It’s been in the entertainment news here in the Philippines lately that a veteran and an activist singer/song writer, Freddie Aguilar, made a comment that Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda were just like a monkey that they’re imitating the singers abroad when they perform.
He further stated that it was Mariah Carey who said that Charice is like a monkey. He said that he was invited over 3 decades ago to record an album in the States. Since the recording company refused to record his album that includes a lot of his Tagalog songs he said he just told them to forget it. He said he would rather record here in the Philippines and sell it here. He said that his conscience was clean then. He is the fellow that wrote the song Anak (song about a parent to a kid) and some other songs that were famous before here in the Philippines. Really the song and the lyrics are very good. The Anak song was recorded in a lot of languages all over the world. I’m surprised, why did he allow them to record in different languages?
Before anything else I will give you more background who these people are who he is criticizing. First, Charice Pempengco. She’s a young girl from San Pedro, Laguna. She joined a singing contest in their area and the neighboring place. Then, she joined ABS-CBN show Little big star search in 2005. She was just third placer at that contest. Then somebody uploaded a video of her performing on Youtube. Next, Ellen DeGebeneres saw the the video. They contacted Charice, inviting her to the States to perform at the Ellen show. Really that performance she made at the show really paved the way for her to be an international singer. She was then invited by Oprah Winfrey. Oprah now the manager/mentor of Charice in the States, with the help of producer writer David Foster. Charice now has finished recording her album in the States. She traveled to the States many times a month. Like she will perform there or some other countries, then she comes home to be on the show here in the Philippines then back to the States again. Charice really has a bright future ahead of her. She’s really in good hands.
The second person that was criticized was Arnel Pineda. Arnel was a member of a band here in the Philippines. He is from Manila. He was performing and the video was uploaded in Youtube. The rock band Journey saw his video on Youtube. So, they contacted him to ask if he can come to the States to audition for the group. They got him. He is now the vocalist of the rock band Journey. He really is the success story also that hailed from a very poor family here in the Philippines. Now he tours with the group all over the world. He comes home here in the Philippines regularly since his wife and kids still reside here.
Really, as Arnel said on an interview, if we are singing English songs in other countries, that doesn’t mean we love the Philippines less. He further said that he really is proud to be a Filipino and nobody can take that away from him. Somebody defended Charice on this matter also, a famous performer here. His name is Gary Valenciano. He said that Charice is so young and she was just starting. This is really her stepping stone into stardom. Give Charice time and not judge her. He said that Charice was giving honor in our country by being known in the States and some other countries.
Really a lot of Filipinos have made themselves famous all over the world. I think really we should just be proud instead of criticizing them. It’s not really for him to choose. It’s should just be Charice and Arnel and those other Filipinos who will decide what they want. It’s not up to us. He made his choice before not to record in the States and everybody respects his decisions on that, nobody criticized him. So it’s time for him to respect others decisions too. Some people even said that he might just be jealous that Charice and Arnel were so successful in the States and other countries and that he is not.
What do you think, guys? Do you think that if a Filipino performer be invited to guest on some shows abroad,that they should just perform Filipino songs or any dialect we have here in the Philippines? Would that further the career of a Filipino performer abroad?