A Filipino has become the first winner of the biggest singing contest in the United Arab Emirates. Jovan Aquino, originally from San Pablo, Laguna, in the Philippines, competed in the month-long singing contest called “The One UAE,” which is said to be the biggest singing competition in UAE, GMA News reported.
Aquino competed against fellow Filipino Ivy Grace Paredes, a contestant in the X Factor UK 2016, at the grand finals at the IMG Worlds in Dubai. Aquino received a check for 12,500 dirhams (US$3,404) as his prize for winning the competition.
“I’m speechless and I still couldn’t believe it. What a way to close 2018’s door and what a great start for me this 2019,” Aquino said.
Aside from singing, Aquino works as a project manager at Aldrich International and is also an events host and street photographer. According to the competition’s website, Aquino was one of six finalists in the Above 21 category. Five of the finalists were also from the Philippines.
In December, a young Filipino girl won 10,000 dirhams when she was named the grand champion of a singing competition in Dubai. The girl went through an initial audition alongside 247 others before it was narrowed down to 15 finalists, who competed for the cash prize and a trophy.