Katrina Velarde, also known as Suklay Diva, gained popularity during her stint in the X-Factor Philippines where she was coached by Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano.
Before being able to share her talent on television, Katrina spent a lot of time joining singing contests. She even considers herself a veteran in amateur singing competitions, joining a total of 300 contests since she was six years old.
The humble singer looks back on her journey and recalls the hardships she experienced. There were times when she, and her father, would cross mountains and rivers just to reach the location of the contest she is joining in.
Katrina reveals she used to sing 27 nights a month, which caused her to lose her voice. Yet, in what seems like magic, Katrina is still able to sing when she needs to even while having sore throat and hoarse voice.
Katrina’s voice is reliable that it has always been her instrument in providing financial support to her family even at the age of six. There also came a point when Katrina had to give up her studies and chose singing instead. She knows the value of education but Katrina also understands that she needs to sing and earn first before being able to continue her studies.
She decided to join TV contests instead. She became a Little Big Star contestant where she competed against Charice Pempengco, now known as Jake Zyrus.
Her biggest break happened when she has joined X-Factor Philippines in 2012. Sharing her experiences in the said reality show, Katrina said working with Gary V has helped her develop her singing skills and spirituality as well.
However, Katrina had to leave showbiz in 2015 when she got pregnant and suffered from Bell’s Palsy. That time, Katrina was scared of not being able to sing again. But despite taking a long time, Katrina was still able to recover and is now back to pursue her singing career.
Katrina comes back with an upcoming concert in February. The singer said she is just grateful for the people and followers who still have faith in her talent. Despite everything she went through, Katrina said she believes in second chances. Besides, she believes her support system is stronger than her doubts.