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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Charice will be home for Valentine's

These past two years, since she was launched to international fame by Ellen DeGeneres, Charice has been shuttling between home and the US, making hay while the sun shines.

“This is not forever,” Charice said, and it’s good that she’s practical and realistic, saving for the proverbial rainy days when all that is over and new Filipino talents (there are many of them around, including Rhap Salazar who recently appeared on Ellen’s show) get their share of the international spotlight.

With the guidance of her mom, Raquel, Charice has been investing her earnings on real estate (the latest being a resthouse in Tagaytay City) and Raquel’s long-dreamed-of restaurant. Charice has no less than Oprah Winfrey as adviser.

Even if she continues to get fat offers for shows abroad, Charice knows how to look back, so every chance she gets she comes home to share her talent with her kababayan.

She’ll soon fly to the US again to fulfill more commitments but she will definitely be back in February next year to perform at a major Valentine’s Day concert titled Ryan Cayabyab’s Charice in Concert on the 14th at the PICC Plenary Hall. Produced by Xclusive Hits & Events, Inc., the concert will feature as special guests Erik Santos, George Yang and Ogie Alcasid, together with the Ryan Cayabyab Singers in special production numbers. Ryan is the concert’s musical director.

At 17, Charice said that she doesn’t have a boyfriend yet but that’s the least of her concerns.

“Work muna,” she said. “Saka na ang love-love na ‘yan.”

In recent years, Charice is the biggest Filipino “export” to the international music
scene. A look-back is in order.

She has gone a long way since her early days as runner-up (to Sam Concepcion) in the ABS-CBN talent search Little Big Star. For a while, she “languished” in so-so guestings in TV shows that began to give her importance and the well-deserved exposure only after she was discovered by Ellen, thanks to a fan who posted videos of her live performances — including of I Will Always Love You and And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going from the Dreamgirls soundtrack — on YouTube where a staffer of Ellen’s show spotted Charice.

There was no stopping the rise of Charice’s star since then.

It did not take long before she attracted the attention of other leading American TV programs, including Oprah who recommended Charice to top music producer David Foster who opened for Charice new doors to more and bigger opportunities in the international music and entertainment arena. Foster included Charice in his latest CD along with big-name artists.

She was soon invited by the Grammy Award-winning producer to perform on his David Foster and Friends PBS show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, which featured star-studded names like Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Katharine McPhee and Josh Groban.

When the program returned to the Mandalay Bay last spring, Charice received no less than six standing ovations from an obviously delighted audience.

In between the two Vegas appearances, Charice went on to perform with Andrea Bocelli during his birthday concert on Sept. 26, 2008 in his hometown of Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy, where, aside from her solo numbers, she also did a duet of The Prayer with the famous tenor in front of more than 8,000 people.

During her most recent appearance on Oprah’s show (which is signing off in 2012), Charice elicited the ultimate tribute from the host: “You are a force to be reckoned with. That voice comes from something bigger than yourself. You’re pulling it up out of some place deeper than your little body.”

Charice has spent a great part of 2009 in the States, recording her debut US album, performing as one of the headlining acts in the David Foster and Friends 10-city North American tour, and appearing in her first Hollywood feature film, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel, showing nationwide starting on Jan. 8 next year.

Her first US album is due for release in February or March next year with Pyramid, the carrier single, available in the market in January.

Aside from appearing as herself in the film, Charice is also part of the official movie soundtrack with her rendition of No One by Alicia Keys, accompanied by The Chipettes.

Charice ended 2009 the way it started: in a big way. She topped an online poll by the Oprah’s show, edging out global singing superstars like Whitney Houston, James Taylor, Michael Bublé, Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Hudson, Journey and Black Eyed Peas.

Charice was picked as the winner of the Best Oprah Show Musical Performance award, receiving 70 percent of total votes for her performance of Note To God, her debut international single that she launched on the show last May 18. The song, written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, peaked at No. 35 in the Canadian Hot 100 and No. 44 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

Her coming Valentine’s Day show brings back the singing sensation to the local concert scene eight months after her first major solo concert last June 27 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia.

[Note: Tickets to Ryan Cayabyab’s Charice In Concert are priced at P5,808, P5,492, P5,069, P4,541, P4,013, P2,957, P1,901 and P845, and are available at Ticketnet outlets located at all SM Department Stores (customer service area) and at the Araneta Coliseum ticket booths. For inquiries and reservations, call 911-5555. Tickets are also available at Xclusive Hits & Events, Inc. office. Call Joan Sevilla at 0917-8121537 or 287-4523/448-4183/288-3401 to 3403.]

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