Faces of Cebu Life!

FACES OF CEBU: Jay-R Panuncialman, 23, Sinulog Idol 2024 champion

Jay-R Panuncialman performed on stage during the finale of the Sinulog Idol 2024. CDN Digital Photo | Gerard Jamora

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Conquering our fears requires an immense amount of courage. But once you conquer your fears, it opens up windows of opportunities.

Proof of this is John Ryan “Jay-R” Panuncialman.

Panuncialman was hailed champion of the Sinulog singing competition, Sinulog Idol, last Jan. 18 held at the Fuente Osmeña Circle in Cebu City.

READ MORE: FACES OF CEBU: Zoe Cameron, 21, Miss Cebu 2024

Who is Jay-R Panuncialman?

Panuncialman is a 23-year-old lad from Carcar City, Cebu.

He started singing when he was still five years, joining singing competitions at a young age. That went on until he reached high school, and even now at the college level.

The talented lad said he got his talent from his mother’s side, and also shared that almost all of the members of his family can sing.

After winning the competition, told CDN Digital that the final result did not sink in immediately.

He said he only thought he was going to make it to the ‘final six’ of the Sinulog Idol 2024.

Panuncialman said that he believed the other contenders were better than him, hence, being in the finale alone was already an achievement.

But the Cebuano managed to win it all. Despite his latest achievement, Panuncialman remained humble.

Grand finale night

In the grand finale of Sinulog Idol 2024, there were only three contenders remaining for the top three spots.

Jay-R Panuncialman

The Sinulog Idol finalists huddled onstage after the announcement of the winners. CDN Digital Photo | Niña Mae Oliverio

The crucial part of judging for the champion was choosing who among the three singers had the best rendition of an original composition, ‘After the Tears’ by Gani and Isabella Villarojo.

Winning the competition meant that Panuncialman got the best rendition of the song.

“Ako lang gyung i-motivate akong kaugalingon nga lahi lagi ko sa uban. Ako ra gyung e-boost akong confidence para sa akong kaugalingon. Ang na feel gyud nako ato (grand finals) is na prove nako sa akong kaugalingon nga lahi ko nila,” he said.

(I just try to motivate myself that I am different from others. I just boost my confidence for myself. What I really felt during the grand finals is that I proved to myself that I am indeed different from them.)

He added that he also could not say that he is better than the other contenders, but he knew he had his own style that was different from them.

Conquering his fear of crowd

It may not be that obvious but Panuncialman is actually a shy person. He said that even if he joins singing competitions, he is still afraid to face the crowd.

“Mahadlok ko e-judge,” he said.

(I fear that I will be judged.)

Panuncialman said that he is currently working on this fear and believes he is doing better. But he knows certainly that he is more confident now than before.

Jay-R Panuncialman

Jay-R Panuncialman. Photo from Sinulog Foundation Inc.

Believe it or not, Panuncialman didn’t really think of being a singer back then.

So who pushed him? It was Ronald Satsat, his close friend.

Panuncialman said it was because of Satsat that he got out of his shell. It was Satsat who motivated him to aim higher and instill a positive mindset.

“Kanang mokanta ko, moingon siya nga ‘Okay ra na! Kay kana ganing mga sikat nga mga singers masayop paman gani na, di lang nato mabantayan,’” he said.

(When I sing, he’d say ‘That’s okay! Even famous singers make mistakes, we just don’t notice it.)

He added that he always remembers his friend’s words everytime he wins or loses in a singing competition.

This motivation moved him to continue singing, and eventually, it made him dream to become a singer.

At the age of 18, Panuncialman said he was able to join more or less 50 singing competitions in Cebu Province.

Singing, Sinulog Idol journey

He began his Sinulog Idol journey in 2018, the year he auditioned. However, he did not have the chance to make it to the cut and momentarily stopped when the pandemic came.

In October 2023, he said it was the second time that he decided to take the chance again, after his friends, who also passed in the audition, encouraged him to join.

Jay-R Panuncialman Sinulog

Panuncialman performed during the awarding ceremony of Sinulog sa Sugbo Philippines 2024. Photo from Sinulog Foundation Inc.

From joining singing competitions in Cebu Province, Panuncialman instantly made a mark in his first participation in a singing competition in Cebu City.

Panuncialman’s favorite song is ‘I Can’t Let Go’ by Air Supply because that was the song that his friends and relatives often requested him to perform.

Even if he was already recognized as the champion in the Sinulog Idol, and even if he already participated in numerous singing competitions, Panuncialman said that he still could not say he has a beautiful voice.

“Di ko kaingon kung nindotan ba ang mga tawo or dili kay okay-han raman siguro sila. Ako raman siguro ang dili,” he said.

(I can’t tell if they like my voice or not but I think it’s okay for them. I think it’s just me who doesn’t think it’s okay.)

man in uniform

A photo of Panuncialman wearing his school uniform. Photo from Panuncialman’s Facebook

Moving forward, Panuncialman, who is in 3rd year in college now, said he wants to earn his degree in Criminal Justice. It is also his priority as of this time.

“Wala pa gyud ni sink in sa akong huna-huna kung unsa’y plano nako in the future but as of right now, ganahan lang ko nga mo graduate before ko magbuhat og laing plano,” he said.

(It really hasn’t sunk in yet in my mind yet if what my plan is in the future but as of right now, I just would like to graduate before I plan something else.)



TAGS: Cebu, Sinulog Idol
Latest Stories
Most Read