Portrait: Mark Agpa

Filipinos in Austria have mobilized themselves to solicit support for Mark Agpas on his way to the finals of Austrian television talent competition “Die grosse Chance” (The Big Chance), nevertheless a trained dog won the talent competition. Before the competition, supporters have been distributing flyers in churches, postings on Facebook and other social media, sending emails and text blasts calling the global Filipinos to vote for Mark Agpas.

Philippine-European Bulletin and ABS-CBN News, Europe News had the chance to interview Mark about his life and plans for the future.

Phil-European Bulletin– Tell us about yourself.

Mark Agpas- I was born in a small town in Surigao del Sur. We migrated to  Baguio City and spent almost 14 years in the summer capital of the Philippines. At one time, my family realized that we have to go back to Surigao.

Phil-European Bulletin – When did you start singing?

Mark Agpas – Actually I am not so inclined to singing. Ever since I was a kid, I  dreamed to be in a band as a drummer. My brother sings better than me, so as my mother, too. I got inspired from their talent that is why I tried my  best to sing.  In 2004, I gathered my college classmates who  also wished to have a band. We named our ban “FIRE EXIT”. We joined a number of Battle of the Bands competitions.  The first time we got the first place was the inter school battle of the bands. The peak moment of our band was the time we won the biggest band competition in Davao called  WUDSTAK 2005. We won the grand prize in the contest. It was during this time that I really concentrated myself with singing.

Phil-European Bulletin – How were you able to join  die Grosse Chance (the Big Chance)?

Mark Agpas – I watched the competition last year and I was telling myself every time I watch singing talents that “I KNOW I CAN DO BETTER THAN THEM!” In April this year, two days before the casting, I read the Grosse Chance 2012  advert while  I was watching a talent show in the internet. I was not really prepared but I did not want to lost the chance.  I just grabbed the opportunity. I told myself,  “bahala na!” Luckily it worked!

We were more than 6,000 applicants for audition on that day in Vienna. It went down to 1,800 in the second round. I am so flattered that I reached the finals of the show, though I was not successful enough to win.

Phil-European Bulletin – Did you find any difficulty or problem being an Asian among the contestants? How were you able to cope?

Mark Agpas – If we talk about  the jury, well I did not see any problem being an asian because the juries are all professional artists and they know what  and who is a real talent. I  know very much that I have impressed them well with my talent,  especially Karina  Sarkissova, who found my first  song horny.

Phil-European Bulletin – What kind of  music genre you like most?

Mark Agpas – I really love alternative rock, reggie, soul acoustic,and modern/pop rock.

Phil-European Bulletin –  Who is your favorite international or local singer?

Mark Agpas – hhhhmmmm. My favorite male singer is the one and only Arnel Pineda! In the internationlal scene  is Xavier Naiodoo because of his wonderful lyrics and voice.

Phil-European Bulletin – Do you have message to your kababayans in Austria?

Mark Agpas – To all the Pinoys here in Vienna, i know sometimes life is hard and unfair. Most of us Pinoys in Austria are  working hard  in order to support our families back home. But be positive in everything we do.  Keep reaching  to our goal!  Never stop dreaming and never stop believing that someday a good life will be in our hands… and the most important thing to reach our goals and success in life is: “DONT FORGET THAT GOD IS ALWAYS WATCHING US AND HE ALWAYS HEAR OUR PRAYERS! I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all the Filipinos here in Austria who took time and effort to bring me to the finals of die Grosse Chance. Without your support, I would not be able to go that far.  Thanks for demonstrating the spirit of Bayanihan. Indeed, we should be always proud of the talent we possess. Maraming salamat po sa inyong walang sawang pagtangkilik!

Interview conducted by Hector Pascua

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