When asked to react to a rather malicious rumor questioning her popularity, Charice simply replied, “I am not competing [with anyone], I am just simply doing my job…” (translated from tagalog, SNN July 07, 2009). This may sound ironic coming from a young lady who started singing at four-years-old and has joined more than eighty singing contests by age 12. You might expect that the competitive drive would be second nature to her. On the contrary…
On separate occasions, Charice displayed humility when she wept profusely because of admiration and awe upon meeting her favorite artists, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. In an episode of Oprah (September 9, 2008), she candidly identified what others perceived as her flaws, “they say I don’t have what it takes, and that I am not pretty….” And, with head held high, she boldly described her unprivileged living conditions without any hint of embarrassment. This openness to expose her weaknesses and vulnerabilities definitely does not characterize competitiveness.
Even though it has only been barely a couple of years since discovered in America, Charice is not narrowly focused solely on her own career advancement. Just in the last couple of weeks, she openly supported new and aspiring artists, such as Rhap, Jessica, Carmella, and helped them gain more attention from her followers. Her desire to share her accomplishments with family and friends is also quite overt, involving them in her endeavors, such as her first major concert in the Philippines. Charice’s willingness to share the limelight and desire for others to take part in her achievements show her generosity, not typical in competitive nature.
Thus, perhaps, Charice’s modesty, generosity, and lack of pretensions show that her contest-packed life was not much about competing with others, but more about overcoming personal struggles. Charice’s life was an uneven playing field. She was already concerned about helping her mother put food on the table while other kids were sheltered by the innocence of childhood. Despite the unfair disadvantage of having to contend with those who are more financially fortunate to have nicer clothes and more eloquent speech, her resolve to succeed did not require stepping on anyone. Without pessimism, she answered these challenges with dignity, “gave her best” in every performance, persevered, and survived.
Amid fame, public scrutiny, and constant pressures to conform and assimilate, she is unwavering in being true to herself. This playful and unpretentious teenager just simply says it as it is, with no frills. Although her candor gets her misconstrued many times, she nonetheless consistently “walks her talk.” As such, I believe her claim, not to be in competition with anyone. Besides, her journey from her humble beginnings to where she is now, at only 17, has taken her farther than most people. To me, even though the best is yet to come, regardless of how far she gets, in the competition of “life” – she has already won!
Written and submitted by DrTP