Yes, she is.
In a tell-all interview with Boy Abunda on “The Buzz” Sunday, internationally renowned singing sensation Charice ended months of speculations about her sexual orientation by finally admitting that, yes, she is a lesbian.
“Opo, tomboy po ako,” were Charice’s exact words to Abunda. It was the confession everyone had wanted to hear from the 21-year-old singer since middle of last year when she debuted an edgy new look characterized mainly by an eyebrow-raising bobcat haircut—a look that she has pretty much maintained except for its initial blond color and the visible tattoos that she subsequently added.
In the interview, Charice said she initially considered coming out internationally but ultimately chose to do it here in the Philippines.
“Kasi po malaki po ang utang ko sa mga Pilipino, dahil gusto ko rin po na sila ang unang makaalam, kung sino man po ako, kung ano man po ako,” she explained.
While Charice never saw who she is really is as an issue (“Hindi ko po alam kung ano ang problema dun. Para po sa akin, walang problema yun”), she nonetheless opted to stay silent on the issue as she was afraid of how people will react. So she opted to take a “break” to give her self time to think things through.
“Sobrang naging maingat ako na hindi ko po alam kung ano ang dapat kong sabihin para maging neutral lang po ang reaksyon ng mga tao. Kasi ayoko po na bigla na lamang akong magsasalita tapos lahat negative. Kaya binigyan ko po ang sarili ko ng break na mag-isip kung ano ba ang dapat kong gawin, kung ano ‘yung next step na kailangan kong gawin para maging better ‘yung situation,” she admitted.
In finally deciding to speak up and tell the world who and what she really is, Charice pointed out that for years she did a lot of things for her family. With her much-awaited revelation, the singer felt that it’s high time for her to do something for herself.
“Lahat po ng ginawa ko, ‘yung nagpa-tattoo ako, nagpagupit po ako ng buhok ko, alam ko pong very risky pero ginusto ko po. Hindi po dahil sa nagre-rebelde ako o sinaktan ako ng pamilya ko o ng ibang tao or depressed ako, hindi po. Ginawa ko po ‘yun dahil ‘yun ang gusto ko,” she insisted.
Nonetheless, she still tearfully apologized to her mother Racquel Pempengco and brother Carl as well as to her fans who may have been hurt by her unexpected decision to come out.
“Sorry, Mommy, Carl, pero ito ako,” she declared. “Gusto ko pong humingi ng patawad sa mga hindi po nakaintindi, sa mga hindi po makakaunawa, sa mga hindi po makakatanggap, sorry po. Naiintindihan ko po kayo.”
“Sa mga fans ko, alam ko po, marami sa inyo ang disappointed. Marahil nga ang iba sa inyo tatalikuran ako. Alam n’yo na sincere akong tao from the bottom of my heart. I’m so sorry.”
Earlier in the interview, Charice admitted that she and her mother are currently not in good terms and that she has indeed left home. However, she stressed that she and her mom are still working out their differences.
“Kailangan ko po siyang intindithin kasi kung nasaktan man niya po ako, alam ko pong mas nasaktan ko siya bilang isang ina. Ngayon po hindi po kami magkaaway pero nasa stage po kami pareho na pinipilit naming intindihin ang isa’t isa,” she said in reference to their much-publicized spat.
With regards to her grandmother, Tess Relucio, who had appealed to her in an interview on “The Buzz” last month to revert to her old feminine look and stop having more tattoos on her body, Charice said she has not spoken with her but took no offense at her pronouncements.
“Hindi po kami magkaaway pero siyempre, may sarili pong opinyon ang lola ko at tinatanggap ko po ‘yun. Naiintindihan ko po ang nararamdaman niya,” she said.
During the same interview, it was revealed that for over a month now, Charice has been living with a family in Cabuyao, Laguna which has taken her under its wing and made her feel very comfortable. She has also been seen roaming the streets there from time to time and even watches the basketball games in the neighborhood.
“Ang alam ko, ang mga tao dito, ang tawag nila sa akin Moymoy Palaboy. Parang naging joke na po ‘yun dito nang nalaman nila yun. Natawa na rin po kasi parang na-realize ko na mahirap pala, pag nag-try kang magpakababaw, may comment pa rin. ‘Yung nakikita nila ako sa labas na gumagala ako, ganun po talaga ako eh. I’d rather do that kesa magpaka-sosyal ako.”
However, Charice took exception to claims that her career is pretty much finished because of her newly expressed identity. She said that she is still being managed by two separate managers in the US and the Philippines and that she will soon return to the recording studio.
“I will record a new song that will be featured in a big project and we’re also working on my third album. May mga TV shows din po akong lalabasan na hindi ko pa pwedeng sabihin. This is for my fans here in the Philippines,” Charice revealed.
As the diminutive singer revealed that she felt good and free about admitting her sexual preference, she also replied in the affirmative when Abunda asked her if she ever had any relationship with another girl but did not name her.
When asked about her closeness with Fil-Am singer Chesa Laureta who was rumored to be her girlfriend, Charice said that they are only good friends and that she (Chesa) is only like a sister to her.
But when Abunda mentioned the name of another rumored girlfriend, Alyssa Quijano of the girl group AKA Jam, Charice’s face lit up as she referred to the latter as an “inspiration”.
“Matagal na po kaming magkakilala since I was 9 or 10 years old from the singing contests that we used to join. Isa po siya ngayon sa mga pinagkukunan ko ng lakas. She is a special girl.”
While Charice did not categorically say that she loves Alyssa, she admitted to Abunda that if her heart could be opened at that moment, people would see that it has a very strong heartbeat for her fellow singer.
In fact, Charice tweeted this declaration of love to “Ayie”, Alyssa’s nickname, back in October.
I love you, Ayie. Soon people will know why I love you so much.
— Charice(@OfficialCharice) October 24, 2012