MANILA – International singing sensation Charice defended herself from criticisms hurled against her by "Bayan Ko" singer Freddie Aguilar.
In an e-mail sent to abs-cbnNEWS.com, 17-year-old Charice said she would not be where she is right now if she did not sing Whitney Houston and Celine Dion’s hits when she was still a struggling singer.
She also noted that American Oprah Winfrey, one of the world’s most influential people, would not have noticed her if she sang Filipino songs.
"Madi-discover po ba ako kung hindi ko po kinanta ang kanta ni Ms.Whitney? ni Ms.Celine? Kung kakanta po ako ng Tagalog sa [The Oprah Winfrey Show], maiintindihan po ba ni Ms.Oprah?” she said.
She said that Winfrey might probably like to hear Filipino songs but she disclosed that usually it is not up to her to decide what songs to sing in her shows abroad.
“Sila rin naman po namimili ng mga kakantahin ko po. At wala po akong magagawa doon. Dahil kahit sila po mismo, English po ang pinakakanta nila sa akin... and siyempre po iyon po ang papatok sa Amerika," Charice said.
She said in her heart she remains a Filipino whether or not she sings Tagalog songs. Charice also boasted that the world even knows her as “the artist from the Philippines.”
"Kahit naman po hindi ako kumanta ng Tagalog sa puso ko Filipino pa rin po ako," Charice said.
Charice said she also believes that, even if she copies the styles of other international artists, no one has the right to compare her and other Filipino singers who made it in the international music arena to monkeys.
"Hindi naman po sa [dahil magaling sa] panggagaya matatawag na po tayong unggoy. Para po sa akin [ang panggagaya] ay isa iyon talento na hindi magagawa ng ibang lahi ng basta basta po," Charice added.
Despite the controversial remark of the "Anak" singer, she holds no grudge against Aguilar. She said she still admires him and respects his opinion.
Meanwhile, the teen singer, who is now in the US to complete her first international album, is also grateful to Gary Valenciano for defending her.