Budding P-pop group BITUIN illuminates Filipino culture through music and dance

“Kumikislap! Nagniningning! Bituin!” [Sparkling! Glowing! Stars!] is this group’s mantra. This young group is navigating its way through the local music industry, while trying to spread Filipino music to the world and promote self-expression as Filipino performers.

This shining P-pop group, composed of six young and talented girls who are between ages 14 to 16, banded together in December 2022. Two years later, they made their big stage debut when renowned pop star Debbie Gibson invited them to perform with her at the 35th Anniversary of her hit album “Electric Youth.”

Their journey began with an audition for a Special Program in the Arts (SPA), at their school in MPNAG – Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales, where candidates were required to sing, dance, do choreographs, and quickly learn new routines. Unsurprisingly, the girls excelled and passed the audition, and the group Bituin was born. Due to them already being very good friends with each other, the girls found no trouble getting along when it came to rehearsals or even their performances.

budding p-pop group bituin illuminates filipino culture through music and dance

Comprised of Beat, Nyle, Minta, Bella, Saiph, and Ally, each member brings forth an important talent to the group. Beat and Nyle handle the main vocals and dancing duties, while Minta showcases her vocal prowess. Bella adds visual flair, while Saiph and Ally mesmerize as main dancers. Juggling both school work and their passion for performing, Bituin’s vision is to be able to stretch out further the culture of Filipino pop to the world.

Their eye-catching moniker, Bituin, a Filipino word that literally translates to “star,” actually holds a deeper meaning for these girls. Not only does it symbolize their aspiration to shine brightly in the music industry and illuminate the opportunities that come their way, it is also cleverly inspired by the constellation Orion, and each member’s stage name corresponds to a star in Orion: Beat for Betelgeuse, Nyle for Alnitak, Minta for Mintaka, Bella for Bellatrix, Saiph for Saiph, and Ally for Alnilam, reflecting their collective mission to manifest the stars–stars they did manifest.

budding p-pop group bituin illuminates filipino culture through music and dance

When asked about Debbie Gibson reaching out to Bituin, their mentor Lara Maesa Y. Camacho exclaimed, “I am very proud, parang mga anak na namin sila [They’re like our children],

” adding that she has all the love and care in her heart for the girls.

As the group got their first major gig with the renowned Debbie Gibson and her music, the initial concern was the girls weren’t so familiar with her work, but being a bundle of talent and resolve that they are, Bituin was able to immerse themselves in the pop star’s work later on through the guidance of their mentors’ knowledge and passion for Debbie’s discography. Bituin began doing recitals and dance covers of Debbie’s songs, sharing them on their social media accounts and tagging the international superstar herself. To their astonishment, Debbie noticed them.

After a while, Debbie reached out to Bituin and their mentors on Instagram, initiating discussions about Bituin’s involvement in her anniversary gig on the 26th of April. Despite communication challenges such as time differences and scheduling mix-ups, Debbie remained patient and considerate throughout. Bituin expressed their biggest gratitude for Debbie’s understanding and her patience. They were shocked as the super-star would sometimes apologize for delayed responses due to her hectic schedule, further demonstrating her thoughtfulness throughout everything.

budding p-pop group bituin illuminates filipino culture through music and dance

As for the rehearsals and the main concert, Bituin vividly recounted their emotions, cherishing even the smallest details that brought warmth to their hearts. “Yung experience po namin noon is sobrang special po sa main [The experience we had back then was extremely special to us],” Nyle expressed, her eyes sparkling with excitement. Bituin shared in the sentiment, giggling and expressing their delight upon seeing their group name plastered on the door to their changing room, “Pagpasok pa lang po namin is nandoon na po yung tag na ‘Bituin’ sa door, may room po kami! [As soon as we entered, the tag “Bituin” was already on the door, we have a room!]” Nyle continued, prompting laughter and even cutely slapping each other’s shoulders as they all reminisced about the endearing moment they shared.

