MANILA -- Former Miss Philippines Earth Imelda Schweighart on Monday stood by her statement that she does not like K-pop despite getting online backlash, but was quick to clarify that she has nothing personal against the fans of the genre.
Schweighart, who is now a singer under the stage name Imelda, said it was not her intention for her remarks to go viral.
In an online interview with the local tabloid Abante, she reiterated that she is not expecting her fellow Filipinos to support her music but to be more open to listening to local talents, particularly independent artists.
"I grew up in a musician family. Everybody sings, everybody's an artist in my family. And I don't listen to that music," she explained. "I think that it's a chance for every Filipino to really look within and actually appreciate what we have right now."
She went on: "It's easy to support people that are backed by big corporations, but I think it's more fulfilling for fans if they're the ones who really discover the artist... We can't keep on continuing to see that machine that, oh it's amazing kasi like sobrang papayat, sobrang gawang-gawa. And these kids are not aware that they are shaping their lives and morphing their brains into believing this lie."
"And for me, parang it's passion, that thought out of me that said 'I hate K-pop.' It's passion. I just hate it and... I want us to have our own identity."
Schweighart, whose Facebook account has been banned following the controversy, said she is not "afraid" to be criticized even more after what she just said in the interview.
She believes the issue involving her can serve as an "eye-opener" for many Filipinos as she mentioned the importance of "variety" and "diversity" in the music being made available in the Philippines.
"It's an eye-opener as well for people... not everybody loves K-pop and we as Filipinos and media providers shouldn't just be supporting something just because maraming fans. We should be feeding people with variety, diversity... Let's not support body and face dysmorphia," she said.
"I am not against the fans, I think they just don't have enough choices to pick from here in the Philippines. Wala silang enough choice, wala ngang variety. That's what I'm trying to point out," she added.
"They tune to K-pop, K-drama, and all these other stuff because they don't have variety. We don't honor creativity here. We just keep on doing the same thing over and over again. And I'm sick of it. And some people are sick of it as well."
Skip to the 23:00 mark in the video below to watch Schweighart stand by her "I hate K-pop" remark:
Schweighart earlier referred to herself as an "independent artist," and described her music as having a "tribal sound."
Her singles, such as "Power Trip," "Bubba Luva," and "Super Wave," are available on Spotify.
Schweighart made headlines in 2016 when she relinquished her crown as Miss Philippines Earth, following her controversial statements as the country's representative in the pageant.