Little girl no more
Clad in high-waisted blue shorts, a boyfriend jacket and platforms--far from her frilly dresses and neneng look of yesteryear--and using a glittery Hannah-Montana-esque microphone, she dominated the stage with her thunderous voice. She even had some of the well-heeled crowd of Resorts World Manila, located at the posh Newport City in Pasay, gamely gesturing the Pyramid hand sign.
She addressed the audience in a mix of Filipino and English with a slight American twang. In between songs, she playfully announced her need for air or water, and even once quipped, "Nagutom ako 'dun," after seemingly effortlessly belting out songs. She performed only six numbers--our trip to the venue from Mandaluyong actually took longer than the entire duration of her set. To appease the clamoring crowd at the end of the show, she sang Justin Bieber's "Baby," which she previously covered on Perez Hilton, acapella.
Charice Pempengco performs "Pyramid" at Resorts World Manila on July 15.
Busy as a singing bee
With the overwhelming turn of events in her life, Charice, who turned 18 in May, says that she doesn't quite feel like her age. "I'm 18 years old but I feel much younger and much older at the same time. I have time for play but I also feel mature for my age because of my past," Charice told SPOT.ph at the press conference on July 15 for her concert series in Manila from July 15 to 17.
These days, she considers dealing with criticisms her greatest challenge but she also draws strength from them. "May mga taong nagta-try na hilahin ka pababa. 'Yun ang pinakamahirap and at the same time, nagpapalakas sa akin. 'Pag negative sila, dapat mapakitang mas positive ka sa kanila," she said at the July 15 press conference.
It sure looks like her strategy is working. She's certainly come a long way from those small-town singing tilts.
Charice will country-hop for her first solo Asian tour starting with the concert at Resorts World Manila on July 15, followed by performances at The Venice Piazza on July 16 and Eastwood Mall Open Park on July 17. Afterwards, she will fly to Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, and then back to the US. Later this year, she'll be part of the David Foster and Friends tour.
Charice has also come a long way from her first win of P7,500 cash with groceries, a cassette player and a trophy, as reported by YES!--but not quite the alleged $100,000 per show talent fee. Charice said, "Wala akong alam talaga sa talent fee. Pero I think sobra naman 'yung $100,000. Nagsa-start pa lang naman ako."
Despite the good fortune brought by her singing, Charice admitted at the press conference that she didn't want to be a singer forever. She reiterated that she would like to take up law, as previously reported. Skeptics might raise an eyebrow at her dream but she might just prove them wrong. Currently studying BA Communications at an Massachusetts-based online international university, she also reads law books. "It's like my relaxation," she told Reuters Television, as reported by ABS-CBNNews.com.
She said at the press con, "Gusto ko pa rin pong may marating talaga ako. Not as an artist pero ibang posisyon. Lawyer--ang taas ng pangarap ko (laughs). Kahit na matagal po 'yun, magsisikap talaga ako."
Catch Charice live at The Venice Piazza on July 16, 8 p.m. and at the Eastwood Mall Open Park on July 17, 8 p.m. For tickets, call 709-1111 local 142 and look for Ian Frayco.
Photos by Jean Natividad.