MANILA -- Morissette Amon was in her home province in Cebu when ABS-CBN was not granted its franchise by Congress. She admits it was heartbreaking for her when she learned about the news as she knew instantly that a lot of her Kapamilyas would lose their jobs.
“It hasn’t exactly been easy as I got anxious,” Amon told ABS-CBN News. “But I’ve just been trying to keep my eyes on the light. It’s upsetting and heartbreaking seeing what’s happening to our home, how it’s affecting the lives of so many of our Kapamilyas.”
It was difficult for Amon not to worry. “I was away in the province when it all happened,” she said. “But as I’ve been trying to strengthen myself, including my spiritual state, during my break, I haven’t stopped praying for God’s hand and healing to take over. I trust that there will be a breakthrough.”
Amon has been constantly keeping herself busy and “being creative” while on lockdown. Last June, she turned 24. Even if she originally planned to hold a party for her family and close friends, she scrapped the idea because of the pandemic.
“I’ve never done a birthday party before,” Amon said. “But because of the pandemic, I was also forced to change plans. I’ve been doing live streams on Kumu for the past months, so I decided to hold a birthday live stream and invited friends from the industry to join me.
“It became such an event, turned out way better than I imagined. What made it all the more special was its being a benefit live stream. All the funds we were able to raise that day were donated to my church’s relief projects.”
One activity that will keep Amon busy starting this August is “Asian Dream,” the new reality-singing competition she will judge and host with multi-Grammy winner Michael Bolton. They previously worked together in “Bolt of Talent” three years ago, with Lance Busa from the Philippines as champion.
Amon cannot be any happier she was given the chance to work with Bolton anew, this time as resident judge for “Asian Dream,” that will premiere on AXN starting August 6.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the trust Mr. Michael Bolton, Subaru Asia and AXN Asia have given me to work with them again,” Amon said. “Last time for ‘Bolt of Talent,’ they got me to co-host just the Philippine leg.
“What an honor to be co-hosting and now judging alongside Mr. Bolton in his search for talent here in Asia. I can definitely say we’re more comfortable now than the first time. We’re a lot more loose and open to each other.”
Subaru Asia has partnered with Bolton to launch the first season of “Asian Dream,” that spotlights six aspiring and talented musicians from across Asia in their quest to become the region’s next music star. The contestants will also compete for a spot in Bolton’s “Asian Dream” tour that will happen next year and as a Subaru ambassador.
The new reality competition was originally announced to air last year. Amon had to be in Singapore for an entire month to tape all seven episodes. “It was my first time being in another country that long, yet I had the greatest time,” she shared.
For some reason, however, the airing of “Asian Dream” was moved to this August. “I can definitely say that this time couldn’t be more perfect to finally air the whole season,” Amon said.
Amon was accompanied in Singapore by her manager, David Cosico, president of RankOne Productions and Entertainment. Amon’s glam team and production team also joined her there.
Being a product of a singing competition – “The Voice of the Philippines” on ABS-CBN – Amon certainly knows the challenges that await the contestants in “Asian Dream.”
“I think in any competition, whatever position you’re in [judge or contestant], is a big challenge,” Amon said. “But this one is particularly special to me. Although I’ve had experienced mentoring and sharing my journey as a contestant before, I am meeting and working with different cultures, too.”
Over the course of seven episodes for “Asian Dream,” the contestants from Hong Kong (Becky Yeung), Malaysia (Poova Sri Rama), Thailand (Sasha Ka), Singapore (Tyen Rasif), Vietnam (Linh Tran) and the Philippines (Karl Zarate) are mentored and coached by Bolton and Amon with celebrity guest experts.
Throughout the progressive elimination format, the contestants face a wide range of physical and mental challenges that will make or break them until the final shutdown.
“It’s actually exciting to coach and mentor young singers, because they’re all so different,” Amon said. “Not just with their cultures and personalities, but even their singing styles, as well.
“I’m proud to have known each of them, hear their stories and help them with what I could. At the end of the day, it’s about finding the one who shines brighter than the rest. It is my honor to be helping Mr. Bolton out for this competition.”
Since May, Amon has been doing her share in raising funds for those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She participated in UNICEF’s “One Love Asia” benefit concert. She has taken part in several online benefit events for different groups, like Bayanihan Musikahan, Landers, Lazada, among others.
Admirably, too, she has also been going online quietly and anonymously, checking out charities where she can donate and help, especially during the strict lockdown that had everyone cloistered inside their homes.
Meanwhile, Bolton and Amon as resident judges of “Asian Dream,” will be joined by guest celebrities from across Asia in the show. They include fashion photographer Yu Tsai from the US, actress Tan Kheng Hua, singer Sara Wee and choreographer Alif Archo from Singapore; singer Mild Nawin, singer-actress Janine Weigel and Asia’s Next Top Model Season 6 winner Dana Siosar from Thailand; musician Thanh Bui and singer-actress Ho Ngok Ha from Vietnam; and Asia’s Next Top Model Season 6 runner-up Mia Sabathy from Taiwan.
“Asian Dream” will premiere on AXN on Thursday, August 6 at 7:25 p.m.