Kapamilya Chat Zephanie on Now United

Fresh from her trip to Abu Dhabi for the Now United boot camp, Zephanie Dimaranan is thrilled to share her experience and make use of everything she learned from her two-week training. Catch up with the young artist in this episode of Kapamilya Chat!

When Zephanie learned that global pop group Now United was calling for auditions via video uploads, she didn’t hesitate to try her luck. Passionate about her craft, she won’t let pass the opportunity to hone her talents more and go international. After a little waiting, she was informed that she bagged a slot alongside 11 Uniters from all over the world.

Zephanie was so excited she already told her friends Janine Berdin and AC Bonifacio, who also joined the boot camp in 2017, about the possibilities even before getting a confirmation. She got more thrilled when AC shared her experiences and gave bits of advice. They told her to just enjoy her stay; after all, she has nothing to prove anymore.

The announcement came and Zephanie’s first thought was she’s finally travelling again. The fact that she’s representing the Philippines in a global boot camp during the pandemic already makes it one for the books.  She also looked forward to working with the international trainers, including Blackpink choreographer Kyle Hanagami, for dancing, singing, and musical theater.

Zephanie glowed with vim while talking about the exhausting, challenging yet enjoyable dance sessions with Kyle. She said it was kind of different with her local dance lessons. “Buong katawan, even ‘yung mind mo magagamit mo. Talagang mafe-feel mo na na-stretch ka. Nagkaroon ka bigla ng another space for tomorrow.”

It was so intense the trainees were asked to do as many as 100 push-ups for every mistake, especially during the shoot for the “Come Together” music video.

Zephanie was glad to see everyone’s improvement within two weeks, showcased in the final “Come Together” music video performed by the campers and Now United members. It was shot in Abu Dhabi’s largest concert venue, the Etihad Arena, which opened last January.

There were anxious thoughts as well like the fear of language barrier. But they all got along and even taught each other’s dialects. The Idol Philippines champion helped her co-campers learn Filipino slangs like “sana all.”

Among the Uniters, her closest friends are Gabriella Ekaputri from Indonesia, whom she easily gelled with because they’re both Asians; and Thomas Beberian from Brazil, whom she shares the same taste in music and had fun jamming with. Now United, formed by American Idol creator Simon Fuller, has Filipino artist and former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Bailey May in the group. However, Zephanie and Bailey weren’t able to meet at the boot camp.  

Asked her takeaways from the experience, Zephanie underscored the power of believing in oneself and taking risks. She was also reminded of the need to bring something to the team and practice for one’s improvement. Practice doesn’t really make all things perfect, sure, but it helps you become a better version of yourself.