Camilo Margarejo Trinidad and Maria Josena “Kitty” Barrocan.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA
DUBAI – She was Princess Jasmine. He was Aladdin. It was a magic carpet ride in the last battle round of Expat Duets when Camilo Margarejo Trinidad and Maria Josena “Kitty” Barrocan gave an animated performance of “A Whole New World”. They won that battle round easily.
“Actually we had the shortest preparation for that round. A night before the event we still could not decide on a song because it’s very difficult to find a song that would fit our voices. Finally we tried ‘A Whole New World’ and it turned out okay, so we thought we’d go for it and just emote on stage. To our surprise, we ranked first!” Barrocan told Expatmedia.net.
It was a big leap from last year when she and Trinidad were at opposite sides of the fence; competing against each other in a local singing competition. He ended up becoming the first runner up while she was second runner up.
“Everything is memorable because it is a very challenging contest,” Trinidad said of Expat Duets. “I have always been a solo singer but I have adjusted myself to work with Kitty,” he told Expatmedia.net.
Trinidad, who works as a bank collections officer in Dubai, practices with Barrocan, an administrative coordinator, every chance they get.
“We sometimes practice inside the car and sometimes in the apartment. We do practice every Thursday evening for a maximum of two hours,” Barrocan said.
Let’s learn more about this duet in their Q&A with Expatmedia.net:
Describe yourself when you’re not performing or holding a microphone.
Trinidad: Normally I am just working but I’m really a home buddy. I do online selling when I am not doing anything.
Barrocan: I am a jolly person but I am timid, particularly when meeting new people. I am also choosy when it comes to picking friends because I’d rather have a few good friends who are always there in all seasons of my life. I am also a mother of a beautiful baby girl and a wife to a very supportive husband. As a family we love to sing karaoke together.
What’s your life like in the UAE?
Trinidad: Life in UAE is a bit exciting and challenging. Challenging because at work, you have to give more than 100 percent of effort so you will be rewarded and of course you have to do it as we are here to work and earn money for our love ones. Exciting because I can still have time to sing which is my first love and having this kind of opportunity to join singing competitions can help me release stress from work.
Barrocan: My husband first arrived here when he was just my boyfriend. I was working in Canada then. When I returned to the Philippines, we got married and he brought me here so we can start a family. Life here is expensive but we’re happy. Obviously we are working hard to prepare for our child’s future. Also read: How stunted Canada dream worked for Dubai expat
Have you always loved music? Tell us about the first time you performed in public.
Trinidad: I started singing during my elementary days. I would always raise my hand whenever my teacher needed someone to do an intermission number. Of course I was nervous at first but since I love singing, I tried to deal with stage fright.
Barrocan: I have always loved music. I remember when I was four years old and my mom asked me to sing in church in front of a congregation. I just sang my heart out even though I didn’t know some of the lyrics! I wasn’t shy at all.
Who is your musical inspiration and why?
Barrocan: Regine! Who doesn’t idolize her? Even though she has aged she is still a very good, talented and popular singer. She is also humble.
Trinidad: No one in particular, but I can say I love Erik Santos; his voice and the way he performs.
If you could describe your current life in a song, what would that song be?
Trinidad: “Hold On to Your Dreams” by Regine. It is very inspiring as it will give you the will to keep fighting for your dreams.
Barrocan: “Thank you Lord” by the Hillsong.
What achievements in your life are you particularly proud of?
Trinidad: When I became grand champion in the national competition of Wow Magic Sing “Wow Galing ng Pinoy”. It was a very memorable experience because most of the contestants were champions on national TV.
Barrocan: That I was able to finish my college education despite coming from a broken family. I could have rebelled but I chose to finish my studies and I am happy I made that choice. I was also fortunate to have briefly worked in Canada just after I graduated, and I am now here in Dubai, having a beautiful family.
What do you love about your expat life in the UAE?
Trinidad: Probably the way of living. You can have time to rest and relax whenever you need.
Barrocan: I love how easy it is to buy things because you can afford it and there is no tax.
What is your motto in life?
Trinidad: Try not once but many times… God sees those who wait…
Barrocan: There is no impossible to those who believe.
Best lesson you’ve learned in life.
Trinidad: Having many friends is like a treasure because they are always there for you when you need help.
Barrocan: Respect yourself in the way you want others to respect you.
What is your message to other expats in the UAE?
Trinidad: Be inspired and keep working for your family.
Barrocan: We all know the expat life is not easy because you are away from your loved ones. But we are here because we have dreams and ambitions so let us not lose hope because we have one, big God who is always there for us.
What: Expat Duets (Grand Finals)
When: March 10, 7 p.m.
Where: Vegas Dubai, Holiday Inn Bur Dubai
Tickets: Entrance is free
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