A Filipina’s true grit to join a signing competition paid for it with her job. Loudyryan Fajardo Laturnas, 32, an office assistant, lost her job over her insistence on joining a singing contest in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
But it all paid off: She bested 10 other top amateur crooners from the Gulf countries in the region’s Global Pinoy Singing Idol (GPSI) finals held at the Al Jazira Sports Club in Abu Dhabi. GPSI is the biggest singing talent search among the Filipino diaspora supported by Manila’s leading TV and Radio network (DZMM and ABS-CBN).
Wearing a black and gold-sequinned gown, Loudyryan’s interpretation of Changing landed her at the sweet spot.
Earlier last week, she had asked her manager to allow her take two days off to attend a briefing and conference on September 25, two days prior to the event. The organisers had written to her manager that Loudyryan won the eliminations in Dubai, and that she was attending the singing competition in Abu Dhabi.
“They found my excuse unacceptable,” said Loudyryan, who earned Dh4,000 at a beauty products distribution firm.
She said her manager then told her that if she were to go ahead with the leave, her pay would be cut by four days, including Friday and Saturday – her off days. “I was OK with a four-day pay cut. But they’re not happy even with that.”
In the middle of the Wednesday conference which she attended, Loudyryan was unable to pick up calls from her office.
When she returned the call, the HR staff quizzed her why she did not show up for work. “I told her: ‘Ma’am, I really needed to take just this one day off’.” That’s when she was told her job was gone.
“I can accept company policy. But I’m beyond that now. This contest meant so much to me,” said Loudyryan, the eldest of eight siblings from Cebu.
Loudyryan, who worked as a secretary for four years in Jebel Ali, has been converting her airfare into cash, postponing her vacation, to help her family. “I’d not been home for five years, maybe now is the time to do that. Luckily, I’ve got job offers already. For now, I’ll take a breather to prepare for the grand finals in Manila in January.”
Millie Tajanlangit-Lim, one of the three judges, said their choice of Loudyryan and the other finalist (Raymund Moloney from Saudi Arabia) was not a hard one.
“I didn’t really know her background, nor that of the other contestants,” Tajanlangit-Lim said. “She won solely on her merits.