Teen busker's encounter with Ebe Dancel goes viral | Inquirer News

Ebe Dancel and teen busker’s surprise encounter wins hearts online

/ 03:39 PM April 19, 2023

Filipino singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel stumbles upon 17-year-old busker Ghen Pondoc serenading shoppers with Sugarfree’s hit song “Burnout” at a mall in Pasig City on April 16, 2023. Image: Courtesy of Ghen Pondoc and Ebe Dancel/Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — A teen busker had a heartwarming encounter while serenading shoppers with her rendition of Sugarfree’s hit song “Burnout” as she caught the attention of none other than the band’s former frontman Ebe Dancel.

Last April 16, the Filipino singer-songwriter stumbled upon the talented 17-year-old busker named Ghen Pondoc, who was then singing her heart out at a mall in Pasig City.


Right after her busking session, Pondoc took to Facebook to share a video of her surprise unexpected meeting with Dancel, who seemed captivated by her performance and began recording it.


“While singing his song ‘Burnout’ po, damang-dama ko. Nakapikit po ako [noon] habang kumakanta, tapos pagdilat ko po, nakatayo siya sa right side [at] nagte-take ng video [ng performance ko],” Pondoc recalled in an interview with the Inquirer.

(While singing his song “Burnout,” I felt it so much. I closed my eyes while singing, and when I opened them, he was standing on my right side, taking a video of my performance.)


And it did not just end there. As Pondoc reached the anthem’s outro, Dancel joined in and sang along with her, showcasing their musical chemistry at that moment. 

Afterward, Dancel embraced her warmly, leaving Pondoc overwhelmed with emotions.

When asked about how she felt after meeting the OPM icon, she replied: “Grabe, super halo-halo po ‘yung emotions [ko]. Ang sabi niya po [sa akin], ‘You’re doing great’,”

(My emotions were all mixed up. He told me, “You’re doing great.”)

“As a small artist po, sobrang sarap po sa feeling no’n. ‘Di ko po talaga ma-explain nararamdaman ko. Super surreal,” Pondoc added.

(As a small artist, the feeling was so great. I really can’t explain what I feel. It was super surreal.)

‘A stepping stone for bigger stages’

Pondoc is a Grade 11 student under the Humanities and Social Sciences strand at Arellano University-Pasig Campus who has been into busking for almost two years.

She told the Inquirer that she frequently performs during weekends at different busking spots and public places such as the Makati underpass, Serendra, and shopping malls in Taguig City and Pasig City.

Most of the time, Pondoc said she is accompanied by her supportive mom whenever she holds her busking sessions.

“What I love the most about busking is I get to express myself here, and at the same time, it [serves] as my stepping stone for the bigger stages where I could perform in the near future,” she explained.

Ghen Pondoc. Image: Ghen Pondoc/Facebook

For aspiring buskers, Pondoc encourages them to just persevere: “Magpatuloy lang tayo [sa passion natin]. Isipin mo man na walang nakikinig, maniwala kang meron at merong nakikinig at sumusuporta sa’yo. Isa man ‘yan o marami.” 

(Let’s just continue with our passion. Even if you think nobody’s listening, believe that there are people who are listening and supporting you, whether it’s just one person or many.)

“Palagi [rin nating] galingan dahil hindi natin alam [kung] sino ung mga nakikinig na ‘yan, kagaya ko, super unexpected [na si] Sir Ebe Dancel [na pala ‘yon]. Kaya huwag tayong panghihinaan ng loob,” she added.

(We should also always strive to do our best because we never know who’s listening to us; like me, it was super unexpected that Sir Ebe Dancel was one of them. So let’s not lose heart.)

The inspiring encounter between Pondoc and Dancel has since captured the hearts of many social media users, with the video of their performance amassing more than 32,000 views and more than 2,900 reactions as of this writing.

It was a dream come true to be recognized by someone she looks up to in the music industry, Pondoc said.

Anything is possible, they say, as hard work and determination may propel anyone somewhere great. Just keep going!


A comfort cross for Ebe Dancel

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