The girl with a golden voice
MANILA, Philippines — A little over a year ago, Golden Cañedo’s life revolved around school and amateur contests.
“I was a student and a kontesera. Life was school then contest. Yes, I always won, kalooy sa Ginoo (by the grace of God). But I also had failures. I would sing all over Cebu,” the 17-year-old singer told The STAR in a mix of English and Cebuano, her native tongue.
These days, the small-town girl with big dreams is enjoying every single opportunity that comes her way since becoming the first grand winner of the top-rating GMA reality-singing competition The Clash in October 2018.
The eldest of three kids, Golden has relocated to Cavite with her family from Minglanilla — a town some 15 kilometers away from Cebu City and where singer Morissette Amon and fellow Kapuso Diva Montelaba also hail from.
Since The Clash, she has joined the Saturday musical-variety show Studio 7 as a regular and has been sharing the stage with her idols Christian Bautista, Julie Ann San Jose and Lani Misalucha in shows and concerts here and abroad.
Golden experienced her first out-of-the-country trip last May for the Kapusong Pinoy Studio 7 Musikalye in Brooklyn, New York. “(The trip) was great! It was my first time there, first time to do a big concert, first time to travel out of the Philippines,” recalled the bubbly teenager. She added that there are more overseas trips being planned.
She has also guested in Julie Ann and Christian’s concert series, The Sweetheart and the Balladeer, which was recently brought by GMA Regional TV to Cagayan de Oro City.
Golden also released her first single More Than Before, written by veteran composer Vehnee Saturno, apart from being the voice of Tayo Pa Rin and Nakikita Ba Ang Langit, the theme song of the GMA series Kara Mia. She’s all set to promote her next single for GMA Music.
Asked what her other big dreams are, Golden shared, “I just hope my career continues to grow. I hope to finish school. I want to be an actress. I want to be known by all people. And I want to share my talent.”
From left: Golden gets all glammedup; with her fellow Studio 7 regulars, including The Clash Season 1 finalists Jong Madaliday, Garrett Bolden and Merriam Manalo, and the Legaspi twins
Cassy and Mavy…
As of now, GMA Artist Center is keeping her busy with singing projects and gigs. “Right now, I’m focused on singing. I will wait for what GMA will give me. I will wait for their projects for me. I trust in their plans for me,” she said.
As for balancing school and her budding music career, Golden said it’s been tough. A Grade 11 student in a school in Cavite, Golden said, “I’m in a regular school. It’s so difficult because you’d miss lessons and then you need to make up for them. They give me assignments and notes so that I can keep up with the class.”
The girl with a golden voice and natural charm has already drawn comparisons to Sarah Geronimo. Similar to the pop star’s humble beginnings, a singing search served as her entry point to showbiz. She’s also a belter — such powerful voice in a small package. “Happy ko (I’m happy) because Sarah before is also a kontesera like me. Ms. Sarah before, pareha ra nako, nagkanta-kanta para sa family (was just like me, who used to sing for the family), and then now, Sarah is super sikat, an icon, so I feel honored (with the comparisons). I’ve never met her. I hope to meet her!”
Golden also shared that The Clash will have a Season 2, but she’s clueless as to who will be the new host, given the original host Songbird Regine Velasquez, had transferred to the rival network ABS-CBN.
…and enjoying her first trip abroad in New York last May.
Nevertheless, the Kapuso teen is happy to share some winning tips: “It’s going to be so hard because of the challenges, but pray, persevere and just focus on giving your best.”
The golden opportunity to showcase her gifts might have come via the Kapuso network, but it seems that she has always been destined for the spotlight.
Asked how she earned the nickname Golden, she told this paper in a previous interview: “When my mother daw was pregnant, she was told that the baby in her tummy would bring good luck,” like striking gold, because “suwerte daw ang bata.” She started singing in kindergarten. “My father worked in Saudi and when he came home, he noticed my singing voice so he asked me to compete in a contest sa kabilang bayan. ‘Baka manalo ka,’ he told me. I sang Listen (by Beyoncé) and I won.”
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