DUBBED as the "Beatbox King" of the Philippines, a 19-year-old proud human beatbox Dabawenyo awed the country and even the world, as he blurred the line between human and robot through his unique and entertaining human beatbox talent.
Hailed as the 2014 Ultimate Talentadong Pinoy Champion and semi-finals qualifier of the 1st Asia’s Got Talent (AGT), Neil Rey Garcia Llanes remains grounded amid all the fame and victory he is now earning.
“Until now, I really can’t believe that I made it this far. Before, I’m just doing this inside our bathroom but now, I am performing already to millions of people. I thank God for this opportunity, I must share this blessing and continue inspire people,” the human beatbox king expressed his gratitude.
He admits that he lived a life that was out of beat. Both his parents were unemployed and they lived in what he described as “semi-squatter area.” His older brother lived with an aunt, to lighten the load.
“Sa una si Papa naga-sideline lang na og luto pero katong nakahibalo nako mo-beatbox, naa nako’y mga gig ug rakets, akong kita mao na na akong ginagamit panggasto sa balay ug akong pangbaon (My father used to work part-time as cook, but when I started having gigs with beatbox, I give all my earnings to them, we use these for our household expenses and my school baon),” he said.
The youngest of two, Neil became the breadwinner in the family at the age of 12 through performing. He was able to enroll in college because of his grandmother who is a teacher.
“My biggest dream is really to finish in college and earn a bachelor’s degree. Because when the time comes when I am no longer good in human beatboxing, I can still be proud of myself since I finished college. My college diploma will still be the best gift I can give to myself and my parents,” he said.
This is the very reason he was not among the Philippine contenders in the semifinals of the First Asia’s Got Talent show in Malaysia, despite making it.
He wowed the judges at the audition, earned himself a standing ovation from the judges and a quick trip to the semi-finals.
“I was so happy when I got the news from AGT that I qualified to the semi-finals of the competition. Only 24 of us will proceed to the semi-finals from hundreds who auditioned. Unfortunately, the AGT’s schedule is in conflict with my studies, sayang ang opportunity but my study is still my top priority, especially now that I am a year away from my graduation,” Neil said.
“So I decided to drop the chance for the first season, finish first my studies, and audition again for the next season,” he added with hope and enthusiasm.
At a very young age, Neil was able to buy his family a lot and plans to build a house, which will eventually be their home.
“It is always my dream to have a house of our own. Now I am close to that dream. Indeed, hard work and sacrifice really pays off,” the artist said.
At present, Neil will continue his study as a graduating student of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management at the Holy Cross of Davao College.
“I perform not just because I want the world to know me but because I want to share my talent and inspire more people around the world,” the human beatbox said.
“Hindi ko naman madadala ito sa langit kaya habang andito pa gagawain ko ang lahat magamit lang ang talent ko para makapagpasaya ng kapwa (I can’t bring my talent to heaven, and so I will share it for as long as I can to make people happy),” he added.
“Dream and dream until you will achieve it, if not now maybe tomorrow, never get tired of dreaming, keep on beating the rhythms of life and never exit from Life,” he said.
Life is like human beat boxing, we have to make our own sounds, create a rhythm of happiness, joy and harmony. No matter how loud or soft it is, what matters is that you created sound waves of love, sacrifice and passion heard by the people around you by keeping the beat on sound.