• Kyriakos Tsinivits

Eurovision Fan Spotlight: Philippines - Interviews



After an overwhelming response we received from our article on the ‘Philippines' relationship with the Eurovision Song Contest’ for the Philippines Independence Day on June 12, we thought we would get a deeper insight into the Filipino Eurovision fandom.


In our article 'Eurovision Fan Spotlight: Philippines', which you can find here, we took a look into the Filipino Eurovision fandom through the eyes of the 10 Filipino Eurofans we interviewed, Cage, Elvis, Grazel, Ian, Jerome, Joseph, Katcy, Mike, Sofio, and Yue, who all share their insights and experiences with the Eurovision Song Contest, and which Filipino music stars they would love to see take the Eurovision stage one day.


You can read the remaining transcripts of their interviews below where you can get to know these fans a bit better, find out their favourite Eurovision entries and more. It's a great read!



What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

Well, for starters, I’m really tall for Filipino standards. I’ve also tried playing the drums, it was good.


When did you first get into Eurovision?

3 years ago, I was a part (and still am part) of a community on discord and one of the members there had a YouTube channel, and I noticed one of his videos was his top 42 of the 2016 ESC, so I checked it out, and I liked the songs, so I searched more about it, and fell in love with Eurovision. The rest is history.


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

It’s hard to decide which is my fave, cause I love each year. If anything, 2018 was my fave. It was my first year exposed to Eurovision (I barely missed out the 2017 final by a few days, unfortunately) and it was where I got introduced to all these songs and NFs and all so it feels like my favorite Eurovision year.


Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

Other than Vincent Bueno who’s representing Austria in ESC next year, I wish to see Bella Santiago (who you all remember from Romania’s NF from 2018 and 2019). For Bella Santiago, I want a song that can showcase both her singing and rapping. And for any Filipino artist, I wanna see a few lines sung in Filipino, especially for us Filipino Eurovision fans.


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

If there was one artist I’d love to see return to ESC, it’d be Ben Dolic from this year. I absolutely loved his song. It’s a bummer that the contest got cancelled and that he won’t automatically be selected for Germany next year. At least he has plans to submit an entry next year and hopefully get back what he deserves.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

If I could pick 3 songs to listen to for the rest of time, it’d be: Repondez-moi, Origo and Violent Thing


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

The best Eurovision winner, as much as it’s cliche to say it is 1974, that’s really the best winner. It raised the stakes higher for Eurovision, with their vibrant costumes and catchy tune, this set ABBA to becoming a global sensation, even having a musical featuring their songs!


Has the best live vocal?

If I had to give the award for best live vocals, I’m unsure, a lot have really great vocals.


Was robbed?

The MOST robbed song is definitely Congratulations by Cliff Richard. He lost by just ONE point to Spain, and as far as I’m concerned they rigged the votes so Spain would win. Spain’s song was alright though, and it does have a whole lot of “La”s


Is your guilty pleasure?

If there’s a guilty pleasure I have, it’s Cake To Bake by Aarzemnieki from Latvia in 2014. It helps me get rid of my worries really. The silly lyrics just manage to make me smile too.


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Out of all the entries by Australia, my all-time favorite is Zero Gravity, it actually makes you feel like you’re flying as she sings higher and higher. Tonight Again gets a close second place.

What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I have been working in the IT industry for six months already. Outside IT stuff, I am a huge fan of several international sporting and non-sporting events like Olympics, Asian Games and Eurovision. I am also a sports fanatic who likes watching live games of our national basketball and football team


When did you first get into Eurovision?

It was a random encounter actually. I was just looking for some current news from Europe in the Internet as I felt like I do not really know a lot about the continent. Suddenly I just saw Ukraine's Eurovision 2014 performance on YouTube upon searching. I was so amused by it that I started looking for more performances related to it and searching more about the event...and the rest was history!


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

Probably 2019 because I love how the stage was transformed to certain performances.


Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

There are lots of artists that might do well but I would love to see Sarah Geronimo. I believe that "Tala" would be a good Eurovision entry from her. If Eurovision Asia will be held soon I am pretty sure that we'll gonna go to the left side of the scoreboard if we send Sarah G with that entry!


