Sometime in December 2011, after arriving home from school, ten-year old Jinkee Magan saw on TV an advertisement that would change her life. GMA Network announced that it was going to hold auditions for child singers who would star in a new program. The young dreamer thought that this was her ticket to stardom. Ever since she saw her idol Regine Velasquez perform on television, she has always wanted to be a TV star herself. Months later, the poor child dreamer becomes a child star and a household name: Roseanne Magan.
Born to be a star
Born Jinkee Mae Magan on February 22, 2002, Roseanne is the sixth of seven children of factory worker Juanito and housewife Rosemarie Magan. Though neither parent is a professional singer – and so are her siblings – Roseanne has showed signs of being a singing star at a very young age. At six, she was already competing in amateur singing contests. Since then, she was joining contests here and there -- from barangay fiestas to mall shows.
"Noong una siyang nagpakita ng interes sa pagkanta, ang napapansin namin e paborito niya yung kanta ng Aegis (a local band),” recalls Roseanne’s father. “Pero ang idol niya talaga ay si Regine (Velasquez).”
Roseanne just got home from school when she saw the advertisement announcing an audition for young singers who will star in GMA’s upcoming show, which will later be entitled “Biritera.”
Roseanne expressed to her mom her interest in joining the audition and asked her to accompany her. But Roseanne’s father was against the idea.
“Nung sinabi sa akin na gusto niyang mag-audition, hindi ako pumayag. Ang iniisip ko noon, siguro sa dami ng mag-o-audition, mukhang imposible namang makuha siya,” he explains. “Hindi ko sila pinayagan. Hindi ko nga sila binigyan ng pamasahe e.”
But Roseanne saw the audition as the opportunity she has been waiting for. She tearfully begged her mother to accompany her despite her father’s disapproval.
“Umiiyak siya sa akin, sabi niya ‘Ma, sige na samahan mo na ako sa audition.’ Siyempre, naawa naman ako sa anak ko kaya pumayag ako,” recalls Roseanne’s mom. “Sabi pa niya, maski makapasok lang po ako sa GMA, ok na po ako.”
Thanks to the “piggybank”
Roseanne finally got the nod of her mom and she was ready with her audition pieces – but they didn’t have enough money to pay for the fare from their home in Mandaluyong to the GMA Network Center in Quezon City.
“Naawa po sa akin ang ate ko kaya binuksan niya po yung alkansiya niya at kumuha siya doon ng P100 para may pamasahe po kami,” Roseanne pitifully recalls.
Roseanne, accompanied by her mom and elder sister, arrived just before the audition was wrapped up. In fact, Roseanne was the second to the last to audition.
After belting the Regine Velasquez OPM hit “Isang Lahi,” she was asked to sing another hi-pitched song “Patuloy ang Pangarap.” Even if she didn’t prepare that as an audition piece, she easily settled the piece, which was actually quite familiar to her.
Three weeks had passed since the audition but Roseanne’s mom has not yet received a call from GMA. She has put to rest any hope of Roseanne getting into the new show. For the girl, life was simply back to normal – or so she thought.
“Naghahanda kami noon kasi lalaban siya sa isang singing contest sa kapitolyo (of Mandaluyong). Isa si Roseanne sa mga napiling finalists ng contest. Tapos biglang nag-ring yung celphone ko tapos sinabi sa akin ng nakausap ko na bumalik daw kami sa GMA dahil isa si Roseanne sa iilan nalang na pagpipilian,” shares Roseanne’s mom.
When Roseanne went to GMA for the second time, she was one of only four who were short-listed for the lead role of the new program, which she thought was just a singing contest and not a drama series.
“Doon na talaga namin nakita kung kaano din kagaling yung ibang mga nag-audition kasi noong una huli na kaming sumalang e so hindi na namin nakitang mag-perform yung iba. Magagaling din talaga sila,” recalls Roseanne’s mom.
The four candidates were trimmed down to just two – Roseanne included – until ultimately, Roseanne received the good news: she was chosen for the lead role. Only then did they learn that the upcoming program which Roseanne will star in is a primetime drama series.
Asked how being an instant TV star has changed her life thus far, Roseanne paused for a moment to contemplate.
“Kasi nung umpisa po, inaaway-away ako kasi mahirap kami. Tapos ‘pag pumupunta kami sa mga kapit-bahay namin lagi kaming pinaguusapan tapos niloloko nila kami. Parang nakakasakit po ‘yung panloloko nila. Pero ngayon, pag nagpupunta po ako sa kanila, binabati na po nila ako,” shares Roseanne.
Roseanne’s dream of being a professional singer is fuelled not as much by her personal ambition as her desire to uplift the quality of life of her family. She may be young and could only do so much, but she is already thinking of her and her family’s future.
“Ang dinadasal ko po, sana magkaroon pa po ako ng show at sana makita pa rin po ako sa TV para makatulong po ako sa mga magulang ko,” Roseanne shares.
Roseanne’s TV series Biritera airs its finale episode on May 18.