The 25 -year old singer formerly known as Charice Pempengco, now Jake Zyrus, found an unexpected ally in the National Youth Commission (NYC).
NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña took the cudgels for trans man Jake, when broadcaster and former Vice President Noli de Castro made disparaging remarks about Jake.
In the July 10 episode of TV Patrol, co-anchor Ted Failon observed the change in the voice of Jake. De Castro then jokingly said,”Ang tawag diyan ay climate change. Madami talagang nababago ngayon.” (You call that climate change. A lot can really be changed now.)
Noli made these statements while he was chuckling. Ted Failon can be seen biting his lip as Noli made the remark and Bernadette Sembrano just kept quiet.
A lot of viewers reacted to the “joke” that was in bad taste.
Just a couple of days after the incident, the NYC acted on it. The NYC is the Philippine government’s policy-making coordinating body of youth-related programs and issues.
On July 12, the NYC issued a statement which says that Noli’s joke about Jake Zyrus was not funny and that he should apologize.
NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña, Chairperson of the Committee on Social Inclusion and Equity of the National Youth Commission (NYC), gave this reaction:
When a popular broadcaster and former Vice-President mocks a transgender man, he is not only offending LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, he is also setting a bad example to his audience specially to the youth.”
Cendaña noted the insensitivity of Noli’s disparaging remarks. He said that it is alarming since “young LGBTs are extremely vulnerable to stigma and discrimination”. He urged Noli to issue a public apology so as to promote “inclusivity and respect for diversity.”
Jake Zyrus is a transgender man who used to be known as the female singer named Charice, and who became famous worldwide for singing high notes. As Charice, he performed with David Foster and even starred as Sunshine Corazon in the teen musical TV series “Glee”.
On June 18 of this year, the artist formerly known as Charice introduced himself on social media as Jake Zyrus. All previous posts on his account about Charice were deleted.
Jake admitted on several shows in the Philippines that he has undergone procedures to remove his breasts and is currently having testosterone injections.
Aside from growing facial hair, Jake’s speaking and singing voice has noticeably changed. Though he is still a very good singer, the timbre and pitch of his voice has slightly differed, compared to the days when he was still known as Charice.
Jake is now working on an album, and has recently released the song “Hiling” under Star Music Philippines. ABS-CBN also released some photos of him while shooting a Japanese movie in Tokyo, Japan.
A reminder for Charice fans who want to be updated, instead of asking what’s going on with Charice Pempengco in 2017, better rephrase that and ask what’s going on with Jake Zyrus in 2017?