Arisxandra Libantino. Photo courtesy of Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
LONDON – Eleven-year-old Arisxandra Libantino is the first Filipina in the United Kingdom to make it to the finals of Britain's Got Talent.
Libantino's voice impressed not only the panel of judges of the reality talent show, but also the voting audience.
A few days before the finals, a UK clothing line sent a good luck card and clothes to the young singing sensation, a gesture of gratitude for wearing one of its designs on the auditions showed on television which boosted store sales.
Making it to the BGT finals was well worth the journey for Libantino or "Xaxa ", who idolizes singers Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Geronimo and Charice.
"When I first joined, I was too young. I was only 9, but they didn't show it on TV," she said.
Xaxa shares how she copes with the overwhelming pressure of singing on stage, in front of a live audience.
"My technique is I just imagine nobody is nowhere, nobody is in the seats. Nobody is in the judges seats. I just pretend it's only me on the stage," she said.
Xaxa's mother admits she is the one who gets the jitters every time her daughter performs on stage.
"Para akong nasa hot seat, ninerbyus, stressed, di makakain, di makatulog," said Elma Libantino.
The Llibantino family is extending their gratitude for the strong support of Pinoys in the UK. They are once again appealing for support on the big day, on Saturday.
"Gusto kong pasalamatan ang mga Pilipino dito sa United Kingdom na sumporta sa aking anak na si Arisxandra," said her father, Aristotle.
"I dedicate this BGT thing to my friends, family and cousins back in the Philippines," the girl said.