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

I can't wait to see Greta Salome returning again to take revenge on what happened to her in 2016!


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

I have lots in mind but I will choose ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen, ‘Replay’ by Tamta and ‘Lejla’ by Hari Mata Hari.


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

‘Euphoria' (Sweden 2012), this was the first and only song I've heard in my entire life that made me feel goosebumps during the first listen.


Has the best live vocal?

‘Sound of Silence’ (Australia 2016)


Was robbed?

‘Same Heart’ (Israel 2014)


Is the best of the decade?

‘Euphoria' (Sweden 2012)


Is your guilty pleasure?

Too many but I should say, it's "Leto Svet" (Estonia 2008). Seeing those blonde backup dancers with their weird dancing and sudden waving of flags are so funny to me!


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

‘Sound of Silence’ by miles!

What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

What I want to tell about myself is that I am pretty energetic (no pun intended), emotional and passionate on supporting on a specific person, a group. What I am doing is that I am occasionally doing digital graphic editing, posting and sharing stuff on social media (Eurovision included) and love being motivated on doing everything I do, despite the fact I am not having this and that like the others do. I am also involved in other interests like football (or soccer if you would like to prefer that) as well.


When did you first get into Eurovision?

I discovered Eurovision back in mid-2015, through by a Facebook post sharing an article which was all about Mans Zelmerlow's victory — and went on become a fan in January 2016.


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

To be honest, it's really a tough choice for me to have a favorite Eurovision year — but in this decade, my favorite year is 2017 because the interaction of the artists even before the live shows was active and have many of my favorite entries of that year as well.


Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

Personally, my picks would be: Ben and Ben, one of the well-known bands in the millenium of OPM (Original Pinoy Music), also IV OF SPADES (another OPM band). For the first pick, they would suit a mellow song that could capture every person's emotion, especially to the ones who had experienced heartbreak and unrequited love. For the second, since their genre is much more diverse than just rock, so they will able to have a song like either In My Prison, Take That Man or Come Inside of My Heart kind of song they have. (By the way, I'm a Spader — fandom name for the band)


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

I would like to see Agnete (Norway 2016) again, also Ben Dolic (Germany 2020) (since he wasn't selected internally by the German broadcaster).


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

Here are my three picks: Croire (Luxemburg 1988), Marija Magdalena (Croatia 1999) and Verona (Estonia 2017). This is just pretty unpopular for the other fans, but I think that would be it.


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

Switzerland 1988.


Has the best live vocal?

For this year, Damir Kedzo (male) and Samanta Tina (female) and for the past years, I will pick Ott Lepland.


Was robbed?

Probably the most robbed entry for me is I Love You Mi Vida (Spain 2007).


Is the best of the decade?

Spirit in the Sky (Norway 2019)

Is your guilty pleasure?

Alcohol is Free (Greece 2013)

And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Instead of one, I have two fave Australian entries: Sound of Silence and We Got Love



What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

Too many fandoms but mainly Doctor Who, Westham, BBC radio and comedy and of course Eurovision.

When did you first get into Eurovision?

Actually, it was from the announcement of the UK entry for 2014. I randomly looked at the BBC iPlayer, saw this clip and I explored it more until I got really invested in it. Never looked back since. 


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

I have to say '2014' was my first and still the best year for me. So many great songs and acts. On the opposite scale the following year was a disappointment to me. (still the only year I didn't care who won)

Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

Bella Santiago is on the top of my list. She was close last year and I'm not over the 'emmelie deforestation' that happened in Romania but in terms of new up and coming artists, people like 'no rome' (talk nice) or 'beabadoobee'(coffee). The new indie sound is a great addition to the contest.


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

I don't know, generally it should be an artist that hasn't qualified, did get points or was in last place. It's the underdog story I always like to see.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

‘Euphoria’, ‘Rise Like the Phoenix’, ‘Flying the Flag’. Because it's perfect, it's inspiring and it's fun all in that order.


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ Felt like the obvious not so obvious winner.  Her first rehearsal cemented that for me.


Has the best live vocal?

‘Yodel It' had the hardest song to pull off. Every might pick a ballad with a high note for this but yodeling is harder than reaching a note only dogs can hear. 


