MANILA - April Mariz "Epey" Herher was named the first-ever grand winner of "That's My Tomboy," after inspiring the audience, judges, and hosts of "It's Showtime" on Saturday with her speech.
'That's My Tomboy' winner April Mariz Herher, with (from left) Ai Ai delas Alas, Vice Ganda and Karylle. Photo by Michael Bagtas for ABS-CBNnews.com
The Mindoro native bested 39 other grand finalists of the noontime show's segment for lesbians, taking home P300,000.
"Nagpapasalamat ako po ako kay Papa God. Hindi po ako nagdasal na sana ako'y manalo, pinagdasal ko po ay manalo ang pinakadeserving. Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa 'It's Showtime' para sa pagbibigay sa amin ng pagkakataon na maipakita ang mga 'T-Boom' na karapat-dapat kaming tanggapin sa society," a tearful Herher said as she received her prize.
Herher also dedicated the win to her bestfriend, who passed away in a road accident: "Pinky, para sa iyo 'to. Pinky, I love you!"
'Showtime' hosts moved to tears
In the episode of "It's Showtime" aired last Tuesday, Herher recalled the death of Pinky, who she credited for instilling humility in her despite her accomplishments. She also thanked the show for giving her the chance to perform on television, with her best friend getting a "front seat."
Asked to give his thoughts on the speeches, host-judge Jhong Hilario singled out Herher, praising her story about friendship for its sincerity. Hilario then appeared to lose control of his emotions, causing his voice to break while explaining why the story touched him the most.
"Pero 'yung talagang pumukaw talaga... 'yung hindi ko mapigilang umiyak ay iyong istorya nung pangalawa (Herher), kasi napag-usapan 'yung kaibigan," he said.
Hilario, whose friend and co-host Vhong Navarro is recovering from a mauling incident last January 22, then walked out of the show, saying, "Sorry, direk, sorry."
Impressing judges anew
Herher impressed the judges again in the grand finals on Saturday, leaving comedian Vice Ganda in awe of her speech on the subject of the true meaning of accomplishment.
"Para po sa akin, ang kahulugan ng tagumpay ay ang makapagpasaya ka ng mga tao lalong lalo na ang pinakmahalagang tao sa buhay mo. 'Yung pangarap sa iyo ng ibang tao, nagkakaroon ng katuparan, 'yun ang tunay na kahulugan para sa akin ng tagumpay. Hindi para sa sarili ko dahil katulad nga po ng sinabi ni Blessed Arnold Janssen: to God, the glory; to my neighbors, the benefit; to myself, the burden," she said.
Vice Ganda was generous with words in praising Herher, saying, "During the privilege speech, ikaw 'yung isa sa mga pinamahusay magsalita. Mayroon kang speech prowess. You're such a good public speaker because you speak from your heart."
The top 5 grand finalists of 'That's My Tomboy' posing with their respecitve awards: (from left) Kim Andaya, Phao Faraon, Kim Orencio, Epey Herher and Sky Teotico. Photo by Michael Bagtas for ABS-CBNnews.com
Finishing first runner-up in the first edition of "That's My Tomboy" was Kim Orencio, who took home P200,000. She also took home the "Best in T-Boom Talent."
Sky Teotico was named 2nd runner-up, winning P100,000, while Kim Andaya and Phao Faraon were named runners-up, taking home P50,000 each.
Other special awards handed out were The Best in T-Boom Smile, which Andaya won; and The Best in T-Boom Style, which was given to Herher.
Faraon won the Talumpating T-Boom award, while Yael Basilia and Nicky Escalderon took home the trophies for T-Boom Frienship and Trending T-Boom, respectively.