budding p-pop group bituin illuminates filipino culture through music and dance

Bituin also shared their admiration for Debbie Gibson’s down-to-earth demeanor. Beat recalled the moment when Debbie first saw them, the artist immediately gave them a big hug, expressing her gratitude for their presence. “Pagpasok palang po namin sa stage, niyakap niya po kami agad. Sobrang friendly niya po talaga [As soon as we entered the stage, she immediately hugged us. She’s really friendly],” she said, highlighting Debbie’s genuine friendliness. The group further elaborated on how Debbie’s entire crew, including her band and dancers, showered them with compliments, leading to shared chuckles and giggles.

Looking ahead, Bituin eagerly anticipates their upcoming events. For now, they’ve performed at an “Electric Youth” themed recital titled “The Future Belongs to the Future,” which happened on May 4th. Additionally, they are excited about an upcoming Teachers Event in Baguio, Philippines, scheduled for June. Although details are still scarce for now, Bituin is thrilled about the opportunities that lie ahead, which could help them expand their fanbase and gain more traction.

When asked about their future plans to stay together beyond their academic years, the members of Bituin exchanged knowing glances, as if they had already known each other’s responses. “We’ve been talking about this a lot… Napag-usuapan na po namin na when I graduate senior high school, at kung mag-stay pa po ba ako. And my answer is, yes po [We’ve already discussed whether I’ll stay after I graduate from senior high school, and my answer is yes],” shared Beat. She expressed her determination to continue pursuing her passion for performing. Her fellow members agreed to her sentiments, revealing their intentions to pursue studies in Art and Music to fully embrace their talents.

budding p-pop group bituin illuminates filipino culture through music and dance

“Naniniwala po ako na, mas lalong sisikat pa ang Bituin and like, magsusulat pa po kami ng more original songs and magkakaroon pa kami ng sariling album, yun po yung mga naiisip naming masarap sa feeling. At yung makakasign po kami ng contract, super dream po namin ‘yun [I believe that Bituin will become even more popular, and we’ll write more original songs and release our own album. Those are the things that we find fulfilling. And signing a contract is a super dream of ours],” exclaimed Bella excitedly, candidly sharing her aspirations for Bituin’s future success. Fortunately, it seems Bituin is on the right path to achieving their dreams, with two original songs already under their belt titled “Ikaw Lang Talaga” and “Like a Star (Far Away),” both composed by their mentor and trainer, Lara Camacho.

Currently, Bituin is in the process of refining a new song they hope to release to the public soon. As a token of gratitude, they shared a portion of the unfinished song with Debbie, giving her a memento to look back on and thanking her for the immense opportunity she provided them during their collaboration.

Bituin’s discography is just as shiny as their presence, the group had early on won an award at a local competition titled “Entrepreneurs Got Talent” competition in May 2022. Where they came home victorious as champions. It was a moment to remember that ignited their kickstart to the world of performance. Since then, the group has been inundated with invitations to intimate venues with their captivating presence, solidifying their reputation as rising stars.

In the end, Bituin explained how their journey up until now couldn’t have been possible if it was not for those who supported them, including Debbie Gibson. To their fans, “We thank them so much for supporting us,” Minta reflects, “Support through events like that (Debbie’s concert), nagbibigay ng confidence sa amin po, kaya po kami nagpapatuloy rin po, dahil sa mga nagsusuporta po ‘samin [They boost our confidence, which is why we continue. It’s because of those who support us],” Nyle echoes her sentiment, emphasizing the pivotal role of their supporters.

As for Bea, she expressed her gratitude to those who helped the group into growing and blooming, “And mostly, we thank our mentors Ma’am Lara and Ma’am Mylynn, for guiding us on our journey all the way.” she said.

With every stride, ‘sila’y ‘Kumikislap at Nagniningning,’ indeed! Here’s to hoping that their optimism, experience, and opportunities bring them ever close to the stars.

 

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