Was robbed?

‘Hear Them Calling’ by Greta Solome. It looked great in Iceland, but looked like a BBC children in need performance in Stockholm.


Is the best of the decade?

It’s really hard to sum up in one song, But Hatari put it all in one flaming anti-capitalist, BDSM, punk ball of scream and low tones.


Is your guilty pleasure?

Guilty pleasure means you're ashamed of listening to a song. I'm not ashamed of listening to ESC songs. Maybe a bit of cringe to some.


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Zero Gravity. Glad she ditch her Christmas tree for Glinda the Good Witch pencil topper.


What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I am an accounting graduate.


When did you first get into Eurovision?

I first discovered Eurovision during the voting sequence back in 2001, so maybe that doesn’t count. It wasn’t until 2010 when I started to learn more about the contest and judging by what was the first song in the semifinal line-up that year (Epic Sax Solo feels), I was in for something epic. By 2012, I was completely hooked.

Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

My favourite Eurovision year would have to be 2009. As an overall line-up, I thought that it is strong, and a lot of entries showcased their respective cultures while presented in a catchy composition. I also think that the stage that year is the best.

Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

Morissette Amon. Her song Akin Ka Na Lang is amazing to listen to, especially when she reaches the high notes.

Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

Ani Lorak. While Dima Bilan winning in 2008 gave us one of the best Eurovision shows the following year (in my opinion), ‘Shady Lady’ was a million times better. She deserves another shot at the trophy.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

‘You Are The Only One’ by Sergey Lazarev, ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen, ‘Shady Lady’ by Ani Lorak


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

‘Euphoria’ by Loreen


Has the best live vocal?

‘La Forza’ by Elina Nechayeva


Was robbed?

‘Hear Them Calling’ by Greta Salóme should have made the final.


Is the best of the decade?

‘You Are The Only One’ by Sergey Lazarev


Is your guilty pleasure?

‘Hatrið Mun Sigra’ by Hatari


And finally… out of Australia’s entries which one is your favourite?

‘Zero Gravity’. Kate’s live performance gave me chills. It still does

What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I am a college student studying Architecture but for the longest time since I was a child I was always interested in European culture as well as other world cultures, which made it easy for me to immerse myself into Eurovision. Even though I’m not fluent in languages, I also love learning and familiarizing about them, and right now I’m trying to learn Spanish (in Duolingo) because it’s easier to recognize the words (given how that language has lent itself into ours).


When did you first get into Eurovision?

This is such a weird explanation, but I first got into Eurovision upon chance when I saw the homepage of Wikipedia around May 2015, when it featured the news that Sweden won the contest with Måns Zelmerlöw. I then delved further into it, and then when I heard his song “Heroes” for the first time, I was immediately hooked, and the rest is history.


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

This is actually kind of an unpopular opinion, but 2017 is my favourite Eurovision year. As stated from the earlier question, I did not watch it in the YouTube livestream, because I found out it was airing in a German channel that was available in our cable (specifically Deutsche Welle, which honestly is such a godsend), which meant that I can watch it in our television. I remember watching it while my family was just starting to wake up. When they saw what I was watching, they did not ask me anything, but I could tell they were weirded out and asking themselves what on earth that was!

The other thing why I do love this year so much was because of the winner. From the moment Portugal won (which also happens to be my winner and part of my all-time favourite Eurovision songs) and when Salvador and Luisa were still trying to figure out that they really won it all, I really felt like I was one with them. As we all know, Portugal is such an underdog in the contest, and I really related to them in that way. I’m not joking when I say I was trying to hold back tears because it really was such a beautiful moment (and also because it would really be embarrassing to cry at 7:00 in the morning lol).


Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

I have to admit that I don’t really listen much to Filipino music (I’m so sorry), but recently I’ve been listening to Filipino indie music, and honestly, I would want to see One Click Straight in the contest. For starters, they’re already a four-member band (as far as I know) so that’s not gonna be a problem staging-wise, but one thing I also liked about their music is how unique and authentic their songs usually are. I haven’t really listened to much of their songs since I just discovered them, but my favourite is Paraiso, which in my opinion felt so intimate and sincere.


