Unlike other little girls dreaming of success, Charice would put on paper what she was wishing for. She would draw on white paper Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and some other popular international singers on the stage performing with her.
Not limited to music, Charice’s drawings also included a house with a car and a table of abundance. Coupled with prayers, her dreams on paper would serve as her inspiration, with a feeling that, one day, her dreams would jump from paper into reality.
And her success drawn on paper indeed have all turned into reality. Proof is their condominium unit in Parañaque, a vacation house in Tagaytay and a 7-door apartment in Cabuyao, Laguna.
After acquiring a second-hand but decent car, Charice bought another second-hand car, red this time, for her younger brother Carl. And since both she and Carl couldn’t drive yet so they hired two drivers.
Note: A strong advocate of this “writing your dreams” belief was film director Meek Roxas. He nagged his sister to draw her dream house on paper and to place the paper in a conspicuous location. In order to see it everyday, Meek’s sister placed the drawing of her dream house right beside the family altar. And before ten years had passed, the house on paper became a reality in Pasig City.
Before her dreams materialized, one of the biggest problems of Charice was what to wear for her TV appearances. Obviously, they don’t have the capacity to spend for the necessary attire. But as Charice’s number one supporter, her mother Raquel would scour the neighborhood to borrow clothes for her aspiring daughter.
The next problem would be commuting to Manila from their location in Cabuyao, Laguna. And a side effect of a problem was where to stay while in Manila especially during the contest period. But mother and daughter joined hands in pursuing the dreamed of stardom because Raquel firmly believed in her daughter’s talent.
It’s no secret that Charice’s parents are separated. She was a pre-schooler when the sad reality of a broken home dawned on her. And right after having international exposure, there were talks that Charice’s estranged father had asked her to cease using Pempengco in her screen name.
In raising Charice and Carl, Raquel had to work hard. In fact, when Charice was 9 years old and they moved to their apartment, they had nothing except for the sound system such that they had to borrow a sleeping mat.
Charice started joining singing contests since she was 7 years old. From amateur contests up to television. Raquel had to resign from her job when her daughter’s career had turned very promising.
Charice with an unknown host in an obscure mall in Cainta
As what we already know, Charice was a finalist in the Little Big Star singing contest of ABS-CBN. And although she got a good mileage on tv, because she was second to eventual winner Sam Concepcion, her career stagnated for a while until someone posted her video on youtube.com. That explosive video was uploaded by Dave Duenas a.k.a. False Voice.
With luck on her side, that youtube video caught the fancy of the Koreans. Starking, a popular singing contest on Korean TV, invited Charice to be a guest on their show. Not only the host and the audience but even the contestants were all amazed at Charice’s outstanding performance as her lilting voice sang And I’m Telling You. That was late 2007, the start of Charice’s international sojourn.
The lucky video was actually a sort of showdown between Charice and Bianca Ryan, the champion of America’s Got Talent singing contest. Since then, Dave had been uploading videos of Charice from time to time as a hobby.
Perhaps a lucky streak, not only the Koreans were attracted to the youtube videos of Charice. It also caught the fancy of a staff of Ellen DeGeneres. It didn’t take time for Ellen herself to search for Charice. Before the year 2007 ended, Charice and her mother flew to the US.
Definitely, Charice’s guesting on the Ellen DeGeneres show, especially with the standing ovation she got, marked a stamp of genuine success on her bio-data. And what immediately followed was a TV guesting on the Paul O’Grady show.
The streak continued when Oprah Winfrey, the most influential TV host in the world, had Charice in her show as part of the World’s Smartest Kids theme. Mesmerized by the powerful voice of the little girl, Oprah had guested Charice again and even asked her staff to make a documentary of Charice’s life. A double standing ovation was accorded Charice’s performance for her second guesting in the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Doubling the delight of mother and daughter, Oprah signified her intention to handle Charice’s career in the international scene via Harpo Productions. Charice was detoured to Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas for the concert of David Foster and Friends. The little girl was on stage with Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Peter Cetera and Brian McKnight.
From the countless performances of Charice in different countries, the most notable was when she sang God Bless America in January 2009. That was at the pre-inauguration party of President Barack Obama.
Presently, Align Entertainment is managing the career of Charice in the US. Of course, Oprah still remains her mentor and fairy godmother.
David Foster, the renowned Canadian musician and composer, is the album producer of Charice. David is so fond of Charice that she sometimes introduces her as her daughter to other singers like Mariah Carey. He also refers to Charice as “a star is born.” Note To God, a song in her forthcoming album, is doing very well on the music charts of Amazon and iTunes. The album will be launched before the year ends.
My Heart Will Go On of Celine Dion, the theme song of the movie Titanic, was the first song memorized by Charice. It’s actually her favorite song and favorite singer too, reason enough to have that as the first song of her first concert.
Last June 27, 2009 at SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia, another dream came true for Charice, her first concert – The Journey Begins. Where before Charice was drawing on paper, this time her concert had drawn a really good crowd.
* Some info taken from Bum Tenorio’s article in Philstar *
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