Who is Ilonggo Sean Oliver in ‘Idol Philippines?’

CPA seeks to carve name in music scene

(Photos from Sean Oliver S. Ortencio)

WHEN he dreams, he dreams big. And he is doing everything to achieve those dreams.

“I don’t know how to stop dreaming,” says artist Sean Oliver S. Ortencio.

Twenty-three-year-old Ilonggo Sean Oliver recently wowed the judges of “Idol Philippines” with his original composition.

Oliver, who said he quit his job to focus on his dream of becoming a singer, first performed Rivermaya’s “Liwanag sa Dilim.”

Although it was good, judge Moira dela Torre found it too “safe.” He then said he prepared another song which he composed himself.

“I like your tone. Actually, I like your voice. Worry ko is magaling ka pero hindi ko alam kung pang-competition ka,” Dela Torre then told Oliver.

Puwede kang maging recording artist. I like your song and you sing it well. I’m not sure if I’m convinced na it’s enough to go against these other singers,” James Reid added.

Despite these apprehensions, Oliver eventually received four yesses from the judges.

Ortencio, who is an Accountancy graduate from the University of the Philippines Visayas, has already made a name for himself in the local music scene. He has regular gigs and does front acts for other musicians including indie band Ransom Collective.

A native of President Roxas, Capiz, Ortencio shares he started singing when he was only four.

“My earliest memory of singing is when I led the kindergarten class’ graduation song,” he says, adding that his mother served as his mentor.

But it was only in third year high school that his interest in singing sparked when his parents gave him a guitar. “It was a birthday gift.  I tried to learn the guitar with the help of my best friend. My interest in playing the guitar grew. That started everything. I learned to write songs within months after learning the instrument.”

Ortencio also says his parents have always been supportive, but there came a time when they worried about his academics. But being the determined person that he is, this talented lad proved that he can still get good grades despite his numerous gigs.  In fact, he even graduated cum laude.

“Both my parents were always eager to see my gigs. But they were also worrying about my acads, of course, especially during my last year in college. I tried to prove to them that they need not worry about my regular gigs,” he narrates, adding that his father even gave him a new guitar as graduation gift.

With his passion in music, Ortencio pioneered Songwriters Philippines in Iloilo. He – together with other local artists – is also cooking a production group.

“We don’t have a name yet since we have just started. This is a group of Ilonggo bands/artists with the goal of raising the standard of Ilonggo music and also the musical development of each individual artist. The people behind the prod are amazing. The Pretzels, Ember, Ethan Loukas, and my mentor Juan Enriko are among the artists included in the group. What really inspires me is their dedication in making their own craft as perfect as it can be, and play gigs or have their own events with even out-of-pocket costs,” he says.

Ortencio also shares his musical influences which include John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Incubus, Boyce Avenue, Urbandub, Franco, Reese Lansangan, and Autotelic, among others.

The Certified Public Accountant also never forgot to mention his mentor, Juan Enriko – a proof that this artist will go a long way with his humility.

“He was the one who really shaped me as a musician,” he adds.

Ortencio worked for an accounting firm in Manila after passing the board but that did not stop him from accepting opportunities in the music industry.

“I don’t know how to stop dreaming. I simply couldn’t. I could not imagine a life without satisfying my daily cravings for creation, for music,” Ortencio adds.

Now, that is one passionate person./PN


  1. I am so fascinated and very proud by the achievements of this guy. I don’t know him personally, but I found out that we came from the same town, where I was born and raised. It has been a while since I left our town and moved abroad. He is not only a talented singer/song writer but also smart with flying colours with his academic life. Good luck and more power to you. Hope to see you and hear you in person , when I come home for holidays.


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