Not long ago, Jovit Baldivino was a popular mainstay in the local market in Batangas, a province near Manila.
His customers would line up for a serving of his piping hot siomai - a fresh Chinese dim sum. Now, some of those same patrons queue to purchase tickets to one of his many local concerts.
Since winning the first season of Pilipinas Got Talent in 2010, the 19-year-old's profile has rocketed, with big tours and acting work in local television. Baldivino says he relies on his friends to keep him grounded.
"Yes, it has been crazy," he says, laughing. "But for me I have a lot of people around me, family and friends, they love me and make me not change my lifestyle too much."
However, one major change he couldn't avoid is the amount of travel involved in being a successful Filipino pop artist.
As an indication of the tough demands of the Filipino music industry, Baldivino has already recorded three albums in as many years.
His audience includes the large Filipino diaspora around the world, and Baldivino has already conducted tours of the US and Europe this year.
Tomorrow, he arrives in the UAE for his debut Middle Eastern performance before an extensive homeland tour.
"It is a very big schedule but this is what happens when you live your dream," he says. "It has all been a very big experience and I am really learning a lot and meeting new people."
Baldivino specialises in covering rock ballads, and his first albums found him taking on the likes of Queen's Too Much Love Will Kill You and Bryan Adams' Please Forgive Me.
He states his third covers collection, to be released later this year, is closest to his heart.
"It's a collection of Filipino power ballads," he says. "It will be all Filipino music - this is something that I am excited about. I can't wait for it to come out and to perform them."
Jovit Baldivino will play at Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, tomorrow at 7pm. Tickets start at Dh60 and are available from www.timeouttickets.com