We’re pretty sure you’ve heard or read the name Oreo Jun Vamenta somewhere in the city. Or, perhaps, you might have even seen him perform live several times with the Dreamboard Artists in Centrio or Limketkai Mall. There’s also a great chance you’ve seen him on TV shows belting his powerful and melodic voice. It would be impossible for Kagay-anons not to recognize his name, since he is among the city’s most prominent and well-celebrated balladeer.
Born to Kagay-anons Orie and Argentinita Vamenta, Oreo discovered his passion for singing at an early age. Inspired by the late Whitney Houston, he started practicing singing and would later perform in front of his family and friends. Soon enough, people started noticing his singing talent; Oreo would then be chosen to play parts in musicals. During high school, he became part of a local boy band—Voice Male—which was managed by Lito Muñoz. Voice Male was composed of Ramon Fuentes, Floyd Patayon, Roy Sinco and Mark Bautista—one of the country’s best male singer performers today. Oreo’s band became quite popular in the city and they have been occasionally asked to perform around the city including the Picasso Bar in Dynasty Hotel.
After high school, Oreo pursued higher education in Xavier University and took up Bachelor of Science in Business Management. While in college, Oreo still performed on several occasions in the city, however, he later shifted his passion in dancing and became part of X-Dreams. Eventually, he came back and pursued his first love, singing. He went to Manila and sought formal training with none other than the Maestro, Ryan Cayabyab. Since then, his singing career escalated and more opportunities came knocking in his door.
Star in a Million, Pinoy Pop Superstar, and World Championship of Performing Arts
Oreo’s next step after his training with the Maestro was auditioning at ABS-CBN’s Star in a Million in 2003. He became one of the contestants of the show, but Oreo didn’t make it to the finals (Erik Santos was hailed the champion of the singing contest), however, that did not discourage him to seek more singing opportunities. He tried his luck again and joined GMA-7’s Pinoy Pop Superstar, and although he didn’t win the competition, he befriended director Freddie Santos – one of the country’s well-respected and veteran directors – who provided Oreo more trainings and workshops. Oreo then performed in different venues in Manila with the bands Vagabond and Ntwine. Now more confident and experienced, he again tried joining Star in a Million 2 and this time around, he made it to the finals. Although it was Kris Lawrence who won, the show made him more famous. After the competition, Oreo released his self-titled album which includes the carrier single Iyong Binigay.
Oreo’s biggest break came a few years later in 2009 when was chosen to become one of the country’s representatives for the WCPF (World Championship of Performing Arts). The competition was considered as the “Olympics of Performing Arts.” Held in Hollywood, California annually and attended by more than 40 countries, Oreo was able to bring home four medals for the country—a gold for the Rock Category, a silver for the Gospel Category, another silver for the Open Category and a bronze for the Pop Category.
At present, Oreo is still very much active in performing and singing around the country. And as a member of the Dreamboard Artists, he can be seen performing in different events around the city. Oreo is also among CDO’s local artists who willingly perform for benefit shows and concerts. With a talent he freely shares and his list of achievements, Oreo Vamenta is indeed one of Cagayan de Oro’s stellar personalities.