Darren to give house to Lyca, musical set to Darlene, money to church if he wins ‘The Voice Kids’

In a casual conversation of The Voice Kids Big 4 while sipping tea during break, Darren Espanto said that, in case he wins, he will give the money to his church and the house to Lyca (Gairanod).


‘TVK’ Big 4

Juan Karlos Labajo said he will share his winnings also to Lyca so she can buy house for her and her family, in case he wins.


Darren Espanto

Darlene (Vibares) protested that no one’s giving her anything. JK later said he will give Darlene financial support, five thousand (pesos) and guitar.


Lyca Gairanod

Darren first said he will give Darlene his moral support, but later changed his mind and said he will give Lea Salonga’s bet the musical set.


Darren, Lyca and Coach Sarah

The 53-second video was posted by Michael Asher Andal Hermo and shared to Sarah Geronimo’s Popsters.

Lyca fanatics, though, said nothing like this could happen as it’s their superstar who will win.


Darren and JK

The Voice Kids grand champion, to be known on Sunday, July 27, 2014, wins P1 million, one-year recording contract from MCA Universal, house and lot (from Camella Homes), home appliance showcase, musical instrument showcase and P1 million worth of trust fund.


Juan Karlos Labajo

Darren is the strongest contender to the title, along with Lyca. Both are from Team Sarah.

(See related story Team Sarah vs Team Sarah: Darren and Lyca seen slugging it out in ‘The Voice Kids Champion’ final round https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/team-sarah-vs-team-sarah-darren-lyca-seen-slugging-it-out-in-the-voice-kids-champion-final-round/)


Darlene Vibares

Juan Karlos from Team Bamboo and Darlene are the other two grand finalists in the first edition of the singing reality franchise that originated in the Netherlands in 2010.


The Coaches with ‘The Voice Kids’ grand finalists

Click link to watch video clip



Darren plays big brother to Lyca


See related stories in this blog:


Team Sarah vs Team Sarah: Darren, Lyca seen slugging it out in ‘The Voice Kids Champion’ final round

Although Lyca (Gairanod) ranked #1 and Darren (Espanto) ranked #2 in the votes during the Top 6 performances last Saturday, which also made #3 Juan Karlos (Labajo) and #4 Darlene (Vibares) to enter the Big 4 for the Grand Finals this Saturday, the gap between Lyca and Darren was reportedly so close it was almost negligible.


‘The Voice Kids’ grand finalists

Basing on the likes and comments on the postings of The Voice of The Philippines official Facebook and Twitter accounts and also that of ABS-CBN, Lyca and Darren, both from Team Sarah (Geronimo) have the most number of supporters.


Coach Sarah with Darren and Lyca

It is seen that it’s going to be Lyca and Darren in the The Voice Kids Champion final round on Sunday, July 27.

Lyca, called by Broadway star and TVK Coach Lea Salonga as little Nora Aunor being small but terrible, is also called by her own coach Sarah as “my superstar.”


Lyca Gairanod

The kid from Cavite, whose family’s livelihood is scavenging for scraps, won the hearts of millions since her Blind Auditions piece of Aegis Halik.

As she moved from the Battles to the Sing-Offs to Top 6 then to Big 4, Lyca’s simple yet heartfelt singing has won more hearts in the process. Her win will be providential.


Darren Espanto

Darren, on the other hand, immediately set social media on fire right after his Blind Auditions performance of Jessie J’s Domino.

(See related story Canada-based Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espanto sets social media afire with ‘The Voice Kids’ blind audition, chooses Sarah G. as coach https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/canada-based-pinoy-singing-sensation-darren-espanto-sets-social-media-afire-with-the-voice-kids-blind-audition-chooses-sarah-g-as-coach/)


‘TVK’ Big 4 with the Coaches

His story of coming back to the country from a comfortable life in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (yet speaks Tagalog fluently) just for the contest has endeared him to millions of Filipinos worldwide.


Darren and JK

Darren asserted his position as the most ready/best prepared for superstardom – showing his vocal and dancing prowess in the Battles, Sing-Offs, Top 6 and Big 4.

His win will be well-deserved – devoid of dramatics or sad story background – just plain vocal superiority.


Juan Karlos Labajo

Not to be outdone is Juan Karlos who mustered following even still with the trailer of The Voice Kids with his performance of Adam Sandler’s Grow Old With You in the Blind Auditions.

(See related story ‘The Voice Kids’ amazing discoveries ensure steady supply of singing superstars https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/the-voice-kids-amazing-discoveries-ensure-steady-supply-of-singing-superstars/)


Coach Bamboo with JK

JK proved to be Team Bamboo’s strongest bet with his natural charm, vocal ability, stage presence and amiability.

From Team Lea is Darlene Vibares.


Darlene Vibares

Since her Girl On Fire Blind Audition piece, Darlene carried her team’s banner strongly in Top 6 to Big 4.

Some netizens noticed and criticized her being OA, a little bit pitchy and poor English diction but her legions of supporters want her to reach the championship round and would not want nothing less for this girl who initially caught the attention really big of viewers and reality show aficionados.

The coaches of the Big 4 who are to battle it out in the Final Showdown have pitched for each of them.

Sarah refers to 12-year-old Darren as “world-class, total performer” while 9-year-old Lyca as “boses ng masang Pilipino” (the voice of Filipino masses). The Pop Princess is the only coach whose Top 6 artists both made it to the Big 4.


Coach Lea with Darlene

Lea, on the other hand, said that 10-year-old Darlene should win because “she sets ablaze any stage she is on.”

As for Bamboo, he said 13-year-old Juan Karlos is “incomparable because he makes an emotional connection with the audience.”


Hosts Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga

Click link to watch the Coaches pitch for their bets


Click links to watch semifinals stage rehearsals of each of the Big 4





Related stories in this blog:

Photos and videos from http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos and https://www.facebook.com/TheVoiceABSCBN

Darlene, Tonton, JK, Edray, Lyca & Darren battle for vocal supremacy in ‘The Voice Kids’ live semifinals

They are the singing superstars of tomorrow – regardless of who wins in the very first edition of The Voice Kids Philippines.


Equally gifted with exceptional talent – Darlene Vibares and Winston (Tonton) Cabiles Jr. under Coach Lea Salonga, Juan Karlos (JK) Labajo and Edray Teodoro under Coach Bamboo, and Darren Espanto and Lyca Gairanod under Coach Sarah Geronimo battle it out this Saturday, July 19, 2014 in the live semifinals of the Philippine franchise of the reality singing competition which started in the Netherlands in 2010.


These six young artists endured the rigors of being selected for the blind auditions, then “courted” the coaches with their vocal prowess as part of the 18 members of each team, advanced to the Top 6 then eventually as one of two official standard bearers of their coaches.

First to select her Final 2 was Lea – nine-year-old Darlene of Antipolo City whom the Broadway sensation said it’s as if there’s an old person inside the girl whenever she sings and Little Bruno Mars Tonton of Cebu who performed It Will Rain.

It was Bamboo’s turn the following week. Lea had same first choice for him – Juan Karlos. Bamboo’s choice of Edray sealed his team’s representation in the semis.

(See related story Lea, Bamboo ‘The Voice Kids’ semis bets chosen; Sarah’s known this weekend https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/lea-bamboo-the-voice-kids-semis-bets-chosen-sarahs-known-this-weekend/)

Sarah’s choice of Darren and Lyca confirmed Lea’s choices for the Pop Princess’ team.


Despite the hectic schedule for the semis, the kids took time to play and bond at Camella Tierra Nevada, where the prize of house and lot for the winner is located.

What would they do if they win the grand prize?

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LYCA: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, dun po ako magbi-birthday at magsi-celebrate sa loob ng bahay.”

(If I win a house at Camella, I will celebrate my birthday inside the house)

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DARREN: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, i-setup ko yung room ko agad tapos invite ko mga friends ko para mag-swimming kami.”

(If I win a house at Camella, I’ll setup my room immediately then invite my friends so we can go swimming)

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JUAN KARLOS: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, gagawin ko yung kwarto kong color white. Favorite color ko kasi white.”

(If I win a house at Camella, I’ll make my room color white, as my favorite color is white)

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EDRAY: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, kakain kami agad dun. Tapos magpapa-house blessing.”

(If I win a house at Camella, we’ll dine immediately there, then have a house blessing)

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TONTON: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, papagandahin ko po yung bahay para maganda tingnan.”

(If I win a house at Camella, I’ll beautify the house so it will look nice)

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DARLENE: “Pag nanalo ako ng bahay sa Camella, papalagyan ko kwarto ko ng Hello Kitty. Kwarto ni ate, papalagyan ko ng wallpaper ng crush niya.”

(If I win a house at Camella, I’ll decorate my room with Hello Kitty. The room of my elder sister, I’ll have it decorated with wallpaper of her crush)

Choosing the winner relies mainly on the votes of the audience.


The four artists getting the highest percentage of votes from the public move to the Grand Finals, which means one of the three coaches have two star artists making it to the Final 4.


The Voice Kids grand champion wins P1 million, one-year recording contract from MCA Universal, house and lot, home appliance showcase, musical instrument showcase and P1 million worth of trust fund.


The Voice Kids airs Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN.

Related stories with videos in this blog:


Darren, Lyca banner Team Sarah in ‘The Voice Kids’ semis https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/darren-lyca-banner-team-sarah-in-the-voice-kids-semis/

‘The Voice Kids’ amazing discoveries ensure steady supply of singing superstars https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/the-voice-kids-amazing-discoveries-ensure-steady-supply-of-singing-superstars/

Canada-based Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espanto sets social media afire with ‘The Voice Kids’ blind audition, chooses Sarah G. as coach https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/canada-based-pinoy-singing-sensation-darren-espanto-sets-social-media-afire-with-the-voice-kids-blind-audition-chooses-sarah-g-as-coach/

Photos from https://www.facebook.com/TheVoiceABSCBN and official Facebook pages of the artists

Lea, Bamboo ‘The Voice Kids’ semis bets chosen; Sarah’s known this weekend

First to go were Coach Lea Salonga’s kids. From 18, the team was trimmed down to six in the Battles: Angel Aguilera, Darlene Vibares, Eufritz Santos, Jimboy Garcia, Shanne Dandan and Winston Cabiles Jr.

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The six went on to Sing Off and Darlene, the cute comedic nine-year-old girl from Antipolo City, and the young Bruno Mars of Cebu City, Tonton, were chosen by the multi-awarded Broadway actress-singer to represent Team Lea in the live semifinals.

Clink link to watch Darlene’s performance http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/29/and-i-am-telling-you-by-darlene

Lea said that it’s as if there’s an old person inside Darlene whenever she sings and the girl was on fire giving it all the drama when she rendered her version of the Jennifer Holliday song, And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.

Click link to watch Tonton’s performance http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/29/it-will-rain-by-ton-ton

The Cebuano boy elicited admiration both from Lea and Coach Sarah Geronimo with his rendition of the Fil-Am singer’s It Will Rain.

“Just beautiful singing – no trills (or shouts), doesn’t hurt the ears, so beautiful to hear,” Lea said of Tonton’s performance.

Click link as Lea chooses her Final 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei80mMlWCFA

Last week, it was Team Bamboo’s turn.

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The kids who gave their all in the Battles were Borge Rivera, Edray Teodoro, Gem Capalad, Nathan Bautista, Juan Karlos Labajo and Stacy Pineda.

Coach Bamboo was in the brink of crying when he thanked the kids and their parents before announcing his choices to represent his team in the semis.

Click link for Juan Karlos’ performance http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/07/06/stay-by-karlos

Click link for Edray’s performance http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/07/06/tulak-ng-bibig-by-edray

He borrowed Borge’s scarf to wipe away his tears and said in jest, “Can’t we have (a) commercial (break)?… Oh, I hate TV…”

Bamboo then announced that he chose Juan Karlos because he knows how to connect with the audience and always sings from the heart. For Edray, he said it was her impressive performance.

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Sarah commented that if Edray was an actor, she certainly knew pretty well how to put herself in the story.

Click link to watch as Bamboo chooses his Final 2 http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/07/07/coach-bamboo-gets-emotional-as-he-chooses-his-final-2

The 13-year-old JK (that’s how fans call Juan Karlos now), whose mother died in November last year, looked up and pointed upward as he sang the last word of his rendition of Stay by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. His Blind Auditions video breached the two-million views mark on YoutTube for The Voice Kids PH.

(See related story ‘The Voice Kids’ amazing discoveries ensure steady supply of singing superstars https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/the-voice-kids-amazing-discoveries-ensure-steady-supply-of-singing-superstars/)

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This weekend, July 12 (Saturday) Team Sarah will be the Battles for the 18 kids: Kyle vs Khen vs Rica; JM & JC vs Sam vs Darren; Isaac vs Lee vs Lyca; Don Mark vs Twittle vs Earl; Triscia vs Diana vs Hannah; and Musika vs Gab vs Mitz.

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Netizens have favorites for Team Sarah since Day 1: Darren Espanto and Lyca Gairanod. In fact, some are saying that if these two make it to the semis then hands down, the winning coach would be Sarah G.

Meanwhile, The Voice Kids had been going on tour around elementary schools in Metro Manila.

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This Saturday, July 12, they will be at the Venice Piazza in Taguig at 5 p.m.
Hosted by Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga, The Voice Kids airs 6:45 p.m. Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Sundays on ABS-CBN.

Related story in this blog: Canada-based Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espanto sets social media afire with ‘The Voice Kids’ blind audition, chooses Sarah G. as coach https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/canada-based-pinoy-singing-sensation-darren-espanto-sets-social-media-afire-with-the-voice-kids-blind-audition-chooses-sarah-g-as-coach/

Photos and videos from http://www.abs-cbn.com and https://www.facebook.com/TheVoiceABSCBN

‘The Voice Kids’ amazing discoveries ensure steady supply of singing superstars

The Voice Kids Blind Auditions proved that indeed the Philippines is a rich, if not the richest, source of singing talents.


Young as they may – from eight to 14 years old whether boys or girls – homegrown talents can compare with the best of those overseas, not only with the franchises of the show in different countries but even with the The Voice main edition.


Since Day 1 of the telecast, not just two dozens or even four dozens turned out to be really vocally outstanding. Few came with training behind them, but majority performed armed only with their natural weapon – their voice in its raw, beautiful form.

There had been truly impressive ones who made all three coaches turned for them and then faced with the dilemma as to who they wanted to be their mentor.

However, early viewers’ favorites are those who did not necessarily get all three coaches say, “I Want You.”


Nine-year-old Lyca Gairanod, who sang Halik by Aegis, secured her place with Sarah Geronimo solely turning for her. Her teaser video on YouTube http://youtu.be/u8xmFBwq8Rs has reached 1,960,559 views so far and third in running. Full video is at http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/05/25/halik-by-lyca-gairanod.

Perky Juan Karlos Labajo from Cebu, who got Bamboo and Sarah turn for him with his rendition of Adam Sandler’s Grow Old With You, breached the two-million mark on YouTube for the The Voice Kids http://youtu.be/QRyU5oSuh14. His teaser video now has registered 2,231,579 views. Juan Karlos’ full audition video is at http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/07/grow-old-with-you-by-juan-karlos.


Darren Espanto set social media on fire soon after his performance of Domino. People became curious about this 12-year-old who was born and grew up in Canada but speaks Tagalog as if his family never left the country.

Because Darren auditioned (or his audition was telecast) later, his YouTube teaser video has lower hits with 1,712,494.

(See related story Canada-based Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espano sets social media afire with The Voice Kids blind audition, chooses Sarah G. as coach https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/canada-based-pinoy-singing-sensation-darren-espanto-sets-social-media-afire-with-the-voice-kids-blind-audition-chooses-sarah-g-as-coach/)

Click link for Darren’s full audition video http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/01/domino-by-darren and his interview before hitting the stage http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/04/host-luis-chats-with-darren-at-the-foyer.


Third-grader eight-year-old Angelico (or Echo) who sings a la Bee Gees with his Too Much Heaven audition piece had all three coaches turn for him but chose Lea Salonga as his coach. His teaser video is now #1 with 2,405,174 views http://youtu.be/jSr3e5pDuDA. Full performance video at http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/05/31/too-much-heaven-by-echo.


Of the latter auditionees, Grace Alade caught the fancy of both viewers and the coaches with her Try It On My Own piece, which made Lea say she out-Whitneyed Whitney Houston. Full video at http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/22/try-it-on-my-own-by-grace.

Even those who did not merit a turn by any of the coaches, like Nichole who sang the Ilocano ditty Dundunguwen, still has future in singing http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos/2014/06/21/dungdungwen-by-nichole.

The setback in this competition is that the best ones are pitted against each other where only one of three will advance to the next stage.


In the Battles starting this Saturday, Team Lea goes first – with Giedie vs Angel vs Grace, Angelique vs Rein vs Jimboy, Mariane vs Karla vs Darlene, Kobe vs Lorenzo vs Shanne, Eufritz vs Koko vs Camille, and Ton-Ton vs Genmarie vs Echo.

Whoever advances among the 18 will go to the Sing-Off on Sunday, until only two remain.

Coach Lea’s dilemma?

“The good news is I really have a strong team. The bad news is I really have a strong team,” she said.


With 18 members each team, all 54 passers ensure steady supply of singing talents for Philippine entertainment in the next many, many years.

No doubt, whoever wins deserves the title, distinction and accolades. The most refreshing news for everyone, though, is knowing that the country will never run out of future stars – be it on stage, recording or screen with these amazing discoveries.


