Oprah: Charice to sing with Celine Dion in Madison Square Garden

By Ramil Digal Gulle, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 10 2008 06:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2008 09:18 PM

TEARS OF JOY. Charice breaks down upon meeting her idol Celine Dion on The Oprah Winfrey Show

"Hi Charice. Hi sweetheart. I have to tell you that I am speechless, to start with--and it's not a good way to start--I have, hmm, I have heard you sing. I have seen some, a little bit of your life story. And I am extremely ecstatic like the rest of the world who is watching right now. I can tell you that we have lots of things in common. And I also had a mother, still have a mother, who is my strength. My passion I carry in my heart. And so my beauty. And David Foster, you cannot even think of finding somebody even better than that to bring the best out of you. You have more talent than most people."

These were the words of a mother with a seven-year-old son who spoke to 15-year-old Filipina singer Charice Pempengco during an episode of Oprah. Charice, who has been the toast of music lovers all over the world, has probably heard similar praise before.

The difference is, the mother speaking via video conference from Washington, D.C. happens to be Celine Dion.

The magical moment, the words, the shocked expression on Charice's face when she realizes it's Celine Dion talking to her, are all captured in a YouTube link sent to abs-cbnNEWS.com. It's all there on a clip uploaded to YouTube.

But that's not all. Dion goes on with her message to Charice with even more good news for the young Filipina:

"You can sing. You can speak and sing with your heart. You can play the guitar... And you can have dreams because your life story is quite a painful one. Thank God your strength comes from your mother and your heart will go on and I'm pretty sure of that.

"And if I may I would love to propose something. I would love to do something very special with you. Next week, I'm gonna be singing at Madison Square Garden and I would love to ask you to come and sing a duet with me. And we can sing together. Maybe we can sing "Because You Loved Me", and maybe we can dedicate this song to your mother. So I hope you can travel and come in New York to meet with me," Dion told Charice.

According to www.oprah.com, Dion will perform at Madison Square Garden on September 15 and 16. (For the complete list of tour dates and venues go to this link.)

(Editor's note: The YouTube links provided in an earlier version of this story have been deactivated after a copywright claim by Harpo, Inc.)

Dream come true

Charice has met with a measure of international success but that moment with Dion is so far the peak experience for the former. Charice has always been open about her admiration for Dion, revealing that the very first song she learned to perform was the Canadian superstar's "My Heart Will Go On" which was the love theme of the Hollywood global blockbuster "Titanic".

It wasn't exactly God speaking to Charice, but that was probably the closest the Filipina singer could get to a similar experience. This was Celine Dion inviting her to sing a duet in Madison Square Garden!

No other Filipino singer has ever been bestowed with such an honor by a singer of such immense, global stature as Dion.

Dion in her message also told Oprah, "You have somebody amazing", referring to the Filipina.

Dion, who earlier told Charice that she could find no better person than David Foster to bring out her talent, then told Foster:

"David, take good care of that girl."

Dion is currently on a worldwide tour and will perform in every major city in North America. Dion's Madison Square Garden performance is part of that tour--and now Charice has received a personal invitation from the superstar to sing there as well.

Under wraps

abs-cbnNEWS.com a few months ago already received unconfirmed reports that there were talks for Charice to perform with "somebody really, really big" in the musical firmament.  However, there was no way to confirm if the news was true, nor the identity of the "really big" music superstar.

All sources available to abs-cbnNEWS.com were keeping information about the talks very tightly under wraps.

Until the YouTube links were emailed to abs-cbnNEWS.com by an alert reader.

The Oprah episode did a substantial report about Charice, her career and the painful experiences in her life and her triumphs, including an exclusive performance with international tenor Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany. You can watch the report here.

Perhaps, this story of a young Filipina singer's success is just what we need to hear to make us feel better, especially with all the bad news coming to us about our Court of Appeals, which has begun to seem very unappealing by the day.

If only, like Charice, more of us could reach for better, loftier things for ourselves and our fellow Filipinos, at a time when even some supposedly honorable members of the judiciary seem to have become comfortable debasing themselves.