng Tanghalan” winners Boy Leonardo, Arnaldo Agarin, and Esterlita Liñan.
The conclusion of the competition’s more-than-a-year-long search pulled in viewers nationwide and prompted netizens to post their comments about the grand finals online. The hashtag #TnTAngHulingTapatan also became the top trending topic on Twitter worldwide.
Tawag ng Tanghalan, the legendary singing contest that was launched in 1950s, returned to It’s Showtime in January 2016. For more than a year, it scoured the country for the best singers to represent Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila.