Jona Marie Soquite, a fourteen-year-old native of Davao City, became the first ever grand champion of “The Voice Teens” on Sunday night.
Jona belonged to the team of coach Sarah Geronimo, who got 44.78 percent of total viewsers votes cast via text and various online sites, bringing the prizes of 1 million in cash, 1 million in a trust fund, insurance plan worth 2 million, business package, dental service package, and fashion package.
Hardwork pays off for the grand champion of the first season of The Voice Teens. She sang to the top with her renditions of “I believe I can fly”, “Just dance” and “Better days”
Aside from being a small girl with a huge voice, here are things you should know about Jona Soquite, the first “The Voice Teens” Grand Champion.
- Auditioned for all 3 editions of The Voice Kids.
The voice teens first grand champion previously auditioned for the first three seasons of the singing contest’s kid’s edition but she failed to get in. Jona only got in and finally won after her fourth attempt.
When asked what her message is for those who continue to strive for their dreams, Jona said:
“Basta huwag lang kayo susuko. Kasi lahat tayo may kanya-kanyang time. Ako, grabe yung mga sinalihan kong contest; 9 years old ako nag-start, pero 14 years old ako na bigyan ni God ng ganitong break. So huwag kayong susuko.”
(Never give up. Each of us have our own time. I went through a lot of singing contests. I started at 9 years old but it was only at 14 years old that God gave me this kind of break. So don’t give up.)
- A four-chair turner.
All the coaches turned for her and praised her ability to tell stories through singing with her rendition of “Anak ng Pasig” piece during the blind audition.
- Youngest contestant in this season.
Local reports said 14-year-old Jona is the youngest contestant in The Voice Teens, but her young age did not hold her back from shining.
- The 3rd contestant from Team Sarah to win.
Jona is the third of her proteges to win the voice under Team Sarah, with Lyca Gairanod (winnwe of The Voice Kids) and Jason Dy (winner of the Voice of the Philippines season 2). Jona’s victory served as a major birthday gift and comeback for Sarah Geronimo, who took a break from coaching for one season.
- Student of the craft.
At the age of seven-years old her father started to train her in singing. Jona was fourteen years old when she has joined sixteen singing contests to provide a new home for her family who lives by a river.
- Jona credits her father for pushing her to sing.
According to Jona, her father used to join a lot of singing contest but he stopped because he had to focus on working.
“Tumigil na ho siya nung 7 years old ako, kasi mas kailangan niya na mag-focus sa pagtratrabaho. Kaya siya talaga yung dahilan kung bakit po ako nahilig sa pagkanta,” Jona said.
(He stopped [joining contests] when I was 7 years old, because he had to focus on working. He’s actually the reason why I became fond of singing.)
- Never had her hair short.
According to the fun facts she shared on a video posted by ABS-CBN on YouTube, Jona said she never had short hair “because ayoko magpaputol.” (I don’t want to have my hair cut.)
- A world champiion.
Before joining the voice teens, Jona has brought pride to the Philippines by winning gold medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts in 2015. She won in all styles she participated namely pop, rock, Broadway, gospel, and open. Jona and her dad only had a $120 allowance throughout their stay in the US. However, the Filipino community in the US and other WCOPA contestants helped them get their basic needs.
- She is a breadwinner.
After her father lost his job, Jona started to cling on her talent to provide for her family. She considered her WCOPA stint as a window for a break in the Philippine music industry.
- Disciplined and humble.
Sarah has nothing but praises to her champion who worked with discipline and humility throughout the competition.
Also, talking about the critics against her after she won the contest, Jona said she was aware that some people think she did not deserve to be in the competion. But instead of being angry, she’s still happy to have those people who belived in her.
Nababasa ko yung mga comments na ayaw nila ako sa competition na ito,” she said. “Pero sa nakita ko po ngayon, kalahati ho ang naniwala sa akin. Sobra kong saya po talaga. Naipakita ko sa kanila ang tunay na Jona,” she said.
(I read comments that they didn’t like me in this competition. But I see that half of the public believed in me. I’m very happy. I was able to show the real Jona.)
It is indeed a sweet victory for Jona, who worked hard to prove that she deserves to win the title, after trying several times during the kids edition before finally getting a chance to perform onstage at 14 years old.
Still, Jona couldn’t believe that nearly half of The Voice Teens fans voted for her. Despite of all the prizes she received, the brand new house and lot is still the most important prize she won.
“Siguro po ibigigay ko na lang yung pera sa pamilya ko. (I guess I’m going to give the money to my parents.)
“Yung bahay talaga ang pinaka-importante sa akin. (The house and lot is the most important thing for me.)
“Delikado po kasi ngayon kung saan kami nakatira. (It is not safe where we live)
“Sa ngayon po sa tabi kami ng ilog. Delikado po kasi tag-ulan ngayon. (As of now, we live near the river. It is very dangerous since we are now experiencing rainy season. )
“Kaya thank you talaga kay Lord dahil sa akin Niya pinagkaloob ito.” (That’s why thank you Lord because he gave this opportunity to me.)