mga awit ug yawit sa kasingkasing bisaya

The overkill of Pinoy singing exports

(First of 2 parts)

chariceIF you’re a fan of Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda, you might think I’m making fun of your heroes; so to be safe, skip this column and proceed to the Horoscope section.

If you’re still there, it’s nice to know we share the same irritation with anything that devours talents like it’s the Great Famine. It’s double the annoyance when you see the talents yielding like dumb sheep. It’s thrice the exasperation when you can’t change channel without seeing them being interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, Boy and Kris, Sharon Cuneta, Korina Sanchez, and the President of the Philippines.

What’s next, Charice on Al Jazeera?

I don’t have a problem with the country shifting export products from bananas to domestic helpers, to caregivers, to Mexican executioners, and now to miniature divas. I cry genuine tears of Pinoy joy after every Pacquiao fight; and the sight of those rattan chairs providing rest to celebrity butts in Hollywood makes me want to break into a patriotic rendition of Lupang Hinirang.

We should grab all chances of gaining international respect. But damn if we don’t have enough of Charice and Arnel on TV already! The Pinoy can sing, yeah, yeah. Now on to the next guest please.

Charice discovered singing at age 4 and started joining competitions in her province of San Pedro, Laguna at 7. It’s not stated how she fared in these amateur endeavors. My guess is that she kept losing because at that time she was still undecided whom to sound like—Celine Dion, Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey. She ended up idolizing the three equally and went on to win third place in ABS-CBN’s Little Big Star.

This early we already see two omens. First, Little Big Star is patterned after American Idol. ’Nuff said. Second, the Dionne-Houston-Carey triumvirate is the musical equivalent of the meteoric cataclysm that wiped out the dinosaurs. It’s the Apocalypse happening if by some crazy turn of events these three uber-divas get together in one act.

In 2007, a fan ominously named FalseVoice posted Charice’s performances on YouTube, sending our little diva flying to Stockholm, Sweden for a recording contract, then to the US for DeGeneres and Oprah.

That something is not so right about Charice’s instant rise to fame can be gleaned from the Oprah, where she was featured in the show’s World’s Smartest Kids episode. Wait a minute, Charice a kid? She was 16 when she appeared in Oprah!

We can argue at length about the coverage of this unrestricting noun “kid” to even include vertically-challenged presidents in the category. But a quick run through the list of the “children” who were featured in that Oprah episode might help:

1. Guyland Leday, 10, accordionist

2. Nancy Yi, 13, youngest best-selling author in Harper Collins history

3. Abigail Breslin, 12, Oscar nominee who brought one of the most popular American Girl dolls to life on the big screen

4. Lilly Gaskin, 2, geography whiz who can identify more than 100 countries in the map

5. Quincy Eaton, 9, danced his way the Oscars, the Grammys and the Superbowl

6. India’s Kishan Shrikanth, 12, youngest film director in history

7. Julian Pavone, the “Little Drummer Boy” who’s so young he still sits on his mother’s lap when not performing

8. Seven-year-old Rickie Taylor and Erik Linder, ballroom dancers

9. Quinn Sullivan, 9, guitar hero

10. Ethan Bortnick, 7, piano prodigy

11. Charice Pempengco, (age not stated), diva in the making

In the US, 16-year-old “kids” are getting pregnant. (to be continued)

SUN.STAR. DEC. 30, 2008

20 Responses to “The overkill of Pinoy singing exports”

  1. The sad part about the recognition and acclaims the 3 P’s (Pacquiao, Pineda & Pempengco) are garnering worldwide is the way the Phillippines is being exposed as a a third world country whose people live in unimaginable poverty. Filipinos should not get carried away and think that they have the best in everything. These 3 P’s are exceptions to the rule. They are extraordinary talents. In a country of 91 million people and only 3 stars? I don’t think that this is something to brag about.

  2. I think you’re stupid. The smartest kids episode was pre-recorded, Charice was 15 at that time and yes 15 year olds are still “kids”. 15 year olds can get pregnant but nonetheless they’re still kids. Now all about the hypes about Arnel and Charice, well you can interview the rattan chair maker all day long but is it going to sell. Who’s going to watch your show if all you have to offer is the rattan chair makers? Duh? And if she lost all her amateur endeavors (which is probably a false statement) so what? It’s what’s she capable of doing now. Yeah I’m right about you…. your’re a good writer but stupid.

  3. Hello Insoymada,

    I would have waited for the next installment of your thesis on ‘overkill’ but here is my initial impression to it.
    > That your comments are directed to people whose source of income are into journalism and/or the entertainment industry.
    > That you belong to this group, albeit doing your rounds of commenting as if you are on the other side of the fence. Still, you are devouring all write-ups on the subjects to come up with this dissertation.
    > That your editor approved of your writing to somehow dillute the overwhelming idolatric write-up on CHARICE and ARNEL.
    > That about half of your column deals on Oprah’s inclusion of CHARICE as belonging to a group of smart ‘KIDS’.
    > And that you ended your first installment with the statement: “In the US, 16-year-old “kids” are getting pregnant.

    I enjoy reading your piece. When is the 2nd installment?

  4. Filipinos suffer from deep troubles based on our history. We were enslaved by spaniards, americans and the japs for so many centuries. I guess this gives us the factor of pride when somebody or someone from our race rose to international fame. Filipinos are tired of being below, last and always in the dark. I guess its fair to give our fine race a chance. 🙂

  5. not to mention the millions of we are all proud of you, you are such an inspiration, you’re a dream come true and all other “speeches” that are only supposed to be said by celebrities when it’s some other celebrity’s birthday… hehehe… pinoys are very often easily overwhelmed with recognition making it obvious that we lack it.

