FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo The Philippine Star | Updated March 13, 2012 12:00 AM
Charice with her new animé look charms the audience at the Smart Araneta Coliseum concert Friday night with a lively performance. Right: On her arrival Thursday night with Courtney Blooding, reportedly her personal assistant.
No matter what they tell us,
No matter what they do.
No matter what they teach us,
What we believe is true…
I can’t deny what I believe
I can’t be what I’m not.
I know I’ll love forever,
I know no matter what.
— from No Matter What, sung by the late Boyzone member Stephen Gately
Those used to seeing Charice as an unaffected probinsyana were incredulous, blinking a few times to make sure that what they were looking at was real, when she came home over the weekend for her solo concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Friday night.
At her rushed presscon one hour after she arrived, Charice wore huge, dark pink-rimmed shades, with her hair dyed blonde. She looked like a cross between Aiza Seguerra and Yeng Constantino, alangang Super Junior member at alangang 2NE1 member (one of them Sandara Park).
To complete the transformation, Charice flaunted a “Love Eternally” tattoo across her left arm, done in Singapore, she said.
Quote-unquote: I know so many people think that this is very rebellious but it’s not. It’s just me evolving. It’s me transforming into another person that is totally me.
Charice told Bum Tenorio, assistant editor/columnist of the The STAR’s Allure section and Charice’s neighbor in Cabuyao, Laguna, that her animé look was patterned after a character in Final Fantasy, her younger brother Carl’s favorite Japanese video game.
It’s a look that turned off many people…well, this one included. That look is more identified with Korean and Japanese pop idols.
The re-invention actually began months ago and became noticeable early this year when she came home to host a belated “debut” for her mother Raquel who was turning 40. She came right smack into a minor brouhaha over a glossy magazine cover of hers which was apparently photo-shopped. Charice said that except for removing a pimple, nothing was enhanced on her face.
At her mother’s “debut” held at a resort in her native Laguna, Charice showed up in crutches, wearing leather pants, with one leg in boots and the other in plaster cast after she broke it while skate-boarding with her brother Carl in the US. She sat close to Courtney Blooding, a pretty Canadian reportedly her personal assistant, the same one with whom Charice traveled on her recent homecoming.
As to be expected, people started suspecting Charice’s sexual preference and reading between the lines of her recent pronouncements which were kind of bold and daring compared to her previous shy and guarded answers.
Charice’s answer to the doubting Thomases (and those at the presscon hinting at her sexual preference)?
Quote-unquote: Why would you ask me that question? I think that’s a very inappropriate question. For me, just love me. I’m a person. If you think I’m a boy or a girl or if I look like a boy, then fine. I’m Charice.
Yes, Charice, be the person that you are. After all, you are turning 20 (in May) and you should know what you want to be and what direction you want to take. Be what you are, no matter what, be yourself! That’s a well-meaning piece of advice from me, your godparent (ninong sa binyag at kumpil, together with, among others, Boy Abunda, Julius Babao, your Cabuyao neighbor Bum and your mentor Oprah Winfrey).
The truth should set you free. As the STAR logo says, Truth Shall Prevail.
Don’t mind what people will see or think, as long as you are happy and at peace with yourself.
As you have been quoted: “I know what people think. I don’t care. This is the look that I want. The only thing that you can do is move on.”
Go ahead, Charice, move on!
If only tears were laughter,
If only night was day.
If only prayers were answered,
Then we would hear God say:
No matter what they tell you,
No matter what they do.
No matter what they teach you,
What you believe is true.
— from the same song
(P.S. There’s a little debate whether Charice’s Infinity concert at the Big Dome Friday night was commercially successful. Was the venue only 50 percent full or was the size of the audience bigger than that? What I know is that the commercial success of a concert is measured not by the number of seats occupied [there might be dozens, even hundreds, of “complis” given away] but by the number of tickets sold. But there’s no doubt that, as the glowing reviews showed, the concert was critically successful.)