Singer Charice Pempengco
Controversial singer celebrates 'the real me'
MANILA, Philippines -- Charice's recent birthday party served as a "coming out" celebration for the 21-year-old singer, according to one of her godfathers.
Amid speculations about Charice's sexual preference, columnist Büm Tenorio, who is also the singer's godfather, published a story titled "You're the man, Charice!" on The Philippine Star on Tuesday, detailing the former "X Factor" judge's birthday celebration held last May 10.
Tenorio, however, didn't explicitly say if Charice confirmed that she is a lesbian.
Referring to the party, Tenorio wrote, "[Charice] intimated to me that [it] was her 'coming out' of sorts."
The gathering, according to Tenorio, was held at a pool resort in Calamba City, and attended by 67 guests. The columnist described the party as a "mini concert," with Charice performing 15 songs.
"Instead of wearing a pink gown as she walked down the spiral staircase, [Charice] wore a pair of black pants, a pink long-sleeved shirt with a fuchsia bow tie on the night of her celebration," Tenorio wrote.
"Instead of long locks stubbornly gathered in a bun, she wore a short do that was slightly licked with hair wax, the emphasis was given on her sideburns," he added.
According to Tenorio, who was among the godfathers of Charice when she was baptized into Catholic Church in 2010, the singer's performances on her birthday were "a message of newfound independence, a clear shout out to the world that she was free, uninhibited, without apologies."
'Free as a bird'
Recalling his conversation with Charice shortly before the party, Tenorio quoted the singer as saying, "I feel free as a bird, Ninong Büm."
Asked where "this feeling of freedom is coming from," Charice said, "I’m able to express myself better now. I have come to accept the real me. I have come to love the real me. I now celebrate the real me."
Charice, Tenorio added, also addressed her "bashers" on social media, who have been critical about her new look.
"Noong bata pa po ako na wala kami halos makain, may nangungutya na sa akin. Ngayon, kahit i-bash nila ako nang i-bash, nakakakain na po ako at ang pamilya ko," the columnist quoted Charice as saying.
Bringing up her family's comfortable financial status, Charice added, "Even if I don’t work for 10 or more years, I know we will still eat. But why will I do that? The only thing that is changed in me is my look, my perspective. My voice remains the same."
According to Charice, she is set to perform in Indonesia and Germany, and will fulfill some recording commitments in Los Angeles.
Tenorio also quoted the singer as saying she will return to Japan for a show and a recording stint. Charice, the columnist added, is likewise set to return as a guest on "Ellen," where she first performed for an American audience in 2007.
Support from friends
Charice's first TV exposure in the United States led to a string of career opportunities, which marked her rise to international fame.
Among them was her guest appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2008. Winfrey is also one of Charice's godmothers in her baptism into Catholicism.
"Oprah just told me to keep my cool and not be affected," Charice told Tenorio, referring to her "bashers." "I assured her, 'Yes, Oprah, I can handle them. My spirit is made of titanium I will not break.'"
Still, Charice, according to the columnist, is thankful to her critics. "They make me so much stronger. I love them. I offer them peace. And I will forever be grateful to those who have loved me since Day One," citing her loyal fans dubbed "Chasters."
Renowned American singer Barbra Streisand has also reportedly expressed support for Charice. "She was one of those who told me I don’t owe anybody any explanation," Charice told her godfather.
After Charice sang the "Pink" song "Perfect" at her party, Tenorio, who was the emcee at the gathering, exclaimed, "You’re the man, Charice! You’re the man!"
"That night, indeed, the international singing phenom was very free," he wrote.
According to Kapamilya host Boy Abunda last Sunday, Charice has agreed to do a one-on-one interview with "The Buzz," which will be aired on June 2. It wasn't clear if it will be a live or a taped interview. Abunda also said he isn't sure if Charice will address speculations about her sexual preference.