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Filipino child sings her way out of slums to stardom

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 01:43

Living a rags-to-riches story, Lyca Gairanod lifts her family out of poverty by winning the Philippine version of ''The Voice''. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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Ten-year-old Lyca Gairanod lives in a two-storey home, with her parents and eight siblings, in a gated community, with space to play and a garage for their car. All of this a stark contrast to just one year ago, when they were living in a shanty, and Lyca was helping out her mother scavenge for used bottles and newspapers. She would even stop at people's homes offering a song in exchange for money or food. As a contestant in the Philippine version of the amateur singing contest The Voice, her story captured the hearts of Filipino viewers. And when she won, her family's life changed overnight. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) THE VOICE PHILIPPINES 2014 CHAMPION, LYCA GAIRANOD, SAYING: "I'm very happy. First of all, I was able to get a house like this. We no longer live in a small home. It no longer gets flooded when there's a typhoon. And my siblings are able to go to school, and me too, I go to a good school. And I was able to buy our own car." In the Philippines, where one-fourth of the population lives below the poverty line, singing offers a way to earn a living. Some children get their exposure to pop music not just on TV, but also at these ubiquitous videoke stalls. Many children are idolising Lyca, whose singing career is taking off. Her first solo record, which has sold thousands of copies, is called "One Can Dream".

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Filipino child sings her way out of slums to stardom

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 01:43