Up Close with Charice Pempengco and Her Mommy Raquel

““Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher

I have always been curious to hear Charice Pempengco sing live. Watching her sing at Oprah Winfrey Show, I wasn’t too impressed with the ““birit” style. Though quite awesome, her lung-busting vocal skills are simply not my type of singing. Perhaps, seeing her singing live will change my mind. I jumped at the chance when a good friend, Claire invited me to watch Charice Pempengco sing at Melawares’ 30th Anniversary Celebration at the SM Makati.


I was more curious to meet her mom, Raquel, the inspiration behind Charice. I applaud both Charice and her mom’s indomitable courage and strength. Mommy Raquel single-handedly raised Charice and her brother Carl. “Si Mommy, mentor, tagahanda ng damit, taga-makeup. My mom’s a superwoman!”. The 38-year-old Raquel, from whom Charice got her singing voice, advices Charice to focus on her goal.

charice Pempengco

Charice battled incredible odds to arrive where she is right now. Imagine at the age of three years old, Charice witnessed her father choke her mom then grabbed his shotgun. Fortunately, neighbors overheard their screams and broke down the door in the nick of time. Charice narrated her heartbreaking story on the September 9, 2008 episode of Oprah, then added:

We left my dad and after that, I never saw him and I don’t want to see him. I’m just singing now for my mom. I couldn’t help her before, that’s why I want to help her now.


Charice is indeed role model to anyone struggling and recovering from the pain of a traumatic childhood. I admire her determination, spunk and energy and not to mention her humility. When she rendered her songs, she walked towards the crowd, her fans who wanted to catch her performance. She went out of her way to thank them.

Charice knows she is blessed which is one reason she wants to give back to the less fortunate. She does this through World Vision who works with children all over the world to help them overcome poverty and injustice and reach their full potential. Right now, she sponsors seven Filipino children living in dire poverty through World Vision.

In the Rated K interview last year, she tells other Filipino children who are struggling:

I’m not very different from them. That’s also the same experience that I have gone through. There will be a time when you think of giving up, because you’re tired, but don’t, if you’re really holding on to that dream. Because if that’s really your dream, and you persevere, you will surely reach it.

What a girl!

Other triviaI wondered what she did to relax and she said “I love playing with my PSP”, just like any teenager.

Hearing her birit-style is still not my type of singing but I am simply amazed at the way she pours her heart to each performance with such power and love. Here are two videos I recorded. They are part of her Mother’s Day album, “My Inspiration”.

Charice sings “Always You”

“I’ll be There”

I admit being baffled over Charice’s decision to be a Melawares endorser until I discovered that Elise Chua, the owner of Melawares (melamine-based dinner ware) helped Charice right after she was discovered at the Ellen Degeneres Show. She even gave her a nice condo at Lions Park Residences. Owning a condo just 10 minutes away from the airport is a dream come true. Now, Charice is also their endorser of Melawares.

Charice leaves for Paris after which she will go to America to launch an album produced by David Foster and to lend her voice as the rival singer in the sequel to Alvin and the Chipmunks The animated movie is slated to be shown on Christmas day in the U.S. Oprah will feature one episode solely for her sometime end of May. So much is in store for Charice who admits she’s quite a hyperactive child. She can easily tackle challenges and busy schedules.

I really like the Charice Pempengco I met today. I pray she continues to receive more blessings and that she remains sweet and humble.

Charice is truly the Pride of the Philippines.

View More Photos of Charice Pempengco

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1346 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

The comments posted on my blog are moderated. I reserve the right to remove comments, words or phrases that are defamatory, abusive, incite hatred and advertise an email address or commercial services or just plain spammy. I also reserve the right to remove posts that to my opinion are off-topic, irrelevant, ad-hominem, personal attacks and or just plain rude.
  • http://newmedia.com.ph New Media Philippines

    Wow! I would have loved to get my pic taken with Charice, hahaha.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      I didn’t get the chance to have a solo shot with her. Group shot lang.

  • http://www.arthritistreatment.asia matanda-na-may-artrhritis

    proud talaga ako kay charisse. talagang maipagmamalaki natin siya bilang isang pinoy.

    matanda-na-may-artrhritiss last blog post..Hydrotherapy

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      I am proud of her. Proud that she was able to achieve her dreams and continues to work towards her goals.

  • sdm

    Nice read. I’m a big fan of Charice. Since I religiously follow everything and anything related to Charice (through the internet) and since you mentioned that she’s going to Paris, I’m just trying to reconcile Charice’s schedule as far as from what I know. She’ll be at David Foster and Friends concert in Las Vegas on May 8 and was invited back to Italy on May 23. From your information, can you tell us where Paris trip fits in, i.e. is it before her Vegas concert, before Italy, or after Italy? Thanks.

  • Connecticut

    Hello Filipina Mom Blogger,

    It’s great to know that Charice has impressed you. Charice is such a great talent and a very optimistic person. She has inspired people all over the world– not only Filipino expats but also Tunisian, Thai, Americans, Canadians, Swedish, the list can go on and on– with her life story. Not only that, she has bridged generations– from a 3 year old child to a 68 year old grandfather. Appreciation for Charice’s talent knows no class distinction (which I hope does not exist at all).

    I invite you to visit charicemania.com to know more about Charice and meet a lot of interesting people: scientists, dentists, nurses, homemakers, caregivers, financial analysts, engineers, students, security personnel, fiscal, etc. It will inspire you more to know how Charice has brought all these people from different walks of life together.

    And you’re right, Mommy Raquel is a wonderful and brave person

    Thanks very much and Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      I knew Charice is popular but I didn’t know the degree until I posted her video at youtube. Within a few minutes, I already received 200 views. Thanks for the link.

