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'Mini Ms. U' contestant who went viral for her 'kind and pure soul' is entering showbiz

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Aug 09, 2023 5:03 pm

Annika Co was just being her true, big-hearted self when she moved Anne Curtis to tears during her viral performance in It's Showtime's "Mini Ms. U" segment. Turns out, it is with the same "kind and pure soul" that the seven-year-old would officially fulfill her dream of becoming a celebrity.

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, Viva Artists Agency announced that Annika is now set to start her showbiz career after signing a deal with the talent management agency.

"We are so happy to announce that @annikaaco is now officially part of our growing roster of artists! Welcome to VAA, Annika 🥰 Looking forward to exciting projects with you," Viva captioned its Instagram post.

The contract signing comes a month after Annika touched hearts, especially that of Anne Curtis, with her impromptu skit in It's Showtime's kids talent search on July 3.

During the contest's talent portion, Showtime host Vice Ganda pretended to be Annika's friend who was having difficulty singing in front of the audience because of stage fright and the pressure of being "the best."

With calmness and concern for her on-screen friend, Annika told Vice, "Who cares if the others don’t like you? I like you, and everybody else does. What matters is somebody still likes you."

"If some people don’t like you, then it’s fine. What’s important is someone still likes you,” she added.

Anne, who was sitting behind Annika, started tearing up and continued to do so when the child said, "You shouldn’t be worrying about if you’ll be the best in the world. You have to be the best version of yourself."

The actress and mom of one later explained that she was moved to tears by Annnika's kindness and innocence. “Naiyak ako kasi it was so pure na parang if everyone could be as kind as this child, diba wala nang hatred sa mundo. It was so innocent and pure. So beautiful,” Anne said.

Annika became the daily winner of "Mini Miss U" on that Monday. Anne, for her part, continued to praise Annika and her parents on Twitter later that day.

"What a genuinely kind and pure soul. Bless her heart," Anne tweeted. "Kudos to her parents for instilling such beautiful values. Imagine if we were all like this. No hatred or harmful words would exist."

Annika is an only child to millennial parents Adrian and Ann Co. The couple revealed in an interview with ANCX that although Annika previously undertook training with Star Magic, joining Mini Miss U was all unplanned. 

“Our goal was to expose Annika [to different activities] to build her confidence kasi she gets very shy,” Ann told the outlet. “We have no idea or experience joining pageants.”

Although her awe-inspiring performance in Mini Ms. U was also one that "actually surprised" the couple, it surely resulted from their open communication with their daughter and how they would "keep the environment positive" whenever she would join contests.

“We tell her, ‘There are two possible outcomes: either you win the contest, or you simply learn from it, because there is always room for improvement,’” Adrian said. “Annika tends to get frustrated easily, so we want to keep the environment positive.”

The same happened four years ago when Annika joined a gymnastics class and the child noticed that her skills were not a match with those of her classmates. Adrian and Ann then told their daughter, "You don’t have any other competition but yourself. All you have to do is beat your last performance."

And just like what Annika told Vice in It's Showtime, her parents made sure that she would always feel their support for her. "We believe in you," Ann would tell her daughter. "You have to believe in yourself too before others can believe in you."

Annika told ANCX that she hopes to become a singer or an actress in the future. Her recent signing with Viva Artists Agency has clearly brought her much closer to turning that dream into a reality.