MANILA - Juan Karlos Labajo, one of the semifinalists on "The Voice Kids," dedicates his stint in the singing competition to his late mother.
Months before he joined the ABS-CBN show, which premiered in May, several videos of Juan Karlos singing was uploaded on YouTube under the username may padilla.
One of the videos, posted on January 2, 2013, is titled "EYE of the TIGER by JK (my son)" and shows Juan Karlos singing the Survivor hit inside what appears to be a karaoke room.
"First time I took him video while singing," the video's description reads.
The last seconds of the video shows a glimpse of a woman who appeared to be video-recording Juan Karlos' performance.
Another video from the same YouTube channel, uploaded on April 25, 2013, shows Juan Karlos belting out Celine Dion's "Power of Love" and has since gone viral with over 20,000 views, as of writing.
In his interview for the Blind Auditions of "The Voice Kids," Juan Karlos, who is now 13, said he joined the competition because it was his mother's dream for him.
"Sumali po ako kasi pangarap po ito ng mama ko," said Juan Karlos, who hails from Cebu City.
Now under the care of his uncle, Giovanni Labajo, Juan Karlos shared that he never met his German father. "Noong pinanganak ako, iniwan ako ng tatay ko. Never [did I see him]. No connection po," he said.
Speaking with "The Voice Kids" coaches after convincing Bamboo Manalac and Sarah Geronimo to turn, Juan Karlos shared that his mother passed away on November 17, 2013.
He then showed a photo of his mom, which he considers his lucky charm.
Asked why he auditioned for the show, Juan Karlos said, "Iyon po talaga kasi 'yung dream ng mommy ko, na makasali ako ng competition like this."
For his Blind Audition, Juan Karlos performed Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You." In The Sing-Offs, he convinced Manalac to pick him with his rendition of the Rihanna hit "Stay."
Juan Karlos, along with five other young artists, will compete in the live shows of "The Voice Kids" starting this Saturday.
Hosted by Luis Manzano and Alex Gonzaga, "The Voice Kids" airs Saturdays at 6:45 p.m. and on Sundays at 7:30 p.m.