Lea Salonga spoke about the importance of “creating smiles and entertaining” during the pandemic at the TIME100 Impact Awards held at the National Gallery in Singapore on Sunday.
Salonga was named as one of the recipients of Time magazine's TIME100 Impact Awards for the year 2022.
The honorees are being recognized for being visionaries “who have gone above and beyond to make an impact and move their respective industries forward.”
“It’s really surreal to be here right now and I am incredibly humbled and very overwhelmed for this honor. Thank you to everyone at TIME for recognizing me along with these incredibly amazing humans who have all made such amazing contributions to our world,” Salonga said in her acceptance speech.
As someone who was enamored with theater and music at the young age of 7, Salonga said she never imagined she would be recognized for being impactful.
“I just wanted to make people smile. I just wanted to entertain. And doing that, creating smiles and entertaining became so much more important to me over the last two and a half years. What a privilege it is to be with you all here tonight for celebration and fellowship – something we weren’t able to do for so long during the COVID pandemic… those were dark times for many of us, myself included,” she said.
Giving credit to her talented colleagues and friends, Salonga said they were the ones who shone “a constant light for me at the end of a very dark tunnel.”
Hence, she wants to share her recognition with her fellow entertainers “who, through a time of great uncertainty and darkness, continued to do what they were put on this earth to do -- to take our minds off our woes and troubles, even for just a few minutes, through song or dance or words.”
“They did so without acclaim or wealth, without being asked or being rewarded. They coaxed smiles from weary faces. They gave eyes and ears a rest from the constant barrage of sirens and bad news. They showed up. They were, in a word, impactful. And this is for them.”