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

SOFTENGINE!! I honestly don’t know where they are now, but if they do come back to the music scene, I really hope they would consider going back to Eurovision and finally bring Finland back to at least top 5 because Something Better deserved more than 11th in my opinion.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

Telemóveis, Calm After the Storm, and Le dernier qui a parlé. Honestly this is such a difficult question because I need to squeeze in at least three other songs!


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

There are many, but Amar Pelos Dois and Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids are clear standouts for me.


Has the best live vocal?

Kate Miller-Heidke. Perfect operatic voice while swaying high above a pole? No contest.


Was robbed?

Le dernier qui a parlé. Sure it came 2nd, but the fact that it could’ve won with the new tiebreak will always be a “what if” for me. Other songs robbed of winning or high placing include Chai, Telemóveis, Blackbird, Something Better, Lige der hvor hjertet slår, Under stjernerne på himlen, lol this list can go on and on.


Is the best of the decade?

Telemóveis. I’m so sorry for repeating this song again and again but my god this song is just beyond the world for me, it’s just too phenomenal! Calm After the Storm is also worth mentioning since it’s the one I really loved for a much longer time.


Is your guilty pleasure?

Flying the Flag (For You). I love this song so much for reasons I don’t even know. A Luta é Alegria is also an underrated bop which I kinda don’t understand why people hate so much lmao.


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Zero Gravity by miles! At first I didn’t like it, especially since it won over 2000 and Whatever, but it grew on me during the pre-party season, and everything finally came alive for me in Tel Aviv. It was such a subliminal cultural reset that it made me wonder if Australians had a sixth sense for actually voting for it in Australia Decides when most people (including me) hated it at the time. Wow ok I’m taking this time to say thank you Australia for sending Kate Miller-Heidke to Eurovision, I will always love y’all for that.



What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I'm currently interested in photography, going out to museums and coffee shops (not for now since we're on quarantine due to COVID-19), and listening and sing-along to lots of songs.

When did you first get into Eurovision?

I first got into Eurovision eight years ago when I attended the orientation for freshmen college students (I was a freshman college student that time). A Eurovision 2012 semi-final was shown before the orientation proper, I got curious but I didn't immediately became a fan until February 2013 when I searched Eurovision out of nowhere in a computer shop. The rest is history.

Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

Eurovision 2014. From the creativity of postcards to the arena, to the production and the competing songs. Everything. The highlight was during Emmelie's performance of Rainmaker with the grand finalists when you all hear the audience shout "weya, weya weya weya" while waving their flags at the end of the song. (There's one waving a Philippine flag in the audience!)

Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

I would love to see Sarah Geronimo slay the Eurovision stage for her energy and voice quality. Let's go with the recently trending song "Tala" as this showcased her vocal and dancing power.

Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

I would love to see Laura Rizzotto (Latvia 2018) and Ben Dolic (Germany 2020) to return for they have all the potentials to slay a Eurovision performance and place high in the final.

If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

(1) Violent Thing by Ben Dolic - this gave me a boost to start my day, be productive, and dance my way to finish each day with lots of energy; (2) Cliché Love Song by Basim - this reminds me of my college days being a new Eurovision fan at that time; and (3) 22 by Sarah McTernan - I always play this along with a cup of coffee or whenever I read books for review, and I love to sing-along with this.

Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

Waterloo by ABBA. No further explanations.

Has the best live vocal?

Can I answer two? It's Mall and Ktheju Tokes actually. Eugene and Jonida's vocals made the songs powerful when it was performed in Eurovision stage.

Was robbed?

O Jardim

Is the best of the decade?

Arcade by Duncan Laurence.


Is your guilty pleasure? Still Breathing by Samanta Tina. The whole song will make me dance to it in three minutes. Hahaha!


And finally... out of Australia’s entries which one is your favourite?

I have to say We Got Love for it gives me hope whenever I listen to it. The lyrics itself speaks a lot on how we deal with everyday life, that we don't have to give up, and let the love fuels us to make a difference each day and beyond.

What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I am a Human Resources Officer at a local Construction firm.

When did you first get into Eurovision?

