Life was tough for Tawag ng Tanghalan grand finalist Tuko delos Reyes. But gumption or diskarte was his weapon to overcome all the hurdles that came his way.
At a very young age, he was forced to juggle a variety of odd jobs – from vending pandesal, barbecue, and ice cream to using his vocal talent to carol around – for him to finish his education.
Through his unwavering faith, guts, and diligence, the Aurora native graduated in college. However, his income still wasn’t enough for their family, so he tried scavenging for scraps then sold it to junkshops for extra profit.
Everything just turned out better when he worked as a waiter and met someone who helped him land a better opportunity in Boracay, where he became a singer.
Aside from being capable of sending larger remittances to his family and saving for his father’s medication, Tuko was also able to thoroughly find and know himself in the famous island destination.
Now that he’s inches away from snagging the sought-after grand winner trophy, let us take you back to his TNT journey that will surely inspire to continue moving forward.
It was not only his eccentric nickname and box braids that absolutely captivated the audiences, but his winning rendition of Ogie Alcasid’s “Nandito Ako” as well, which earned him the nods of the hurados to move on to the next level.
He even stole the golden microphone to six-time defending champion Sofronio Vasquez that day with Basil Valdez’s “Nais Ko”.
Samuel Umahag tried to unseat him on his second day by belting Toto’s “I’ll Be Over You”, but Tuko’s on-point take on Martin Nievera’s “Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin” dominated.
The defending champion’s heart-clutching performance of Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” truly lifted everyone high, thus, the judges still picked him over challenger Riel Dagohoy who eclectically performed Aerosmith’s “Dream On”.
Her mellifluous voice definitely lit up our faces as she sang Nat King Cole’s “Smile”. However, it seemed wasn’t enough to kick the “Sing-tertainer of Aurora” out of the competitions as he serenaded us with his totally different rendition of Jaya’s “Hanggang Ngayo’y Mahal”.
It was indeed astonishing that underneath the feminine façade of Chiok Bunag hid a powerful manly voice that could nail Frank Sinatra’s famous “My Way”. Although it’s impressive, Tuko still firmly held on to the golden microphone and advanced to the semi-finals at the same time.
He remained undefeated for five consecutive times, until he was pitted against Ato Arman, who beat him through a magnificent take on “Love Will Find You” by Journey.
His performance of Matisyahu’s iconic “One Day” might have failed him to continue his fight further, but look where he is now – one of the talented grand finalists vying to clinch the prestigious Tawag ng Tanghalan Grand Winner crown.