This time, on March 20 and 21, he returned as the champion.
Noven Belleza, a farm boy who helped in his family's livelihood, once said that, when he was working in the fields, he'd sing to the carabaos. Now, his audience was no longer limited to four-footed animals.
Noven arrived late from Manila on March 20, but his fans and fellow Victoriahanons swarmed the Victorias City plaza until he showed up to sing a few songs that night.
(It didn't rain on Noven's parade)
(Parading under the sun)
The next day, amidst the noon-time sun, the City held a welcome parade for him by including his float in the parade for students from local schools who were holding a cheering competition that afternoon.
Everyone went out to welcome and greet the first champion of a national TV variety show's singing competition. Noven rode a float prepared just for him, and was standing, looking out towards the crowds along national highway, whose north-bound lane was closed to accommodate the students, teachers, and Noven's float.
And by the roadside, along the fences of the Victorias Plaza, a huge tarpaulin hang declaring him as the city's pride. (The greeting actually contained a glaring grammatical error, and whoever authored it must have missed his or her English 101 lessons).
(The audience included teachers, parents, and students who were holding a cheering
competition after Noven's performance)
(Noven being whisked away in a van)
Noven sang again onstage but with a lesser audience this time compared to the one the night before. The audience was actually prevented from crowding the center of the plaza because of the cheering competition after. And onstage, Noven was seen being reunited with his former high school teachers.
A small incident happened, though. There was a public lambasting of someone who earned the ire of a public official after Noven was quickly dragged back to his waiting van after singing only one song. I heard that his handler was later declared persona non-grata by the city council of Victorias because of some not-so-pleasing reasons, one of which was that Noven was allegedly prevented from taking selfies with his former high school teachers.
After Noven got inside his waiting van that day, the van stayed put and the public official took to the microphone to do his lambasting. After a minute or so, Noven got out and went up stage again and sang another song, much to the delight of his fellow Victoriahanons.
Well, it was almost a perfect homecoming, but a homecoming nonetheless.
(The tarpaulin with a grammatical error: if the noun is plural, so should the verb!)
Congratulations again, Noven!
And good luck to your singing career!
(The huge Noven tarpaulin with grammatical error)