By Kassie Gormley
El Gamma Penumbra group began way back in 2008, when they'd compete in inter-barangay competitions in their native Tanauan, Batangas. Choosing to take things to a higher level, the group joined Philippine’s Got Talent (PGT) in 2011. On what would set them apart from other, equally if not more talented dancers on the show, they had to think outside the box. With flashlight and, yes, bed sheet in hand, they rented out a small apartment and got to practicing shadow dance. Little did they know, this play on darkness and silhouettes would lead them into the light.
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Jaws dropped as they performed nationwide for the first time on PGT. While landing a fourth place finish on the show's third season already made it a commendable achievement for such a new act, they didn’t stop there. El Gamma Penumbra wanted to go international. One member recalls, “Ang pangarap namin ay makilala ang El Gamma Penumbra bilang isang grupong Pilipino na nagtatanghal ng kakaibang talent sa buong mundo.” And that, they did.
In 2015, they joined the much bigger Asia’s Got Talent and won. Not only did they bag the top prize, El Gamma Penumbra also touched the hearts of more people outside the Philippines through the stories they told of their motherland. One piece in particular would lead them to their next big project.
Their performance to the song Piliin Mo Ang Pilipinas or Choose Philippines caught the attention of ABS-CBN travel website Choose Philippines. El Gamma Penumbra was then contacted to collaborate with them in a music video to promote Philippine tourism. This was another opportunity for the group to share their art to the world. “Yun yung naging dahilan para makatung-tong kami sa iba’t-ibang panig ng Pilipinas at sa iba’t-ibang panig ng mundo. Doon din kami umani ng awards and recognitions,” proudly shares one member.
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But no matter how great their success, the group made sure they always come back to where they started. It was in Tanauan that El Gamma Penumbra found their path and so they believe it’s now their turn to help others who also want to work on their their talents. As another member puts it, “Gusto ko sabihin sa mga tao na tinutulungan namin na walang imposible sa gusto nilang marating. Kaya sinusuportahan namin yung mga kabataan dito sa Tanauan.”
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Banner image courtesy of ABS-CBN