Jovit Baldivino hurt by claims he's not poor

by Trina Lagura,

Posted at Jun 21 2010 01:22 PM | Updated as of Jun 22 2010 08:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Rising star Jovit Baldivino, the 1st grand winner of “Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT),” said he's hurt by insinuations that he lied about his background in order to win the sympathy of the public as well as the nod of the 3 PGT judges.

In an interview on “The Buzz” Sunday, Baldivino, the 16-year-old shy siomai vendor from Batangas, whose voice is being compared to Arnel Pineda of “Journey,” was asked to share the most painful intrigue thrown at him so far.

Baldivino replied: “‘Yong sinabi po nila na hindi po ako mahirap.”

During his audition, the PGT winner shared that he would sell siomai to finance his education and help his family. He further captured the hearts of judges Ai Ai delas Alas, Kris Aquino and Freddie Garcia, as well as hundreds of PGT viewers, after giving a heartfelt rendition of Journey’s “Faithfully.”

It was the start of Baldivino’s steady rise to stardom. During PGT’s finale, he received almost half of the total overnight text and online votes, besting 11 other finalists.

Baldivino also shot down allegation that his fame has gotten into his head. “Hindi po totoo ‘yon. Hindi ko po gagawin ‘yon.”

Kris defends Jovit

Baldivino has found an ally in PGT judge and “The Buzz” host Aquino, who defended the young singer.

She said: “Sino ba naman ang magpre-pretend na mahirap ka? At ‘yong sa kanya daw to gain sympathy, pinalabas niya [na mahirap siya] para mas maawa sa story niya.” 

During the audition, Aquino explained that she and her co-judges were not given any background information about the contestants so as to prevent biases.

“The very first time na ininterview ka, doon lang binulong na magtanong kayo tungkol sa siomai. At nabanggit lang na there was a time na nagkasakit ang father mo…. Sa audition, when there were at least 2,000 of you na pinagdaanan namin, hindi ba ang galing naman masyado ng foresight mo na nakaimbento ka ng ganoong kwento?”

She also said she was a witness to how Baldivino was loved even by other finalists of the show.

“When he won, everybody embraced him among all the others na kasama mo. At siya, genuine din ang pagyakap sa kanila. That means ang mga nakasama mo sa ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ na ka-kompetensya mo, natuwa para sa’yo. So, kung malaki ang ulo mo at mayabang ka, walang yayapos sa’yo,” Aquino said.

Meeting Arnel Pineda

Meanwhile, the much-awaited first meeting between Baldivino and his idol, Pineda, happened Sunday on “The Buzz.”

Pineda made a surprise appearance on “The Buzz” to personally greet Baldivino.

Upon the prodding of the studio audience, the 2 singers sang a portion of “Too Much Love Will Kill You” together.

“Nagpapasalamat ako. Kung hindi po talaga sa’yo, wala din po ako dito ngayon,” Baldivino told Pineda.

When asked to give an advice to Baldivino, Pineda reminded the young singer to take good care of his health.

Pineda added: “[‘Yong mga] opportunity na dumating sa’yo, sana mahalin mo. Kasi buti ka, at the age of 16 nakuha mo na ang fame mo. Ako, it took me 25 years. Ang dami mong supporters. They have your back.” --Trina Lagura,

 Arnel Pineda and Jovit Baldivino sing a portion of "Too Much Love Will Kill You" on "The Buzz" on June 20.