'X Factor PH' finalist wows David Foster

Posted at 11/06/12 5:13 PM

Mabasa was offered gig by music producer

MANILA, Philippines -- David Foster was so impressed by an impromptu performance of Mark Mabasa at the Canadian record producer's concert in Singapore, that he offered "The X Factor Philippines" finalist another night to perform before a 3,000-strong audience.

Having been recognized by David Foster and with Charice's former manager now handling his career, Mark Mabasa (above) said he cannot possibly be compared to the "X Factor" mentor-judge. "Sobrang big name na siya. Charice is Charice. I'm a big fan," he said.

"We were just  there to watch the concert," Mabasa told ABS-CBN News' Marie Lozano in an interview on Monday.

But as the concert unfolded, the "X Factor" finalist found himself onstage singing "The Last Time," where he proudly proclaimed his Filipino blood before a cheering Singaporean audience.

Mabasa said Foster, who helped launch Charice's international singing career, invited him backstage to express his appreciation for taking part of the concert.

"Everytime naman meron talaga [na parte ng concert] na magtatawag siya sa audience," Mabasa said of the Singapore leg of the Asian tour of "David Foster and Friends" held last Friday.

"That time kasi ang daming nagtataas ng kamay, nagtaas ako ng kamay. Eh 'yung mga katabi ko, naririnig ako kumanta, sumasabay ako kay David. So tinuturo nila ako, 'Here, he's good!' So tinawag ako ni David," Mabasa added.

'20 seconds'

Accompanied by his manager Grace Mendoza, the former manager of Charice, Mabasa was told by Foster that he only had "20 seconds to sing the first four lines" of his own song choice.

"Pagkanta ko, two lines pa lang, sabi niya, 'Wow, come up here,'" Mabasa recalled Foster as saying.

"Grabe nanginig ako, pinagpawisan ako, hindi ko alam gagawin ko. Halos madapa ako sa hagdan. 'Yung mga tao nagsisigawan na, tapos nanginginig ako," he added.

Although he was overwhelmed with emotions at the time, Mabasa, in his mind, took the rare opportunity to "make it or break it."

"Ang ginawa ko na lang, kumanta na lang ako ng best ko. Twenty seconds lang usapan namin, tapos sabi niya, do another verse, hanggang sa nabuo na namin 'yung song," Mabasa recalled.

Towards the end of the song, however, the Filipino singer was taken aback by Foster's sudden shift in key. Mabasa saw it as a challenge of sorts from the music producer, who also contributed to the success of world-renonwed power vocalists such as Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.

"Iniba niya 'yung key. Sabi niya, 'Go for the big note!' Nag-pray ako, sana makuha ko. Tapos binirit ko nalang," Mabasa said.

"Tinanong niya ako, taga-saan ako, 'I am from the Philippines!' Tapos sigawan 'yung mga tao. Sabi niya, 'Wow,'" he added.

After the concert, Mabasa, who was second of 12 acts to be eliminated from the live rounds of "The X Factor Philippines," met Foster backstage.

"Sinabi niya how much he appreciates me, sinabi niya, 'You're good," he said.

'Born ready'

Mabasa was already en route to the airport to fly back to the Philippines, however, when his manager received a call from Foster inviting the "X Factor" finalist to perform during the second night of his Singapore concert.

"Hinahanap ako ni David, he wants me to sing that night, kaya lang na sa airport na kami, pauwi na kami ng Philippines," Mabasa said.

Although he did not get to perform a second time alongside Foster, Mabasa has videos of his proud moment. Shortly after his performance, two videos of his impromptu performance were uploaded on YouTube (seen above) and on Facebook, both supposedly by fellow Filipinos.

"Sobrang natutuwa ako na proud sila na I'm a Filipino. At proud din ako na I'm a Filipino, kaya sinabi ko na I'm from the Philippines, kasi alam ko na ito mako-contribute ko for our country," he said.

Addressing the possibility of working long-term with Foster, Mabasa said he and the music producer have yet to discuss the matter.

"Let's pray for the best thing to happen. I'm always ready, I'm born ready. I've been waiting for this all my life, sana, let's pray for the best," he said.