MANILA — Cyrill Tumamak was 14 years old when he first met Vice Ganda, whom he moved to tears with his “Pinoy Boyband Superstar” audition in 2016.
Five years later, Tumamak has reunited with the comedy superstar in his new bid for stardom.
Tumamak, now 18, was one of two daily contestants of Tawag ng Tanghalan in the April 13 episode of “It’s Showtime,” which Vice Ganda co-hosts.
After the Tumamak’s turn on stage, Vice Ganda recalled their tearful encounter in the ABS-CBN boyband search, where he sat as judge.
“Ang liit-liit mo pa noon! Hindi ko na nga siya nakilala,” said Vice Ganda, who was informed of Tumamak’s background just moments before he performed.
For his “Pinoy Boyband Superstar” audition, Tumamak dedicated Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down,” about longing for someone, to his grandmother.
Vice Ganda, whose maternal grandmother Rosita Borja had died four years prior in 2012, was immediately moved to tears by the boy’s tribute.
Tumamak, too, cried upon seeing Vice Ganda become emotional.
“I just want to hug you right now,” Vice Ganda told him at the time. “Nalulungkot ako, pero masaya ako, na pinapaalala mo sa akin ‘yung lola ko.”
As they shared the tearful embrace, Vice Ganda could be heard whispering, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Tumamak finished among the top 40 performers in the reality show, whose five winners formed the group BoybandPH.
During their reunion on “It’s Showtime,” Vice Ganda spoke fondly of Tumamak, as he advised the aspiring singer on reaching his goal to enter showbiz.
When Tumamak mentioned popularity and having fans as among his reasons, Vice Ganda said: “Kailangan mong laging may bagong dahilan to keep going. 'Pag na-achieve mo ‘yan, dapat may bago kang dahilan para ipagpatuloy ko ito.
“Noong sumikat ka na, ano’ng next? Gusto ko na ng eternal value — iyong kahit mawala ka, merong maaalalang ginawa mo. ‘Yung kahit hindi ka na nila napapanood, merong mag-si-stay na binigay mo doon sa tao. Iyon kasi talaga ‘yung deeper purpose.
“Hindi lang tungkol sa pera, hindi lang tungkol sa fame. Merong mas malalim na dahilan ito kung bakit ibinibigay sa atin ni Lord.”
Tumamak ultimately bowed out of Tawag ng Tanghalan in the Tuesday episode. Scoring lower than his opponent, he was unable to make it past the first round.