By Christopher Tobutt
Vocals For Locals is a singing competition organized by the Bayanihan Filipino community, with the purpose of raising awareness of the Cayman Food Bank, and, of course, having plenty of fun at the same time as songbirds flocked from all over the Cayman Islands to take part. Auditions have been on Friday nights at the Hard Rock Café since October 7, and they held their big, spectacular Finals evening at the Lions Centre on Saturday 3Rd. There were big cash prizes of 2500, 1000 and 750 KYD. Tension mounted during the evening as the initial 16 finalists was whittled down to just six. These were the very top, and so everyone was expecting something fantastic, but they still weren’t prepared for just what these artists had in store.
Grand winner Metites Perida, amazed everyone with her heartfelt rendition of Unchained Melody. First Place winner was Apple Caperal, and second was Melody Elizabeth Knox. Third was Shari Espeut, and fourth, the only male among the finalists, was Jose Zambrano who sang, “I don’t want to miss a thing.”
Fifth was Judy Ann Calim Lim, who sang Whitney Houston’s “Dance with somebody,” and actually came offstage to dance with Mr. Gene Eden of the Cayman Island Food bank, who, after he had calmed down a little, spoke about the work of the Food Bank and why it is so important. “The good Samaritan Food Bank was established in 2017 it was started when we decided to do something about the amount of food that was being wasted,” he said, “Our job is to collect food from participating stores that would otherwise be thrown away, but is still perfectly good, but for various reasons the stores are unable to sell these food items. By doing this we have been able to assist anywhere from 300 to 700 families weekly. This can only be done with help from our volunteers, and donations from people like you who care about the welfare of others. We would like to thank the organizers and thank everyone here for coming out,”
There was a lot of fun all evening, and in between the finalists’ singing there was entertainment from many different performers, including Filipino Dancers Zumba Yanyan who gave amazing formation dances in multi-coloured dresses, again and again. There was also a prize award for the winners of the ‘design a new logo,’ competition, and the two finalists were so good they had to make it a tie
There were lots of judges including Matt Brown, Caitlyn Tyson, Catherine Tyson, Caymanian Times publisher Ralph and George Town MP and Minister of Tourism & Transport Hon. Kenneth Bryan. He praised the initiative, and when the plastic bucket for donations to the Food Bank went around, he encouraged everyone to give whatever they could.