A decade after Angeline Quinto bagged the grand prize in ABS-CBN’s 2011 reality singing contest, “Star Power,” the winning interpreter of the song, “Patuloy ang Pangarap” fondly looks back at her admirable journey that brought her fame, success and fortune.
Written for Quinto by prolific songwriter Jonathan Manalo, “Patuloy ang Pangarap” was undeniably life-changing for its artist, then always a hopeful kontesera.
“Napakalaking pagbabago sa buhay ko ang ibinigay sa akin ng ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap,’” Quinto told ABS-CBN News. “Lagi ko ‘yang sinasabi at sine-share sa mga katulad kong sumasali sa singing contests. ‘Yang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ ang kanta ng buhay ko.”
After she won “Star Power,” Quinto realized how the support of extensive radio airplay can turn a song into a huge hit. “Every day kong naririnig ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ sa radio,” she recalled.
“Ganu’n pala ang sinasabi nila kapag nag-hit ang isang song. Madalas mong maririnig. Nakilala ng tao ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ hindi lang sa Pilipinas. Pati sa ibang bansa.”
The power belter learned to embrace the popularity of her debut single that also became the carrier track of her solo album under Star Records. “Bawat word na sinasabi ng kanta sa lyrics, ‘yan ang buhay ni Angeline kung paano siya nag-umpisa sa mga amateur singing contests,” she disclosed.
“Dumating sa point na napagod kasi laging talo. After ilang taon, she convinced herself na kailangan niyang ituloy ang pangarap niya.”
“Patuloy ang Pangarap” was composed by Manalo specifically for Quinto. In the grand finals of “Star Power,” there were five girls who vied for the grand prize. Each of them was assigned to a songwriter who was tasked to compose an original song especially written for the finalist.
Manalo’s basis for writing “Patuloy ang Pangarap” was Quinto’s journey as a singer. “Kinausap ko siya and asked her about her journey before she joined ‘Star Power,’” Manalo told ABS-CBN News.
“She also previously joined ‘Star for a Night’ and competed against Sarah Geronimo. She joined ‘Teen Pop Star’ with Jona Viray. Marami pa siyang sinuyod na singing contests sa ibat-ibang fiesta. May talo, may panalo. Walang naging definite na success. Only when ‘Star Power’ happened to her. Ganu’n ang naging mindset niya. Hindi tumitigil na mangarap. Patuloy lagi ang pangarap niya.”
That became Manalo’s inspiration to write a song for Quinto. “Naisip ko ‘yung words na ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ kasi ‘yun ang naging journey ni Angge. ‘Yung quest niya to get that ultimate dream. Hindi natatapos sa isang contest. ‘Yun ang naging concept ko.”
Up to this day, Quinto never stops dreaming. After achieving one goal, there is another one. That’s her story and that’s her dream.
“Ang daming naka-relate kay Angge sa story niya,” Manalo said. “Ang daming gano’n. Mga contesera. Hindi tumitigil sa pangarap, umiikot sa napakaraming singing contests.”
To everyone’s surprise, “Patuloy ang Pangarap” somewhat became an “official song” for singing contests through the years. “Tumawid na nga siya ng network,” Manalo noted. “Hindi na siya identified sa ABS-CBN singing contests lang.
“Kinakanta na siya kahit sa ibang contests sa other networks. Naging standard contest piece na. That became important for Angeline. Especially after her winning up to the next five years, naging graduation song na din ng graduating batches.”
“Patuloy ang Pangarap” was even used as the official theme of 2011’s Palarong Pambansa.
After five months of competition, Quinto landed in the Final 5. She was joined by Monica Sacay from Leyte, Akiko Solon from Cebu, Krissel Valdez from Davao City and Fil-Canadian Kayla Rivera.
They were assigned a composer each to sing their respective original songs. Quinto sang the only Tagalog song in the finals and the piece was truly very personal for her.
