Mikey Bustos is coming to Australia!
You read it right, finally, our very own (unofficial) Ambassador of the Philippines visits down under for a 3-day Palengke Concert Tour in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney this month.
For fans and for those who do not know Mikey, here are some fascinating and sometimes quirky things about him.
1. Real name
Mikey’s real name is Michael John Yadan Tumanguil Pestano Bustos.
Technically, his first and second names are Michael John. It is common for us Filipinos to have at least two, usually western names.
The rest are family names. Yadan and Tumanguil completes the names of all of his four grandparents including, of course, Pestano and Bustos. Although for most of us we only include our mother and father’s last names.
2. The Idol
Canadian idol, that is. Mikey started his career in the entertainment business as one of the finalist for the first season of Canadian Idol in 2003.
This is a big deal for Filipinos because he was the first ever Filipino to make it in the top 10 of any singing contest. His talent and charm even made Chart Magazine (a Canadian music magazine now known as ChartAttack online) predict that he will win the contest, saying that he had “a voice of an angel.”
He impressed all four judges and had a huge fan base in Canada. The Idol compilation album sold 60,000 units and was certified gold just on the second day of release.
He is one of the few successful Canadian Idol alumnus.
3. 263,092 and 55 Million
As of writing, 263,092 are the number of Mikey’s Youtube subscribers. His channel has been viewed 55 million times so far.
He first made Filipinos notice when he uploaded his “Filipino Accent Tutorial” back in 2011.
The video has been viewed more than 2 million times.
Aside from his Filipino tutorials, he also uploads covers of songs. One such that made headlines all over the word is his a Capella version of “Wake Me Up,” by Swedish electronic musician and DJ, Avicii.
Not only was his vocals superb (as he is an Idol), he sang every part of the song including making the sounds of all instruments heard in the original with just his mouth. No musical instruments required.
And of course, he also uploads hilarious parodies putting together his being a Filipino and his talent for singing. This is one of his many uploaded parodies from Meghan Trainor’s “All about That Bass.”
I bet some lyrics of this song would stick in your head – “’coz my Nanay she told me it’s okay to make tawad (ooh tawad, ooh tawad).”
4. A 2nd generation migrant
Mikey is a second generation migrant. Meaning, his parents are Filipino so he does not have any other race in his blood but he was born and raised in Canada so he is Canadian by birth.
Fortunately, he was raised by “strict” parents who upheld “hardcore Filipino values,” and were very religious. They also eat Filipino food at home so he knows about all the Filipino dishes like adobo, tinola, kaldereta and balut although he said in one interview that he does not like bagoong.
His parents talk to him in English with the Filipino accent that you hear him use in his tutorials and parodies. He feels that the Filipino language is his intimate language that he uses for his family and relatives and even to babies. With his non Filipino friends in Canada, he switches back to Canada’s English accent.
Some people may think that his humour is insulting to Filipinos but for him Filipino accent is not something to be ashamed of since a lot of other nations have accents too. We do not find the British or Australian English accent something to be ashamed of, do we mate?
Growing up, Mikey learned to embrace his being different with the rest of the people in Canada – he is not white or black or the usual Asian stereotype – he is Filipino and being Filipino is exactly what makes him who he is.
He is proud to have Filipino roots. You could say he is as Filipino as any other Filipino you know.
5. A multi-talented artist
Mikey is a singer, a Youtube video maker, comedienne, commercial model, brand ambassador, a radio jock and more.
Mikey is first and foremost a singer. His debut album “Memories of a Superhero” in 2008 was a big hit in Canada, the US and it reached our shores including Dubai and China. He also received a nomination in the Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Adult Contemporary Music in 2010. He also had a chance to be the opening act for Christina Aguilera and the Pussy Cat dolls.
As a Youtuber in Canada, he was one of the few who was chosen to participate in a workshop to jump screens with Canadian TV station CBC.
In the Philippines, Mikey can be seen in multiple programs in local TV station, GMA. He also has several TV appearances with ABS-CBN, another local channel. He is brand ambassador for Samsung, Nescafe and Mang Juan.
By January 2014, he was a radio jock of a Philippine radio station Magic 89.9 along with Mo Twister every morning in a programme called “Good Times with Mo.”
6. The school dropout
He is an ace student grabbing almost every award he can get – even when he was suffering from depression at one point in his life.
However, while on his first year studying Zoology at the University of Guelph, he joined and won in a singing contest for his university. This made him realize his true calling was not to become a veterinarian.
So, he decided to stop studying to pursue his dreams of becoming a singer and performer. He promised his very shocked mum that he would make it happen.
7. Hotshot Banker
After quitting school, he first worked as a telemarketer and did some crazy stuff.
Then, watching a Christina Aguilera special, he “stopped partying cold turkey” and got himself a job at Bank of Montreal.
He then started to turn things around by auditioning in singing contests all to make his dreams a reality.
8. The Ant Man
Mikey is an ant lover. So much so that he made it into a business, AntsCanada. He made a website along with Youtube tutorials for other ant lovers and enthusiasts.
His knowledge about ants eventually landed him a feature in Animal Planet and Discovery channel. He befriended entomologist, contributed to scientific research and wrote a book about ants.
His business sells ant farms to 22 countries worldwide.
9. Apple Giver
Mikey supports a charity in the Philippines called “the Appledrive Project.” The project’s objective is simply to teach Filipino children about the “healthy food habits, encouraging them to eat fruits like apples instead of candies or chocolates.”
The Appledrive gives apples to the children of different communities visited but aside from giving apples, they also hand out toiletries and hold “Ligo Day” (Bath Day) all while promoting “good personal hygiene.”
The group behind the project is also involved in medical missions, feeding programs, literacy and book reading programs.
The Appledrive project is also one of the beneficiaries of the Mikey’s concert earnings in Australia.
10. Not your ordinary Youtuber
If you are not yet convinced, he recently won the Top Youtube Personality Award (Philippines) at the Influence Asia Awards in Singapore last December 2015.
His many talents and love for everything Filipino got him his title as the (unofficial) Ambassador of the Philippines for Youtube and the Internet.
He did become a Youtube sensation for his funny take on the Filipino accent but he seriously felt that his new role gave him a sense of responsibility. He believes that he was “given a unique opportunity to make a difference, a positive difference” and he continually looks for ways to entertain more people in various forms of media available.
Catch Mikey Bustos’s Palengke Concert World Tour.
Adelaide 19 February
Vietnamese Community Hall, 62 Athol Street, Athol Park, Adelaide
Doors open at 6pm. Starts at 8pm.
for tickets contact Ms. Jelyn at 0448674115
Melbourne 20 February
The Village Green Hotel, function room
corner of Springval Road and Ferntree Gully Road, Mulgrave, Vic. 3170
Door opens at 6:30pm. Show starts at 7 pm
for tickets contact Ms. Ging for details at 0405636389
Sydney 21 February
Club Burwood RSL, 96 Shaftesbury Road, Burwood, NSW 2134, Australia
VIP ticket – $45 (with meet and greet diner on 22 Feb at the Pabico Club)
Gold Pass – $40
for tickets contact Ms. Pearly Gardiner at 048 4383106
See you there! “I go to palengke, palengke… ke, ke, ke…” concert tour.
Special thanks to opmplaylist for the main image.