  6. charice didn’t get the first place in the ABS-CBN little star thing because, i suspect, she wasnt pleasant-looking enough on-screen compared to the other winners.
    now that she’s a star, what a slap on the face of those who chose someone who sings less impressive than her but looks so much better on-cam.

    – v

  7. arrive na jud ka soy, kay naa na kay detractors! faet!

  8. I actually feel sorry for these singers. They do have the talent but they are cursed — they sing the same songs. Charice sings songs that force the veins in her neck to bulge like a a weightlifter’s biceps. We haven’t heard her sing an original song. And although Arnel Pineda has recorded original songs with Journey, the guy sounds just like Steve Perry.

  9. Hello Lorenzo,
    After reading your article, I would like to know something: What is your proposed course of action? These are your collective observations and opinions regarding the recent phenomenon of Filipino singers finding success/recognition outside of the P.I., but you make it sound like that they should not have bothered finding success because it’s now violating your sensibilities. But what would you propose that us readers do? I would like to know. P.S. By the way, not all 16-year-old “kids” are getting pregnant in the US. It’s possible some are, but I’m sure that phenomenon also holds true in other parts of the world. Cheers!

  10. hahahaha! gi-away btaw! 🙂
    congrats noy! you’re now a true blue columnist. im so proud of u. ;p

  11. i enjoyed reading your article.for me, there was sense and humor in it as well.

    honestly, i dnt know about charice or arnel before.cant imagine how they really look like when people were talking about them.i would say ive got to see who these people really are.

    i find it funny for some of us Filipinos because we would only pay attention to a person when others (like americans) are already amazed or awed by them.are we that poor in appreciating people like our own homegrown talents?i mean, why wait for others to notice them.ABS had her already but did not give her the break that she deserves too.

    i think insoy forgot to mention that charice life was featured in “Maaalalala Mo Kaya”. Zsazsa Padilla was her mother in that episode.Yeah!i watched it coz i dnt know her. Let me add this, Pacquaio also had a movie about his life–he was quite a womanizer too. I dnt know with Pineda. I find him such a “feeler”. I personally met and communicated with Jett Pangan before since he is the father of my former student.I find him cool and really a great singer.His band, The Dawn, they make their own compositions that were really a hit.Eraserheads too.Why does Pineda has to join pa Journey.Wala pa ring originality.Hes like “nakiki-hitch” sa banda. May I mention MYMP? This band is great. How come most of their songs are revival?Cant make their own?

    Im not super against them like with Charice but can we just have originality and be more creative.

    Charice is also singing the song, “I Will Survive” by Gaynor

  12. another post script….When an individual is already 13, 14, 15 or 16 years old, they are no longer called kids but teens!Thats why the word ends with “teen”.So that would make Charice a teenager already.You may check Hurlock’s book on Developmental Psychology.=) Smile! ! ! !

  13. haha. i’d have to say i love charise pempengco..i mean she was my bet during that season of little big star. but she lost. anyhow, i agree to cebuaANNA above when she said we only learn to appreciate talent once the world appreciates them. i mean, if not for oprah, or ellen, or the world recognizing charise’s talent, she’d just “die” out as the rest of the other kids in that contest. she’s very talented but she’s also very lucky. i’d say she deserves all the success she’s been getting although i’d like to say the pinoys can’t be too proud enough. hehe.

    serious kau na nga comment bai! hehe.

  14. salamat sa tanang nakig-ambit sa gasa sa katawa.

    mga tawong nanobra ka-seryoso sa kinabuhi, pamahawa mo diri and get a life! pak u!

  15. Good one bro….:) I’m up for your article dyud 🙂

  16. Wala pod koy problema about our fine exports, bananas, rattans, OFW’s, Charice & Arnel. They deserve all the recognition and the last two truly deserve their present enourmous, shiny paychecks to secure their own & their families’ future. They are just trying to make it out in this world. Kaw pod, ako pod, ana ra god!

    Kung datu pod ko pareho ni Oprah mang-discover pod ko og daghan pang talents sa pilipins kay puslan man dato ko og nag-apaw apaw ang mga talented pero pobre dire! So kinsa man ang mga dato diha, tagai na ninyo opportunities ang mga talents, now na! Basig papildi na pod mo kay Oprah og kung unsaon man nya pagpromote iyang discovery, tawagon ba niya of child, oldie, little, huge — way magbagutbot ha!

    If today is Charice’s & Arnel’s time, great for them! If as artists they need to finally come on their own originals in the future, nagplano na ko daan na suportahan sila — basta lang ipromote para makahibalo ko! If their voices would start to annoy me, balhin na lang nako channel or dli paminawon, nonetheless lipay gyapon ko para sa ilaha!

    Kung daghan pa mo kaila na mga uber talented na gusto ninyong ma-discover, i-promote na lang sila like writing articles about them perhaps?

    As a pinoy wala na siguro koy lain pang mabati kundi kalipay para sa ilaha og pasalamat sa ilang kontribusyon kay atleast dli lang diay baha og kurapsyon ang balita sa pilipinas!

    Thanks for da article! Next artist pls!

  17. P.S. nagboto-boto diay ko kay Charice sa Little Big Star. Akong lola iyang bet si sam concepcion. Lol!

  18. solid kah idol sana mag meet nah tau,xobrang saya qoh kung ngyari poh un,,

  19. ang kapal…ur so ugly..ewww….

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