  • http://www.adventurousmom.com cassandra

    charise is one of the young teens examples, everywhere i go here in korea most people know the young filipina girl who joined the star king televesion show in korea.and charice won the first place.
    hello mom blogger.i’m learning from your blog.

  • http://cureless.net Yoru

    What a powerful voice she has. We were at SM Makati last Sunday and though were at the ground floor, her voice filled the mall. We didn’t know the show was sponsored by Melaware so we kept wondering what was that word she kept repeating in that mono-lyric song… ^_^

    Yorus last blog post..10 “qualities” of the perfect house guest

  • jessica

    i’m an associate of mary anne radmacher’s and saw you’ve enjoyed her quote, “courage doesn’t always roar.” i know mary anne is so happy when people find inspiration from her words in the context of their daily lives. for more work from mary anne’s hand visit her website maryanneradmacher.com. mary anne has written several books and shares her work in many forms including conferences and classes. If you’d like more information feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]. thanks for sharing her words!

  • http://mhaileon.blogspot.com lemuel

    hi! i already included your site to my blog list. thanks! i haven’t had a chance to hear charice sing but i am sure that her talent is one of a kind to be featured in oprah and ellendegeneres show. it is also good that she chose to be an advocate for world vision which helps poor children have a chance to go to school. i hope that as charice gets more famous, she will also increase her support not only to world vision but to other charitable institutions as well. thanks!

    lemuels last blog post..I Got Featured in Manila Times

  • http://feistymomma.com Dexie

    Charice “birit” style of singing actually has more substance than of Sarah Geronimo, Regine Velasquez, Rachell Ann Go, etc. So yeah , I prefer Charice 🙂

    I’m happy for her and definitely gives her Mom much deserved credit.

  • justcharrie

    Hello! Are you sure Charice is going to Paris before going to Vegas? I’m so updated with Charice’s stuff but I think I missed this Paris thing if this is really true.

  • http://dine.racoma.com.ph Sexy Mom

    twas one of the best ever events i attended!

  • http://dine.racoma.com.ph Sexy Mom

    and thanks for the photos!

  • http://www.millionaireacts.com Millionaire Acts

    Charice is really an awesome child! I love one of her favorite songs: “Maghintay Ka Lamang” which she sang in her interview with Boy Abunda in SNN.

    The song depicts that for every trial and challenges that occurs in everyone’s lives, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as your dedicated in achieving your dreams.
    .-= Millionaire Acts´s last blog ..Pay Less On Your Next Car =-.

  • mike

    Charise is just a glorified karaoke singer!!! Not even a good one at that!!
    Her style of just yelling all the time is just plain BORING and ANNOYING!! Her US debut has already sizzled away! The only reason why people applaud her is because they have never seen such a small, midget like person, yell so loudly. To the US audience, it is just a circus act. People here applaud dogs that can balance things on their noses. Charise is just that same talent!

    If she really wants to be a star in the US then she should stay away from David Foster. He only manages old people. How can she capture the young mainstream fans when she is only singing for old people?!! SHE CAN’T, WON’T AND WILL NEVER EVER GET A big label in the USA!! There is no way you can market a COPYCAT to a big label. Real singing artist know how to write their own songs!! She will need to learn that too! By the time she learns how to write music, she will be too old and ugly for anyone to care!!

    Here is the hard FACT: It has been way over a year since she came out at a singer. Until now, no one will sign her in the US because she is not ORIGINAL. She is frantically trying to make it in the Philippines because she has no where else she can go to where people might accept her as a singer. Even the Philippine media is calling her a COPYCAT!! I guess the is the end of her!! Good riddance!!

    • moodster

      Tsk! tsk! tsk!

      What an embarassing comment from an Ignorant Filipino crab!

      Shame on you! $#%+*@#$%^&^()+_^%

    • http://cardcrusher.wordpress.com/ cardcrusher

      Mike, you have a point even the tone of your post could be better. Charice has been singing the material made popular by others for such a long time already. She doesn’t even have material that she can claim to be hers. For instance, “Note to God” was originally picked up by Jojo years ago (and not released as a single).

      Copycats have very little chance of immense success. It’s almost impossible to make it if the copycats can’t even have material of their own. Britney Spears might not be the most creative of musicians, heck she might not even be able to write a quality track, but at her people acquire songs that then become “her hit singles”.

  • carol manalo

    sobrang tagahanga talaga ko ni charice pati mga anak ko gustong gusto cya i hope someday maging kasing galing nya rin ang prinsesa ko.we love you charice.goodluck to you mhuahhhh…..

  • Emil

    Why is Charice still trying to make it in mainstream radio in the US? Her songs are not even hers and if David Foster comes out with a song for her, it’s still not her cause she didn’t write it!! Give it up Charice!!

  • charicesuck

    I agree with you mike! Charice is just a karaoke singer! i wonder how could her fans insanely adore her?? they even DARE to compare between whitney houston’s vocal performance with charice when sing “one moment in time”?!.. Tsk! tsk! tsk! …Only an IDIOT dare to compare “The Voice” of the great all time’s Diva “Whitney Houston” with such a copycat singer??????? dream on charice…!!!!

  • Suckycharice

    I agree with Mike that Charice is just a glorified karaoke singer. If Charice was an original artist, she probably would be alot more successful by now with that voice. I think if they want Charice to win over the young crowd, they should really have her stop singing mainstream artist songs. I think it just pisses off the fans of those other artists, especially when her fans say, Charice did it better. Charice needs all the fans she can get, since her album and single flopped.

  • bieber

    i would love to meet charice 😀