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Bamboo Manalac on his coaching style for The Voice of The Philippines: ‘I will be a benevolent dictator’
by Rachelle Siazon | May 21, 2013 10:09 AM | 

The teasers alone of The Voice of The Philippines have already made waves as Filipino viewers can’t wait to see who among the hundreds of aspiring singers made it through the blind auditions.

In an interview with, coach Bamboo Manalac shared that it was really difficult turning down majority of the auditionees during the first part of the reality show. “The blind auditions were harder than I thought. It’s hard to imagine. We have hundreds of singers there and we can only pick 48. So most of the time we’re saying no and some of them are really excellent singers. So my message to whoever did not make it this first season, please try again in the succeeding seasons.”

Bamboo related that there have been performances that he particularly liked during the blind auditions. But just to set the record straight, he insisted that he won’t play favorites once he starts coaching his team members. “It’s hard to say that. Parang nakita ko lang sa kanila snapshot. I think I’ll find that out once we rehearse and go further with the songs. Pero may emotional favorites ba ako nung time na yun when I turned the chair for somebody else? Yes, may particular song na nagustuhan ko. Pero I’m not playing favorites to be clear with my team,” he beamed.

As a coach, Bamboo is ready to do whatever it takes to bring out the best from the aspiring singers in his group. “I like to think of myself as a benevolent dictator. I will listen, pero if I believe in something, if you can do this song, this arrangement for you to win it, or push yourself, I will push that. Kasi nangyari na sa akin yun eh in my career. I’ve learned from a lot of people. That’s what brought me to this point. This wasn’t a journey by myself.”

Bamboo used to be the front man of the OPM band Rivermaya from 1993 to 1998 and then formed his own band Bamboo which played from 2003 to 2011. Bamboo went solo and released his first solo album No Water, No Moon in 2011. “I’ve grown leaps and bounds not only as an artist but also as a person. It’s a great life. I always make room for a fresh beginning for myself. So it’s good.”

At this point, Bamboo is looking forward to taping the battle round for The Voice of The Philippines and how he and his fellow coaches Lea Salonga, and Sarah Geronimo will be rooting for their respective teams in the show. “I am very competitive. I look forward to the battle round because it’s the part where I can coach [my team]. As for my fellow coaches, it’s all friendly rivalry. We try to be mean to each other on stage to build the energy. But we’re just very nice people. Maayos naman.”

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