MANILA -- Darren Espanto's trip from Canada to the Philippines did not go to waste as he was able to turn the chairs of two coaches during the blind auditions of "The Voice Kids" aired Sunday.
The 12-year-old's rendition of Jessie J's hit "Domino" impressed both Bamboo Mañalac and Sarah Geronimo.
Aside from hitting high notes, Geronimo, who was the first to turn her chair around, noted Espanto's stage presence and performance.
"Ang taas ng boses mo! Ang galing-galing mong kumanta at gumalaw sa stage. Kitang-kitanq na he was just enjoying his performance," she said. "Alam niya kung paano mag-perform, ganadong-gando siya at magaling talagang kumanta 'yung bata. Malinis kumanta.
For his part, Mañalac was also impressed with Espanto's "natural movements" on stage.
"Na-impress ako sa pagkanta mo, 'yung delivery mo, 'yung tiyempo mo... It sounds to me that you've been doing this for some time," he said.
The kid later on revealed that he once performed as a front act in Mañalac's concert in Canada.
However, Espanto chose Geronimo over Mañalac, believing the pop star can teach him a lot and help him start a career in the Philippines' music industry.
The 12-year-old new recruit of Team Sarah was born and raised in Calgary, Canada.
Despite being born in another country, he is fluent in Filipino because his mom and dad, both registered nurses in Canada, wanted them to speak in their native tongue at home.