Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jim Paredes: "A Charice story - edited"

I just discovered this article by distinguished Filipino musician Jim Paredes and instead of simply posting the article link under 2010, I thought of reposting it here.

Why? It's a testimony to Charice's extraordinary talent and and a glimpse into the "forces" that she had to fight against even at such a young age.

From Ten Thousand Things by Jim Paredes on Tumblr:

A Charice story—edited
Posted on July 21, 2010
Was saving this for an article in the future. You might say, this was one of my many encounters with greatness.

Many years ago, I was asked to judge a children’s singing contest. A girl named Charice was one of the contestants. She was one of the bigger kids in the batch. Nevertheless, I was floored when she sang Whitney Houston’s ‘I wanna dance with somebody.’ In my eyes, she clearly bested all the rest by a mile. As a judge, I put her on top, of course.

When the final tallying was about to be done, someone connected with the contest came up to us (the judges) and asked if we were sure of our scores. We said we were. The guy then proceeded to say that Charice was not a ‘new talent’ anymore and had in fact come out in other contests already and he then subtly asked if would we want to review our choices.

I said no.

She won that round because we stuck to our guns. But at the grand finals, someone else took the big prize.

Sometimes true talent can stare at us in the face and we don’t see it. It has to take foreigners to praise them before we give notice.

That’s showbiz.


I didn’t expect this much reaction. A few thoughts:

Some people have commented or suggested that there was or may have been hanky-panky based on what I wrote above. For the record, I make no accusations of any manipulation or any wrong-doing especially in the final judging. I was not there. I did not even see it on TV. That night I judged was the only time I saw Charice live ever. Even on the night that I judged, we were in fact free to exercise our choice and we did despite the input given to us (which I was not comfortable with).

It’s possible that she could have had an off night on the finals and thus someone else was more deserving. I don’t know.
The reaction he referred to were the re-blogs and the comments. As Tim Cruz, the Louder music video director said, "Charice told me her fans were passionate".

Watch what impressed Jim Paredes (judges' panel, right) and how his delight showed on his face.

Alternative upload:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crab Mentality: The "Other Side of the Bucket"

Charice at a radio interview in Japan
on October 8.
I'm reposting here excerpts of a very interesting article about "the other side of the bucket" within the crab mentality and the comment I made on the original site.

Crabs in a Bucket 

...Fast forward to this morning. As I was drinking my coffee and perusing my twitter stream, and up pops this gem from @paul0coelho (He wrote The Alchemist, one of my all time favorite books): “Only mediocrity is safe. Get ready to be attacked, and be the best.”

Maybe it was the early hour. Maybe it was my post-event mushy brain. I don’t know. But the minute I read Paul’s tweet, I thought of those crabs in a bucket. So I sent him this tweet: “I’m thinking of crabs in a bucket. They always try to pull down the one who’s figured out how to escape.”

...There will always be people who will subtly or not so subtly try to keep us from escaping. Why? Because our escape threatens their mediocre existence. Pulling us down, sabotaging our efforts, picking apart our brilliant ideas – all of that keeps them feeling safe. And living undisturbed mediocre lives.

So what if we added a new piece to the crab mentality picture? Imagine a crab, or a group of crabs on the other side of the bucket building a ladder to aid your escape. They managed to crawl out of the bucket in spite of all the energetic attempts to pull them backwards. Because they’ve tasted freedom and they know your struggle, they are putting energy into aiding and abetting your escape.

I believe that for those of us determined to get out of the bucket, such a group exists. It may take some time to find them, but they are there, ready throw a safety rope over the edge and pull us out.

Start listening for them. Start looking for them. They are there. Reach just a little further and they’ll meet you at the edge of the bucket.
Read the full article on the original site

Below is the comment I made on the original site:
Crab mentality is deeply rooted in Filipino culture and it is one factor why it's been such a struggle for our country to develop at a faster pace. It's found in all social and economic levels and areas.

Take for instance the case of Charice, the Filipino pop singer who was introduced to the world by Oprah Winfrey. Coming from a poor background, she started singing in local competitions for a living when she was 7 years old and even then already experienced being told that she wasn't good enough when in fact she was way better than the rest. As a teen joining a televised national singing competition, she continued to be talked down and pulled down, even told that she didn't have what it takes to be a star simply because her critics thought she wasn't pretty, never mind her incredible singing talent and her ethics for working hard. It took the likes of Ellen de Generes, David Foster, and Oprah Winfrey to help her climb "out of the bucket" and prove herself in the international music scene.

When the Philippines comes out in international news, it is often in connection with corruption, poverty, illnesses, political instability, etc. Now, in Charice, we have an inspiring role model for both young and older Filipinos who want to reach their dreams despite all the obstacles that may be present in their life. She's a young Filipino who's showing the world the positive side of her country and her people and yet, the more she gains success, the more the crabs find fault with anything and everything she does and publicize it. I am a Filipino and yet this crab mentality still amazes me. And this is one reason why I - and her other fans and supporters - try to promote Charice in whatever way possible because, just like what you said, there does exist another group of crabs on the other side of the bucket: her success is the success not just of all Filipinos, but of everyone who believes in working hard to reach one's dreams. Thank God for those crabs "on the other side of the bucket"!

Here's an excerpt from "The Soaring Spirit of Charice":

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Charice's Message on Her New CD, INFINITY

It is simply so Charice to see what's beautiful in life and in the world, and then, inspire the rest of us with her joy.

Image of INFINITY CD from @maricruzbelieve

Later today, Charice will officially launch her new album, Infinity. We'll be watching it here: