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Charice to sing at Obama inaugural?

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ChariceFUNFARE by Ricardo F. Lo
Philippine Star, Dec. 13, 2008

MANILA, DECEMBER 13, 2008 (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - According to Funfare’s US-based “roving” DPA, there’s a possibility that Charice might perform at the inauguration ball of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 20 next year. It’s not confirmed yet. The DPA said that “every artist is volunteering to perform at the event.” Charice is being handled by Oprah who is close to the Obamas, having campaigned for Barack. Oprah is said to be pushing for Charice to be included in the “magic list.”

“Knowing Oprah’s clout and Charice’s impressive record so far,” added the DPA, “it won’t be a surprise if she does make it to the Obama inaugural.”

2008 has been a fruitful year for Charice who, as we all know, was discovered through the YouTube last year by somebody connected with Ellen DeGeneres. Before long, Charice was guesting on the show of Oprah Winfrey who was so impressed that she eventually became Charice’s handler. Then, Charice caught the attention of David Foster who invited her top perform at a concert he put up in the East Coast and included her in an album featuring big names.

After performing with Celine Dion in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Charice then graced Macy’s Thanksgiving Day last Nov. 27 with teen stars Miley Cyrus and David Archuleta (this year’s runner-up in American Idol Season 7).

And soon... well, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

* * *

Ramiele Malubay arrived yesterday to perform in The Idol Experience: Ogie Sings with the Idols, slated for Dec. 20 and 21 at Aliw Theater, which is topbilled by Ogie Alcasid and also features Pinoy Idol grand winner Gretchen Espina and Brian’s band Menaya.

Of course, you remember Ramiele as one of the two Filipinos (the other being Reynaldo Lapuz) who competed in this year’s American Idol (Season 7) search.

Is Ramiele going back to rejoin her family in L.A. after the concert?

“No,” Ramiele told Funfare during an exclusive interview last week at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. where she watched the Let’s Celebrate concert of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, “I’m staying for three months and try my luck (there).”

The last time Ramiele came for a visit was two years ago.

“I wanted to but could not come last year because I was busy with American Idol,” said Ramiele who is here with her boyfriend, Austin Torres, a singer-dancer from Pampanga who also wants to try his own luck here.

Asked what her most memorable experience was on American Idol, Ramiele said, “The tour. But the whole experience, from the time I auditioned to the time I was kicked out, was memorable. It was a very good experience. Stressful pero masaya.”

Ramiele will sing five songs in the The Idols Experience concert.

“What songs?,” Ramiele smiled. “Secret! I will also sing a duet with Mr. Ogie and I’m freaking out about that. That’s a big deal to me. It’s an honor for me.”

Ramiele said that she was born in Saudi Arabia and, when she was five years old, the family moved to Boston and later to Florida.

“I had to quit school when I joined American Idol.”

Among the Filipino artists, her own idols are Lani Misalucha, Regine Velasquez, Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Sarah Geronimo.

“I watched Sarah in concert and she’s really good.”

Patricia has her own Asian Dolls

More interesting news from out there, this time from Funfare’s Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre (of The Filipino Reporter) who reports that Patricia Javier (who is based in San Diego, California, with her husband Robert Walcher, a chiropractor, and their son) has helped form an all-female group called Asian Dolls composed of four other sexy-seductive Asian Girls from California, with Patricia as lead singer.

Touted as the Asian counterpart of the wildly-popular Pussycat Dolls, which incidentally has the half-Filipino Nicole Scherzinger as its lead vocalist, the Asian Dolls were formally introduced twice last month — at the famous Edna’s Ichiban Library in San Francisco (Nov. 12) and at JavaElegance Hall in San Diego (Nov. 23).

From the moment the curtain goes up, you can expect a high-energy, tastefully provocative, and fully choreographed stage show featuring only the bestlooking and most talented Asian female entertainers, reads an introduction at the group’s website (www.asiandollusa.com).

“The concept of Asian Dolls is different from thePussycat Dolls,” Edmund quoted Patricia as saying. “Our director (Hil Ortis) and scriptwriter (Cecile Forwarske) want our act to not only entertain but also educate since we will also do traditional Asian dance from countries like China, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines. The vision of our producers is promote camaraderie and cultural understanding among the Asian-American community through our performances.”

Patricia left the Philippines about two years ago to marry Robert Walcher and settle in San Diego.

“We have no illusions of competing with the Pussycat Dolls. We just want to have fun and entertain people. We will also perform for non-Asian communities, and perhaps for US soldiers overseas.”

When I interviewed the couple at their home last year, Patricia said that Robert has given her the go-signal to pursue her passion.

“I’m very happy being a housewife and mom to our son (one-year-old Robert IV), but I really missed performing. I’m glad that Robert gave me his blessing to do this. Asian Dolls is like my second baby now. This is also my first time in a group, tapos ako pa ang leader. That’s why I need to be a good example to them.”

The other Asian Dolls are Shalimar Santiago, Trisha Badong, Noelle Bonus and Sherly Silvia Santosa. All of the girls (who underwent auditions in San Francisco) have experiences in modeling, acting and performing on stage. “More important than looks or even talent is the upbringing of these girls, their values and work ethics,” Edmund quoted producer Ben Ramos (owner of Edna’s Ichiban Library in San Francisco) as saying.

Ramos says his dream is to someday turn the Asian Dolls into a Las Vegas stage show. But for the meantime, the immediate goal is to showcase the beautiful girls and their talents and, added Ramos, “help bridge the gap between American and Asian cultures, making this show a fantastic and eye-popping contemporary musical show with Asian fusion.”

Said Patricia, “But our shows will be wholesome, remember that. “Sexy but wholesome.”

To prepare for each show, the girls have been going through long and vigorous rehearsals at least twice a week using cover songs. The plan is to eventually produce their own original songs and pursue a mainstream audience.

“We have already performed in some social events at okay naman ang reception,” said Patricia. “Right now, we devote much of our time rehearsing and promoting. Dapat handang-handa para pulido ang performance.”

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