MANILA – Internationally acclaimed Filipina pop songstress, Charice Pempengco, recently took to social media to give voice to her misgivings as to whether her fellow-nationals are truly proud of what she has achieved through the years.
Pempengco said she has, on occasion, endured “bullying” from Filipino viewers despite her success on the international music scene.
22-year-old Pempengco – perhaps best-known for her hit song “Pyramid” – made her debut on American television in 2007 when she was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. In 2008, she appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show, after which she was dubbed by the famed host herself as “the most talented girl in the world.”
Since then, she has toured with Canadian composer-producer David Foster, has appeared on the TV musical “Glee”, and in the Disney movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” The singer has also received acclaim for her albums, which have been released internationally.
Still, Pempengco says that many Filipino viewers choose to focus on what they view as her shortcomings. Adding insult to injury, they likewise continue to lambast her looks, and her personal life; particularly her sexuality.
In June 2013, Pempengco made waves when she “came out of the closet;” admitting in an interview on “The Buzz” that she is a lesbian. Although this admission brought an end to months of speculation and rumours on the matter, it fueled a barrage of criticism, as well.
Pempengco revealed that she dreads checking on her social media accounts – especially after she appears as a guest on local television shoes – because of the flood of critical comments, targeting her as a person.
She lamented that there are times that she finds herself thinking that if she had the good looks of a matinee idol, then Filipinos would perhaps appreciate her more for her successes.
This is Pempengco’s full message on Instagram:
“Ito lang nasa isip ko ng ilang taon na. Ang showbiz dito sa Pilipinas, mahirap. ‘Di ko alam ang status ko, kung mahal ba ako ng sarili kong bansa o kailangan ko paring i-prove ‘yung sarili ko?
“Sa ilang taon na nagta-trabaho ako, hindi man kasing tagal ng ibang idols niyo, mahirap parin ‘yung pinagdaanan ko.
“Nakikipag sapalaran [ako] sa bansang ‘di ko naman kinalakihan. Napasama ako sa mga malalaking TV shows, pero pagdating ko dito, iba parin ang hinahanap as akin, iba parin ang nilalait sa akin — pananalita ko, itsura ko, mga sinusuot ko, buhok ko, sekswalidad ko, buhay ko, lahat na.
“Napapagkamalan akong mayabang. Dahil ba nakatungtong [ako] ng ibang bansa? Pinagtatawanan ako dati kasi raw mali-mali Ingles ko, pati ibang artista (kung puwede lang mag-drop names). May oras na puro laman ng news ay halos issues kaysa sa achievements na nakukuha ko.
“Kaya minsan, nandoon ‘yung oras na parang may wall ako sa harap ko, straight lang mukha ko. Kasi ayoko na nung time na inaapi at pinagtatawanan ako. Gusto ko may respeto kahit kaunti.
“Nakikita ko ang mga taong nagmamahal sa akin at nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat. Pero aminin natin na pag kumanta na ako dito, nakakatakot buksan ang ibang social networks. Ang daming bully.
“Ito, joke ito sa isip ko. Natatawa ako pag iniisip, pero medyo totoo din. Minsan iniisip ko — kung kamukha kaya ako ng isa sa pinaka guwapong artista ngayon, tapos same achievements, iba kaya ang trato?
“Nagsasabi lang po ako ng totoo. Ganito na talaga ngayon.
“Masarap lang ilabas ang nararamdaman, pero salamat kay Lord at pinpatatag Niya ako. Sa lahat ng reklamo ko, kuntento na ako. Basta nandiyan ‘yung mga totoong taong nagmamahal sa akin. I love you back at patuloy ang buhay!
“Good night sa inyo at pasensya na kung naduling kayo sa post ko. God bless!”