MANILA, Philippines—Like her mentor and biggest supporter, American TV host Oprah Winfrey, Filipina singer Charice Pempengco also has a closet full of her favorite things.
Days before her 18th birthday (May 10) and the release of her self-titled international CD (on Warner Music on May 11), Charice shares her collections—mostly mementos from her amazing journey so far.
Each trinket tells a story and, quite interestingly, also reveals certain facets of the real personality of this petite teenager dubbed “the most talented girl in the world” by Oprah.
Charice relates that she’ll be repackaged into a more mature artist soon. “I used to wear sweet, cutesy and fluffy dresses.”
Gone are those awful “Little Miss Philippines” gowns. Now, her closet is crammed with edgier outfits, “skinny jeans, even leather,” she says. “Pop star ang dating [Like a Pop star]. There’s even a Lady Gaga-inspired costume. Ms Oprah joked that we have to accept the fact that I’m no longer a baby.”
Although Charice is now on the cusp of a reinvention, she remains very much a kid at heart—as is evident in her current obsessions: dolls, gadgets and other toys.
On the red carpet, she’s always dolled up, but in the recording studio she dresses down.
“I want to be comfortable. I just wear white Lacoste top and skinny jeans. Simple yet fashionable pa rin [still],” she points out.
Her mom Raquel is her personal shopper. “She knows the styles that I like. Eksakto [Just right]. Walang labis, walang kulang [Nothing more, nothing less].”
In the States, mom usually shops at The Grove and the Beverly Center. “When Charice is in the US, I make her wear clothes from the Philippines. When she’s here, she wears clothes from abroad … so that she’d look unique,” mom Raquel explains.
Oprah’s former producer Lisa Erspamer (who’s now with the host’s network OWN) also bought some clothes for Charice.
“I was supposed to be the surprise in Ms Lisa’s farewell party. Problem was, she saw one of the tops she bought for me in the studio. Ms Oprah’s staff had to tell her that the outfit was owned by Alicia Keys,” says Charice.
Charice also loves wearing hairbands, hats and all sorts of headgear, on- and offstage.
Bad-hair days are easily solved by hats and caps. “Headbands keep my hair away from my face,” she says.
She collects Michael Jackson fedora hats which she pairs with white polo shirts.
Her mom once bought one such hat. “It was one of a kind,” Charice swears.
In her first local concert, Charice got carried away and threw the hat toward the audience. “My mom was upset, but I told her I was happy because a Chaster (avid fan) got it.”
She throws mementos to the audience, she says, in the hopes that her biggest fans would catch them.
“I want them to have little souvenirs from me,” she says.
Although it’s her mom who’s obsessed with bags, Charice admits that she sometimes buys a few totes—including one shaped like a guitar.
The most expensive item in her shoe rack is a Burberry pair.
“My mom was supposed to buy that pair, but since I liked it, she gave it to me na lang [instead],” Charice says.
Ever since she was a kid, Charice likes wearing the same outfits and shoes as her mom.
During this interview, mom and daughter were both wearing espadrilles. “I’m inggitera (envious) kasi,” Charice jokes.
Since she’s often on the road and flying to different time zones, shades come in handy when she’s suffering from jet lag and puffy eyebags.
“I have Oakley, Ed Hardy and Ray-Ban,” she notes. “But I don’t really go for branded shades. For as long as it’s stylish, I’d wear it.”
She prefers “polarized” eyewear: “It looks dark, but you can still see clearly through it. You can wear polarized sunglasses even at night.”
Charice’s new favorite scent is Endless Love by Victoria’s Secret Garden. Mom bought boxes of this brand on a recent trip to the US.
“She got me those small, handy bottles which I can put in my bag,” Charice says. “The fragrance stays on your skin and clothes for a long time.”
Last time she met with Oprah, the media mogul complimented her scent.
“She smelled my head. She asked for the name of my perfume brand. She liked it,” recounts Charice.
Being a child at heart, Charice collects dolls, too—mostly gifts from fans.
Cherished dolls are Chucky and The Bride of Chucky—given by a US-based fan after Charice’s birthday concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas last year.
She admits that she didn’t sleep a wink that night. “I was scared Chucky and his Bride would suddenly come to life and kill me,” she says, laughing.
She christened another fave as Chester, a realistic baby doll that she “adopted” on Nov. 17—the birthday of a brother who died as an infant.
“It was just coincidence. It was only after I bought Chester in Las Vegas that I realized he has the same birthday as my late brother Charles.”
She dotes on Chucky and Chester and buys baby clothes for them. “Chucky wears smaller versions of my Lacoste shirts. Gusto ko terno kami (I want our clothes to match),” she says.
Mom reports that the baby clothes she had bought for a godchild somehow wound up on Chester. “Charice spoils them like real babies,” says Raquel.
She has amassed other toys as well, including a Robert Pattinson action figure from “Twilight,” and two Chipmunks and a Chipette.
She appeared in a cameo role in the “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” last year.
“I only got Simon and Theodore. Sold-out daw si Alvin, so we got Britanny, one of the Chipettes, instead.”
Mom recounts: “I got it at the Los Angeles airport. Good thing, the vendor is Pinoy, too. She promised that she’d set aside an Alvin stuffed toy for us.”
“When we go shopping in the US, my brother Carl and I leave our mom in the clothes section and we head off to the Mac store, to check out the gadgets,” Charice says.
Most of her techno gear are bought abroad. “You can get the latest gadgets there. My PSP Go is as small as a cell phone,” she notes.
Her PSP screen saver is Lady Gaga, a current fave singer.
On her laptop, she usually plays The Sims 3. “I like building houses. You form a family and you take them shopping in the mall, or walking in the park. Bottom line is you get to control a family’s life!”
On her PSP, she’s heavily into racing games like Grand Theft Auto.
Who would’ve guessed that dainty Charice can strum a Gibson electric guitar?
A US-based fan knew and gifted Charice with a tin-ful of personalized guitar picks.
“I think she had them especially made,” says Charice.
Each pick features a photo of different highlights in Charice’s career: singing with Celine Dion; guesting on “Oprah”; and the gig that started it all, a performance on the South Korean TV show “Star King.”
Inspirational quotes and lyrics are engraved at the back of each guitar pick, too.
In a nutshell, the picks sum up the grand adventure that is Charice’s life, thus far.
Source: By Bayani San Diego Jr., Inquirer.net
Posted by Capofret