Pinoy Big Brother Welcomes Aussie Teen, Ylona Garcia

June 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

Ylona4When the reality TV show, Pinoy Big Brother 737 returns for season 6, a familiar face will be seen on the airwaves.  Pinoy Big Brother – Teen edition, welcomes Filipino Australian, Ylona Jade Navalle Garcia as  one of the housemates.  Ylona made the much coveted cut after rigorous auditions here in Sydney last March and was later flown to Manila for the final selection in May.  She was chosen from over 32,000 hopefuls from throughout the Philippines and around the world, with 96 aspirants from Australia.

At a tender age of 13, Ylona impressed the ABS-CBN judges not only with her singing, acting, dancing talents but  for her confidence and her candid remarks.  Quiet and pensive one moment, yet playful and funky the next.   Behind the scenes, she’s your normal, everyday teenager with a love for music.  But when she steps on stage, she transforms into a much older version of herself and every bit a professional performer.  Her dark beauty radiates with warmth, and her squinty eyes and dimples when she smiles uncover some kind of irresistible childish charm.

I was privileged to sample her singing talent right in her own living room. In a pair of  jeans and all rugged up with Ugg boots and winter warmers, she jolted me out of my seat as she belted out the song “At Last” hitting every high note, and squeezing every ounce of emotion that left me with goose bumps and teary-eyed.

On June 20, Ylona strides into unchartered territory, house bound with an assortment of characters out to entertain the outside world , who will no doubt be glued to their TV screens.  One of the judges paid her the ultimate compliment by saying  that she may have been  “the progeny of Christina Aguilera and/or Ariana Grande.”

When asked how she feels about her Big Brother win, she coyly replies; “Pretty good.  I’m a little nervous but excited.”   “There’ll be new people to meet but I’ll manage” she adds with conviction.  There goes that display of confidence and maturity again!

To ensure she doesn’t log behind with school work, her mother has made arrangements for distance learning.  “That’s the first thing I did.  Her studies still come first.” said her mom, Carrie.

Ylona has been on a winning streak.  She won the Fast Track Australian Singing Competition in the Junior Division in March of this year; the 2014 Urban Star Sydney Championship and awarded “Most Promising” Talent in December 2014. She was also the third place winner in the National Urban Star Competition reaping through the Judges Choice for the Coolest Artist and the artist with the WOW factor.

She’s one familiar face on Sydney’s entertainment scene and has stepped on centre stage as front act for top Filipino artists like, the Gonzaga Sisters, Sarah Geronimo, Rico J., Florante, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Carol Banawa, Ariel Rivera and no other than Martin Nievera.

Having been born in Sydney, Ylona speaks little Filipino but has dived head on into a crash course for the Filipino language. She rattles off a few words that she’s just learned to get her by when in Manila and then she suddenly let’s out a shrill, “Oh, oh…damdamin.  I know damdamin!” with her right hand tapping her chest.  And feelings –  that, she certainly has a lot of.  She emotes every song to a stirring passion.  And now, she’s all set and ready to thrill!

Pinoy Big Brother is the recipient of the Star Awards for Best Reality TV show and is hosted by Toni Gonzaga, Bianca Gonzalez and Robi Domingo.

The show has started in the Philippines and looks like she’s in for the long haul.

Tags: Features