Will Charice stay in US?
With her star fast rising in America, will Charice finally decide to stay there (since she holds an “extra-ordinary ability” visa processed by immigration lawyer and STAR columnist Michael Gurfinkel)?
“It depends,” Charice was quoted as saying.
Meaning, if offers out there come one after another, why not?
In the meantime, Charice will be, as usual, shuttling between the US and the Philippines depending on where work is.
The newest feather on Charice’s cap was her performance in two of the Obama pre-inaugural parties held at the Mandarin Oriental and at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel. It wasn’t Oprah, said to be Charice’s adviser, who facilitated the inclusion of Charice in the event but Michael and his wife Millie.
“Millie has ‘connections’ with Loida Nicolas Lewis, a prominent Filipina in the US, kaya nakasali si Charice sa pre-inaugural balls,” said a Funfare source. “Michael and Millie are also avid supporters of Democrats (Pres. Barack Obama is one) and they attended several fund-raising events for Democrats, including the one for the Clintons.”
Here are excerpts of an article about that event written by Momar G. Visaya for The Asian Journal (circulated in the US) titled “Charice Rocks Obama Pre-inaugurals” datelined Washington D.C., a clipping of which was e-mailed to Funfare by Millie:
The unstoppable Charice brought yet another honor to the Philippines and her millions of kababayan when she wowed audiences during two very important pre-inaugural gala events held in this city to celebrate the swearing-in of Pres. Barack Obama.
And this was not just the usual audience.
President Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and her husband Conrad were both teary-eyed when Charice performed her show-stopping version of God Bless America at the Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala held at the Mandarin Oriental on Monday, Jan. 19, the eve of the President’s historic swearing-in.
“That beautiful and powerful rendition, which came from this small package, is capable to shatter the biggest apathy in this world,” Soetoro-Ng told the audience as she hugged Charice.
Soetoro-Ng and her husband represented Pres. Obama in the gala that gathered nearly 1,500 personalities and community leaders in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Businesswoman and philanthropist Loida Lewis was instrumental in the decision to invite Charice to perform. Ms. Lewis and Millie Gurfinkel have both attended various fund-raisers for the Democratic Party, and they discussed about the wonder girl that is Charice. Loida then conferred with the gala co-chairs Gloria Caoile and Francey Lim Youngberg for the inclusion of Charice in the program.
“Charice is now an international symbol of not letting adversity get you down. She is the symbol of what Barack Obama says, ‘Yes, I can!’ She rightfully deserves to be here in the biggest gathering of Asian American leaders,” Lewis said.
In the Martin Luther King, Jr. pre-inaugural gala aptly called Realizing the Dream at Hyatt Hotel, Charice was the finale performer. She also sang God Bless America, and was immediately hugged onstage by the hero’s son, Martin Luther King III.
“Sobrang kaba ko po kasi first time ko kasi na kakantahin yung God Bless America sa harap ng ganito katinding audience,” Charice said before the Hyatt event.
It turns out that she did not need to worry one bit. The audience, including the dignitaries who attended Sen. Edward Kennedy’s son Ted, Queen Noor and Atlanta Rep. John Lewis loved her performance.
Rep. Lewis’ legal assistant told us that the congressman was on the verge of tears while watching Charice perform. “It was such a heartfelt rendition. We loved it,” she said.
The event was held to commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the celebration of the Realizing Dream Awards. This year’s awardees were Sen. Edward Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, Burma’s Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Rev. Claude William Black.
Charice’s winning streak continued when she joined the reception at the Philippine Embassy and performed a couple of show-stopping numbers for her kababayan.
She was escorted to the event by lawyer Michael Gurfinkel and his wife Millie, and the Asian Journal, which alerted the embassy that Charice was in Washington, D.C., and that she wanted to pay Ambassador Willy Gaa a courtesy call.
“Iba pa rin po kasi kapag ang kinakantahan ko yung mga kababayan natin at kahit naman saan po ang marating ko, I am always a Filipino and I am proud to be one,” Charice said.
She sang One Moment in Time and God Bless America, pitch-perfect as usual, as she hit all those high notes. After each song, she was rewarded with wild applause, followed by hugs and words of congratulations and encouragement.
Labels: Charice Pempengco