I bumped into a video of Loreen’s grand final performance on Youtube back in 2012. I fell in love with her singing and choreography and that’s where I’ve decided to find out more about Eurovision because it was an interesting discovery to me at that time.

Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?    

It could be 2014 because I love how Denmark hosted the contest. Also, many countries introduced good staging there like the hamster wheel and that countries like Montenegro and San Marino finally qualified to the final.

Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

I would say Sarah Geronimo. A song like “Tala” is a nice pop song that can help gather people and move them to the beat.

Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?  

So far, I would like Ulrikke to return to the competition. 2020 is a difficult year and it is understandable that Eurovision took a break this year. I hope she will come back in the future and have a powerful song like “Attention”.

If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

Euphoria, Waterloo, and Nel blu, dipinto di blu.

Which Eurovision song:    

Is the best winner?    

It has to be ABBA.

Has the best live vocal?   

Rona Nishliu. I love the way she sang that long note on stage.

Was robbed? 

Norma John. Blackbird is an impressive song and I still wish that it qualified in the 2017 contest.

Is the best of the decade?

I would pick Répondez-moi by Gjon’s Tears.

Is your guilty pleasure?  

Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serduchka because the song really makes me happy.

And finally...  out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Sound of Silence. I love Dami Im and I had the opportunity to meet her when she toured in my country last year. She’s such an amazing person.

What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

In my school, I compete in various math competitions and am part of a committee that handles the batch event.


When did you first get into Eurovision?

Back in 2018, my brother found out that Saara Aalto was competing in Eurovision (since he was following X Factor). He showed me her UMK songs and soon I went down the rabbit hole (robbed) of Eurovision and learned a lot since then.


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

I can’t really choose, but it might be between 2009, 2011 and 2019 given the stage and quality of songs.

Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

This is a rather basic answer, but Sarah Geronimo would be great at Eurovision, given that her music style and how she performs on stage is very international yet serves a Filipino flare.


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

I would love to see Duncan Laurence do a Johnny Logan-esque comeback and win a second time for the Netherlands.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

Finland 2018 (Monsters), Italy 2014 (La Mia Cittá), and Israel 2005 (Hasheket Shenish’ar). Top 3 of all time.


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

1944 easily. I love Arcade but the way Jamala’s passion and heart sends through that screen and into your whole body is just amazing


Has the best live vocal?

It’s between two people that come into mind right now: either Nadine Beiler from Austria in 2011 or Australia’s Dami Im.


Was robbed?

2017 was full of robberies, but the most robbed out of all of them is In Too Deep; it should have qualified and it was the best song of the whole year.


Is the best of the decade?

Two options: Saara Aalto with Monsters or Emma’s La Mia Cittá. I’m so indecisive because I can’t even pick between them.


Is your guilty pleasure?

Baila el Chiki-Chiki, I think, would be the ultimate guilty pleasure, ‘cause it’s really weird but it sounds so catchy that it hits very well.


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

I’d give two answers: to see live, it’s Dami Im’s Sound of Silence, but to listen daily, We Got Love by Jessica Mauboy.


What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?

I write books and songs.


When did you first get into Eurovision?

About late 2018


Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?

1973, because many songs were potential winners.


Which Filipino artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song best showcases that artist?

I would love to see IV of Spades compete, Come to my Heart really represents them.


Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?

Valentina Monetta, the queen.


If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?

What About My Dreams (2011) Euphoria (2012) Fairytale (2009)


Which Eurovision song:

Is the best winner?

Tu Te Reconnaîtras (1973)


Has the best live vocal?

1944 (2016)


Was robbed?

Crisalide (Vola) (2013)


Is the best of the decade?

10’s, Euphoria (2012), 20’s Fai Rumore (2020)


Is your guilty pleasure?

Ik Ben Verliefd (2010)


And finally... out of Australia’s entires which one is your favourite?

Definitely Don’t Break Me or Tonight Again


We would love to thank all the respondents for their time and insight on the Eurovision Song Contest.


If you haven't already check out our article on were we put the Eurovision fan spotlight on the Filipino Eurovision fans and a look into the Filipino Eurovision fandom through the eyes of these amazing fans above, who all share their insights and experiences with the Eurovision Song Contest, and which Filipino music stars they would love to see take the Eurovision stage one day.

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