Manalo researched about Quinto’s life story that gave him the edge in writing a very personal song for her. “Nung natanggap ko ang song na ‘yan, medyo late na kasi ang tagal natapos,” Quinto laughingly recalled.
“‘Yung apat na kasama ko sa finals, kabisado na nila ang kanta. Naaral na ang melody. Kinakabahan ako. Every day akong nagpa-follow up kay Sir Jonathan, kasi gusto ko ng aralin ang kanta.
“Tapos noong binigay na sa akin ang kanta, mali ang key for me. Sobrang taas. Hindi talaga kumportable for me. So binabaan pa namin ng half key. Noong first time kong marinig ang kanta, nasa CR ako ng hotel kung saan kami nag-stay. Hotel na pag-aari ni Mother Lily sa Timog [Quezon City], Imperial.”
Tears inevitably rolled down her cheeks as she immediately had a quick flashback of her life. “Noong marinig ko ang kanta finally, bigla na lang akong umiyak habang nakatingin sa salamin,” Quinto recalled. “Kahit hindi ko pa siya na-aaral at hindi ko pa talaga alam ang kanta at ang melody, ‘yung lyrics, talagang eksaktong eksakto sa buhay ko.”
She acknowledged how the song really had a huge impact on her. “Iba din talaga ang power ng kanta kung talagang nangyari sa ‘yo. Malaking tulong ‘yun sa akin noong gabing kinanta ko na ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ sa ‘Star Power.’ Isa lang ang nasa isip ko. Gusto ko talagang marinig ng mga tao kung ano talaga ang kwento ng buhay ko.”
When she rendered it onstage on the night of the competition, Quinto simply wanted to bring across the story about her modest journey. At the same time, she was resigned to the fact that even if she lost in the contest, “Star Power” would be the last singing competition that she would join in.
“Iniisip ko at that time, 21 years old na ako, mas maraming batang mahuhusay,” she alowed. “Baka hindi talaga para sa akin ang pagkanta. Kung hindi ako manalo, baka nag-stop na muna ako sa singing.”
The stars aligned for Quinto that night as she took home P1 million, a car, entertainment showcase and recording contract. Valdez was her runner-up and Sacay landed in third place. Rivera placed fourth and Solon was fifth.
“Kasabay noong nanalo ako, nagsunod-sunod na rin ang awards,” Quinto said. “Patuloy ang Pangarap” became the carrier track of her self-titled debut album that was certified double platinum.
In October 2011, “Patuloy ang Pangarap” won Song of the Year at the PMPC (Philippine Movie Press Club) Music Awards and earned for Quinto the New Female Recording Artist of the Year plum.
The Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) also honored “Patuloy ang Pangarap” as the Best Secular Song of 2011.
After the successive accolades, “Patuloy ang Pangarap” soared even more in its popularity. It became the theme of the “Maria La del Barrio” teleserye in 2011, as well as “May Isang Pangarap” drama series in 2013, with child stars Larah Claire Sabroso and Julia Klarisse Base.
“Sa loob ng sampung taon, sa lahat ng shows at concerts na nagawa ko anywhere, out of town, out of the country, hindi talaga pwedeng wala ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’,” Quinto maintained. “Siguro lagi ko na talagang kasama ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ kahit saan ako makarating.”
“Patuloy” ang Pangarap” became Quinto’s signature song that was recorded by other artists like Vina Morales and Faith Cuneta. Last year, even American singer Shelea Frazier had her version, with Troy Laureta and was included as a cut in the latter’s album, “Kaibigan: An OPM Collectible.”
Quinto previously talked to a concert producer in Australia who waited for more than three years for her to perform in Melbourne. “Noon nagkita kami ng producer personally sa Melbourne, siya ang nagsabi sa akin noon. Ayaw nilang ibang singer ang kumanta ng ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ kung hindi ako.
“Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Angge, ang tagal ka naming inaantay. Ang tagal naming nakapila. Gustong-gusto kasi namin na ikaw ang kumanta ng ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap.’ Madami daw Pilipino sa Melbourne, mga OFWs, na ‘yun ang theme song.”
Quinto’s Tagalog hit inevitably became a torch song for Filipinos working abroad, who are pining for a better future for themselves, as well as for their loved ones.
“Marami akong natatanggap na messages sa Instagram,” she said. “Halos lahat nagta-trabaho sa ibang bansa. Sa Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. May mga OFWs in Dubai, mas nalagpasan nila ang mga problema nila.
“May isang group, apat silang babae, gusto na daw nilang mag-give up at naging theme song nila ang ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap.’ Until now, mas nalampasan nila lahat ng pagsubok na pinagdaanan nila sa ibang bansa. ‘Patuloy ang Pangarap’ ang kinapitan nila.”
In the highest-grossing Filipino film, Cathy Garcia Molina’s “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (2019), that starred Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards shot in Hong Kong, there was a scene where Bernardo joined a singing contest participated in by OFWs and she rendered “Patuloy ang Pangarap.”
Among the songs that Quinto recorded through the years, aside from “Patuloy ang Pangarap,” she sang other Manalo’s compositions like “Bakit Ba Minamahal Kita,” which bannered her sophomore album.
“Kung walang Jonathan Manalo, walang Angeline Quinto,” she humbly declared.
However, since she is admittedly a huge fan of Maricel Soriano, it’s not entirely inconceivable that one of Quinto’s favorite songs is her version of “Saan Darating ang Umaga,” Soriano’s 1983 film with Nestor de Villa, Nida Blanca and Raymond Lauchengco, directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes. Lauchengco originally recorded the ballad. Quinto’s version, meanwhile, was used in the Gerald Anderson 2011 teleserye, “Budoy.”
“Twelve years ago, mayroon akong kaibigang namatay, ang name Budoy,” Quinto granted. “So noon ni-record ko ‘yung ‘Saan Darating ang Umaga,’ paglabas namin ng recording studio, may araw na. Sobrang tagal kong ni-record. Masyado akong naging emotional when I recorded it. Ang ganda-ganda naman nu’ng nagawa namin.”
She expressed her desire to one day do the kind of roles Soriano portrayed before, like in Luciano B. Carlos’ “Inday Bote” (1985) or “Goryo at Tekla” (1989) opposite Roderick Paulate.
“Gusto ko talaga sanang masubukan ang mga roles na ginagawa ni Ms. Maricel Soriano, dahil siya talaga ang ultimate idol ko sa acting,” Quinto admitted.
“Kapag pinapanood ko ang movies niya, hindi ko pa kasi siya nami-meet ng personal, para kong nakikita ang sarili ko sa kanya,” Quinto said. “One of my dreams is to do her ‘Batang Quiapo’ with FPJ [Fernando Poe, Jr.].” At the helm of the action-comedy is Pablo S. Gomez.
To date, Quinto has made seven films after a decade in the business, starting from her acting debut in Jerome Pabocan’s “Born To Love You” (2012), opposite Coco Martin.
On TV, Quinto is still a regular performer in the Sunday noontime program, “ASAP Natin ‘To.” She is also in the cast of the primetime teleserye, “Huwag Kang Mangamba,” where she sang the theme song, too, penned by Fr. Manoling Francisco.
Once the virus dissipates, another thing Quinto wants to try is theater. “Dati, may nag-invite sa akin na subukan ang theater, pero hindi ko rin nagawa,” she lamented “‘Yung time na ‘yun, every month, halos may show ako abroad. Pero pag binigyan ako ng opportunity ulit, baka pwede ko ng gawin ang theater dahil gusto ko din talaga.”
This 2021 being her 10th anniversary, Quinto is preparing for a series of digital concerts. Manalo is also working on a “Patuloy ang Pangarap” sequel, to be released later this year.