A letter to ChariceRead the full article
You made me proud as your Ninong all the more after I saw you at the David Foster and Friends (DFF) concert Tuesday night. How mature your voice is now. I must say that, indeed, you’re every inch an international star.
Thank you for the backstage pass your mother Raquel gave me. In the middle of the concert, I had a field day roaming around the backstage of Smart-Araneta Coliseum. I went inside your dressing room to say hi but you weren’t there when I entered. But just the same, I stayed in your room even for a while. I sat on a comfy sofa and for a minute remembered how it was before for you when you were not yet “discovered” and “loved” by the world.
I must say your dressing room in Araneta that night was big. I thought it was bigger than the first apartment where you stayed in Gulod. Well, you and I will agree that your dressing room in Araneta was so much bigger than the toilet of a network where you used to change clothes when you had TV guestings. I remember you peeping in the solo dressing rooms of established stars, hoping that you would have your own one day, with your name plastered on the door. God is good He heard your pleas. As I always tell you, good things happen to good people. I hope you remain your good, humble self all the time. I hold no reservation that, despite your fame and yes, fortune, that is still achievable.
Thank you for the two tickets that Tita Grace Mendoza (your manager) sent to the house. Tita Christine (Dayrit) and I had a glorious view of the concert. Our vantage point was reminiscent of the night when you came to the house to entertain us with more than 30 songs.
At the DFF in Manila, we enjoyed the comedic repartees of David and the voices of Russel Watson, Ashanti, Philip Bailey and Michael Bolton. Pero syempre, Tita Christine and I were eagerly waiting for you. When the lights on stage were dimmed for a while, we knew it was your turn to sing. We were hoping David would give you the same superlatives when he introduced you the way he did for the others. Instead, when the houselights were turned on, you were there already on center stage. It was when David said nothing at all for your introduction that he said it all no need to introduce you because you are already a household name, you are already a star.
You had not yet opened your mouth to sing but the Big Dome was already ripped off with the thunderous applause of the crowd. And I must say, I give it to your loyal and loving fans the “Chasters” for giving you the loudest ovation. The Chasters went loco, too, when you acknowledged them after your very heartfelt rendition of Power of Love.
I heard you sing that song in your apartment in Gulod in 2003 or 2004. We were in the terrace of your rented house. Your mother was unrelenting because she always asked you to repeat the song from the top every time you missed a high note or when you are not breathing properly as you sang. When I thought it was already a good rendition, your mother your mentor and critic was always ready to give her constructive comments. So, the whole day, you were singing Power of Love. And there, at that moment, I discovered all the more your “power” and more so the “love” for you of your mother.
I miss laughing with you...
When I caught you at the side of the stage, you were preparing for your next number a duet with Michael Bolton. You were surprised to see me. Like little kids, we were jumping up and down as we were huddled in a tight embrace. You talked to me in English and I jokingly admonished you to talk to me in Tagalog. (By the way, your English now is very good. A lot better than when you asked me to teach you English before. Haha.) You were thankful that I came that night. I admit, that second DFF in Manila was your first concert that I saw.
I left the backstage when you started to sing The Prayer with Michael Bolton. I sat beside your mom and together we watched you sing and soar. Your mom was teary eyed. She remains your beacon of hope, your will to survive, your lighthouse when your sailing is threatened by long, dark nights. In your mother’s eyes, you remain her “Minggay.” You should have seen how tears welled up in her eyes, filled with love for the daughter who, together with your brother Carl, means the world to her.
Take care of yourself wherever you go when you do your own, ehem, world tour soon. You’ve really gone a long way from the days when we would ride pedicabs around the village. Gone, too, were the days when, after your school, you would sell isaw in front of Gulod Elementary School just so you would have allowance the following day. I hope to one day see your school, the Southern New Hampshire University in Boston, where you are pursuing a degree in Communication Arts as an online scholar student.
I am confident you will keep that humility in your heart. The more you keep your feet on the ground, the more you will be blessed. I will repeat, good things happen to good people.
More beautiful things await you, Cha. God bless you.
Other Charice articles by the same author:
A 'Telephone' conversation with Sunshine Corazon, October 10, 2010
The Charice I Know, May 30, 2010
'Gusto mo bang maging kumare si Oprah?', May 2, 2010
Charice, February 8, 2009