On Thursday morning, my aunt from Australia, Tita Beng, sent an email saying that my cousin, Naomi, is going to be on national TV showing 15 seconds of her video clip. Tita Beng sent the video as an entry to a singing competition in Australia’s show, Mornings. In one of the producers’ email confirmation, Tita Beng and her family were informed that her daughter’s entry was chosen among 15 others. They will showcase all 15 over three days on the Mornings program on 10–12 October (five per day). The judges will pick the best 15 seconds of each of the YouTube clips to show on air, and pick their favorite from each day. The three finalists will then perform live on the show on 19 October! The winner of this competition will be given the prize of two tickets for one parent and one child to Delta Goodrem’s concert as well as a meet and greet with Delta Goodrem and/or Rachael Leahcar. Attached to her email was a link from YouTube with Naomi singing to A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton.
Isn’t she adorable? I showed this to my family when I got home from work that day, and my Mom’s convinced that Naomi inherited this talent from their side of the family. We first saw Naomi when Tita Beng’s family went home for a vacation in December 2008. Naomi was only three and a half years old, while Samantha, her older sister, was eight. It was one of their longest stay here in the Philippines since my grandparents’ golden wedding anniversary in 2004. These two kids differ so much from each other. Naomi’s personality is a far cry from Sam’s. She exudes so much confidence for a toddler like her, while Sam is more of the reserved type. In one occasion, I remember watching the two, observing their actions as we wait to be called inside a restaurant. Sam was silently playing Cooking Mama in her Nintendo DS, while Naomi babbled endlessly about whatever comes to mind.
Everyone knew Naomi had it in her when one weekend, on our way to Tagaytay, she kept singing to the Jonas Brothers’ When You Look Me In The Eyes. She had her earphones on while this song is on loop in Sam’s MP3 player. I even had her singing recorded in my old phone while we all giggle in fondness with the little kid. Naomi took ballet lessons, too, thus making her a complete package for a young celebrity-in-the-making. According to Tita Beng, they are actually flying out to Los Angeles next year, so Naomi could finally visit Hollywood. It amazes us how much a seven-year old girl knows about these things.
Samantha, on the other hand, is more inclined to literature and the arts (just like yours truly). At a young age, she has written poems of her own. Below is a poem she wrote for their study of natural disasters in school. Tita Beng thought she’d share this as Samantha is becoming quite an amazing writer:
It’s coming up from deep, deep down,
The earth is thundering beneath the ground,
I’ve never heard silence quite this loud,
In the air, the earth or sound.
All the lives, the hopes and dreams,
The time you have is short, it seems,
I feel the depth right through the steam,
The love of life, the helpless screams,
The taste of blood, the taste not wrong,
Because I know the earth is strong,
I see the chasm, deep and long,
The booming brass, it’s deathly song,
Close your eyes and count to ten,
For everything, has an end,
The earth ruled all, way back then,
But since we came, that time has went,
The earth wants itself back again.
—Samantha Rogers © 2011
At age 12, Samantha’s becoming more expressive through music and lyrics. She’s learned to play the guitar and the piano, apart from taking up jazz class during her free time. As always, Tita Beng sent us a YouTube link with Sam singing and guitar-playing to Ed Sheeran’s The A Team. I had goosebumps when I heard Sam sing for I thought she could be Australia’s Taylor Swift!
It’s only been three years, but my cousins look not-so-little anymore. I may not have sisters of my own, but I really find my younger self in them. Oh, I can’t wait to see them again next year for my wedding! :)
Added on 11 Oct 2012: I received a follow-up email from my aunt this afternoon, telling us that Naomi wasn’t chosen among the three entries shown on Mornings today; however, they were thrilled for my cousin’s 30-seconds fame on national TV. Here’s a video they filmed earlier:
It’s unfortunate that Naomi didn’t win, but we are still proud of her, nonetheless! :)