Posted here are links to select Blind Auditions videos which would lead to the rest of the videos at http://entertainment.abs-cbn.com/tv/shows/thevoicekids/videos:


Since its initial telecast on May 24, The Voice Kids has been lording over the ratings not only for weekend programming but also in general weekly programming. As of June 23, the Saturday edition garnered 34.1% viewership and the Sunday edition even higher at 36.1%.

Updated 6/30/14: Shanne, Ton-Ton, Darlene, Eufritz, Angel and Jimboy advanced to the Battles. Then in the Sing-Off, Darlene and Ton-Ton advance to the Semi-Finals, waiting for the Top 2 from Coach Bamboo and Coach Sarah’s teams.

Clink link to watch Ton-Ton’s performance in the Sing-Off http://youtu.be/ykZUF-zsLBg

Click link to watch Darlene’s performance in the Sing-Off http://youtu.be/Zgq3lknKH7M

The Voice Kids is hosted by Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga and airs Saturdays at 6:45 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN.

Canada-based Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espanto sets social media afire with ‘The Voice Kids’ blind audition, chooses Sarah G. as coach

There had been a few hopefuls who made all three judges turn in the The Voice (of the Philippines) Kids blind auditions in previous editions but no one caught the fancy of viewers until 12-year-old Darren Espanto performed Domino by Jessie J last Sunday.


Pinoy singing sensation Darren Espanto is Philippine TV’s newest darling

Sarah Geronimo turned flashing I Want You after the first few lines and Bamboo did towards the end of the song. Lea Salonga must have been waiting for a spark in the boy’s voice that she did not turn.

Sarah and Bamboo literally courted Darren to be in their team. Asked by Bamboo if he already had gigs and where he is from because he heard something in his voice, Darren said he’s from Calgary, Alberta, Canada but 100% Filipino, came back to Manila just to audition for the show and, in fact, front acted for Bamboo in his concert there.


‘The Voice Kids’ judges: Lea Salonga, Bamboo and Sarah Geronimo

Got impressed belatedly, Lea told Sarah and Darren to dance together. The boy reprised a few verses of his audition song and the Broadway star commented he even sounded better this time. His dance moves had the whole venue clapping so hard. Those at home also clapped along and most said they see Darren as the winner.


Darren’s Facebook cover photo

Saying that his chosen coach can help him grow in the music industry, Sarah was so happy of the choice, saying that they will just enjoy together as Darren is already so good in singing, dancing, with strong stage presence and very goodlooking.

Immediately, social media – particularly Twitter and Facebook – was afire with Darren’s outstanding performance. #Darren became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and the video of his audition posted by ABS-CBN generated 82,000 views in no time at all. It’s now nearing 200,000 views. The Facebook feed also generated the most Likes.

Click link to watch the video


Another hopeful that made an impact making all three judges turn was Arianna Ocampo with her rendition of Tattooed Heart.

Lea turned first, then Sarah. Arianna must have been waiting for Bamboo to turn because when the rock icon turned her focus was on him. It made Lea say, “Wala na, kay Bamboo na lang nakatingin (It’s all gone, she’s all eyes on Bamboo).”

Click link to watch clip


Darren’s Twitter followers grew from 3K to 13K in a matter of hours on Sunday, making him say it was impossible to follow everyone back.


Darren was the youngest of the Top 6 finalists in YTV’s ‘The Next Star’

Many of those new followers scrounged the Net to know more about this newest darling on Philippine TV:

  • He started singing at age 2, taught by his father
  • He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada but speaks Tagalog fluently
  • He was Canada’s Pinoy Singing Sensation grand champion in 2011
  • He auditioned for YTV’s The Next Star Season 5 with Bruno MarsGrenade at age 10 in 2012 impressing the two female judges but the lone male judge was not but got the golden ticket nevertheless
  • He lists his musical influences as Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson
  • He was the youngest among the Top 13 contestants
  • He was the judges’ first selection for Top 6
  • Vocal coach Jasmine wondered why he always chooses female singer songs over male singer songs and he said his voice is not deep enough and that he couldn’t hit low notes
  • He performed Domino on the 7th episode of The Next Star. Although he did not win (it was Brooklyn) he still got an offer to record 5 song covers in Toronto
  • His father Don and mother Marinel (nee Gonzales), originally from Isabela, are fully supportive of his singing career
  • He has a little sister, Lynelle
  • Image
  • Hosts Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga

The Voice Kids is hosted by Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga, airing 6:45 p.m. Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Sundays.

Photos from www.abs-cbn.com, Yahoo search and Darren’s Facebook page