MANILA - Is Darren Espanto leaving for Canada?
Speaking on "Tapatan ni Tunying" on Thursday, the 13-year-old singer said that he is feeling a little homesick after his mother and sister left for Canada.
"Na-ho-home sick po ako. Minsan parang gusto ko na rin po umuwi," he said, adding that his father will also leave soon.
But the Filipino-Canadian, who has earned a huge following after finishing runner-up on "The Voice Kids," is determined to stay in the Philippines to pursue a career in singing.
Espanto explained that he cannot possibly abandon his growing fanbase. He said he has been extremely grateful for all the doors the singing competition has opened for him.
He added that he does not want to let his family down, as his parents have already made one too many sacrifices just to hand him this opportunity.
"Marami na pong utang si mommy at daddy po. Marami na pong sakripisyo silang ginawa," he said. "Si mommy at daddy po kasi kung may gusto akong gawin, susuportahan nila ako."
Starting out young
Espanto said that he started singing as early as 2 years old. He recalled humming to the tune of several "Disney" classics, and that his relatives urged him to hone his raw talent.
His father taught him the basics of singing, and his mother, who was a choreographer during her high school days, helped him infuse dance into his performances.
But other than teaching him how to sing and dance, Espanto's parents have been cautious to instill in him good values.
"Since bata pa po ako, sinasabihan nila ako na always keep your feet on the ground. Parati po nilang sinasabi na, lalo na ngayon, always stay humble," he said.
Asked how he managed to remain fluent in the Filipino despite living abroad, he said: "Sa bahay naman po, pagkarating ko po galing sa school, pag nag-i-English pa rin ako, sasabihin ho nila 'nasa bahay ka na, wala ka na sa school, mag-Tagalog ka naman."
"Doon po ako nasanay mag-Tagalog," he added.