The Philippine delegation to the 2018 World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) proudly carried the colors of the country in the California competition as it brought home 286 medals, plaques, and badges.
Among the major recognitions received by Team Philippines at the 2018 WCOPA were:
- Senior Grand Champions of the World, Instrumentalists category for M Squared
- Best in National Costume for the entire delegation
- Gold Directorship, Superior National Director for Gerry Mercado
The guitar duo of Miguel Ibaseta and Maxwel Soller of M SQUARED from Cebu were adjudged the WCOPA 2018 Senior Grand Champion Instrumentalists of the World.
Soller is a full-time instructor at the University of San Jose-Recoletos where Ibaseta is a Grade 12 student.
The teacher and student duo reportedly practiced in five styles: classical, contemporary, jazz, open and original works. They won silver medals in all categories where they competed before winning the title of WCOPA Grand Champion.
The Best in National Costume award during the Parade of Nations competition was the first such recognition given to the Philippines in the history of the WCOPA.
The Philippine team won with its national costumes from the Tribal Royalties of Mindanao, Festival Costumes of the Visayas, and the Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana Ball gown with butterfly sleeves for Luzon.
Team Philippines director Gerry Mercado won the Gold Directorship – the Superior National Director for 2018, a title he has been winning since he became Team Philippines national director in 2013.
Mercado led the largest delegation at the WCOPA with 87 delegates and an entourage of 140 members from General Santos, South Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Tagum, Panabo, Dumaguete, Cebu, Ilo-Ilo, Bacolod, La Castellana, Benguet, Cavite, Ilocos, Laguna, and Batangas.
“A Gold Director or the Superior National Director at WCOPA can somehow give the Filipinos here some due respect as individuals and as a team. For that alone I will try to keep winning this title. It makes me happy to see that other countries have a high regard for the Filipino artist,” Mercado said in an online interview by GNP.
The total tally for Team Philippines at WCOPA 2018 Junior & Senior Awards – 286 Medals, Plaques & Badges:
55 Gold Medals
83 Silver Medals
81 Bronze Medals
34 Division Champion Plaques
33 Semi-Finalist Badges
Team Philippines National Director Mercado looks forward to continuing the winning streak of the country at the annual completion.
“I want to maintain the reputation that Team Philippines is an elite Team at WCOPA. I want to continue to show the world how beautiful and talented the Filipino people are and to promote the Philippines to the world especially the millennials and gen z’s from other nations,” declared Mercado.
In 2016 the Junior New System (JNS), an all-male Pinoy hip hop dance crew from Manila, bagged first place in almost all of categories in the WCOPA. JNS received acclaim at the recent America’s Got Talent season opener.
Since 2005, Team Philippines has been winning at the World Championships of Performing Arts, an annual event wherein aspiring singers, musicians, dancers, variety artists, actors and models around the world compete in an Olympic-style international meet.