COSTA COFFEE Philippines crowned yesterday Jyl Orila as the first grand winner of their #SingYourWayToLondon promo contest! She will be going on an all-expenses paid trip to London.

The idea was originally inspired by vlogger Vince Vandorpe and Patrik Franksson who both got a free drink at Costa Coffee just by singing. Soon after, the famous cafe brand launched a search on social medial calling on all aspirants to send in a video of them singing their favorite British song to get a chance to win a trip to London.

“Filipinos are known world over for their gift in music. And Costa’s #Londonstyle is all about celebrating talents and craft. Hence it was a perfect opportunity to do this and we are thrilled with the response.” says Cindy Poh, Costa Coffee Regional marketing Manager for Southeast Asia and New Markets.

Five entries were chosen to go to the finals for a live showdown in front of judges blogger David Guison, singer-siblings Kiana and Paolo Valenciano and Atty. Gilbert Millado, Robinson Retail Holdings’ General Counsel.

Judges, David, Paolo and Kiana

Also present during the event is Costa Coffee Philippines Marketing Manager Ms. April Almonte.

April Almonte

The event was held Monday morning to a jam-packed Costa Coffee Robinsons Galleria. Family and friends of the finalists were all there to support them, as well as some members of the blogging community.

JYL ORILA who sang Adele’s “Send My Love” emerged as the strongest performance among the five finalists.

Jyl Orila being awaded by Atty. Gilbert Millado

Here’s her winning performance:


So what did we learn from Jyl’s performance yesterday that will help future COSTA COFFEE #SingYourWayToLondon contestants? I have judged a couple of talent competitions myself in the past, nothing major, but I think all talent contest judges are looking for the same thing (aside from the usual criteria like presentation, audience impact and adherence to the theme).

Jyl with Judges Kiana, David and Paolo

If you really want to Sing Your Way to London for free, you’ll have to:

  1. Be Creative! JYL came out with guns blazing complete with her very own guitarist/back-up vocals.
  2. Look the Part! Her outfit speaks “Hey, London is calling and I’m answering!”
  3. Be Confident! This is the hard part – what you look, feel and do on a stage (whether big or small) will make or break you as a performer. This is what differentiates a winner from the runners-up – owning the stage is as important as your God-given talent or skills.
  4. Have Fun, but not too much! Remember to have fun while performing, it eases the tension but do not over indulge because what’s most important than you having fun, are the audience, having the same amount of fun that you’re having.
  5. Lastly, Practice. Practice. Practice! Make it as if it is your last performance here on earth and you’ll find out that it’s actually just the start of everything good that’s going to happen to you.

So, there you go. Some reminders for our future London tourists! 🙂

The Finalists

Another personal favorite of mine during the showdown was Pia Gabrielle Alfonso’s rendition of Rita Ora’s “Your Song”. If she added a little more creativity with that fantastic rendition, the judges will definitely have a hard time choosing between her and Jyl.

The other finalists are Maqui Castelo who sang Coldplay’s “Yellow”, Maki Santos with her medley of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and Inna Valera who did Spice Girls’ “Stop” together with a friend.

Check out their performances here:


COSTA COFFEE was founded in 1971 by brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa as a coffee roastery in Lambeth, London. The company has since grown to offer over 3,400 coffee shops worldwide serving its own brand of Italian-made coffee including the Philippines.

Its first branch here in the Philippines was the one at Citywalk in Eastwood City which was inaugurated two years ago. My favorites from them are their Flat White, Iced White Chocolate, Ham and Cheese Toasties and of course their freshly baked croissants.

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