by Pablo A. Tariman

Actor-singer Sarah Geronimo likes to look back every time she is asked how it is being adored by millions and ensconced on the top pedestal and indeed — getting what she wants.

Sarah Geronimo in Michaela fashion accessories.

Sarah Geronimo in Michaela fashion accessories.

After several song numbers that had fans shrieking during the grand launch that introduced her as the brand ambassador of Michaela ladies fashion accessories at the Megamall, Sarah said she lives with what she believes in and that is striving to be herself.

“In everything that I do, I always carry a reminder: ‘be yourself.’ It is easy to get carried away by adulation,” she added. “But in everything that I do, I strive to be myself. Like when I endorse a brand, I have to personally like the accessories before I even think of signing the contract. I notice that the designs are very Filipino and just right for women my age.”

At 27, the Pop Princess still looks like someone in her late teens with that lean build and fragile look.

She is all set to appear in a concert billed as “From the Top” at the Dome on December 4 and 5 which marks her 12th year as a singing star.

A winner of a talent search called “A Star for a Night” hosted by Regine Velasquez 12 years ago, Sarah looked back on how she evolved as singer and actor and lately as member of the jury and coach of another talent search, The Voice.

The last 12 years were indeed virtual eye-openers.

First, she got an idea on who she is and what she aspires to be. “I think my musicality has expanded through the years and I have learned to use my heart, more than my guts, in delivering the message of my songs.”

Sarah Geronimo answering questions during the Michaela grand launch at Megamall.

Sarah Geronimo answering questions during the Michaela grand launch at Megamall.

The biggest discovery in her pretty young singing life is that there is more to singing than showing the high notes also known as the money notes.

“When you are new in the game, the tendency is to impress — more than how to get into the soul of your music. But as you go along, you get to see the basic things. I am not inclined to be carried away by the title Pop Princess. For me, it’s just a title. My more pressing concern is how to be appreciated as an artist. I want my voice to be appreciated for what it is without the help of production design and choreography.”

She said her recent stint as jury and coach in The Voice was a big learning process.

Needless to say she saw herself in the contestants aiming for the big prize. “Yes, I remember how it was when I was just starting. I had to set aside other things to be able to focus on this. I don’t know if my advice made sense to some people but I was there to help other people and to learn some more. My ears are all open every time Lea Salonga and other mentors say something about their protégés. The more I am exposed to singers, the more I realize there is a lot to learn in this business.”

For now, her main concern is her music including the inner voice she wants to discover on her own.

She admits Michael Jackson was a big musical influence.

But for now, she wants to find and hear her own voice outside the machinery pushing her singing career.

Sarah Geronimo with Pablo Tariman

Sarah Geronimo with Pablo Tariman

“Let’s face it: you cannot fake a voice all the time. Singing has to come from the heart. You have to relate to the songs and the message. Of course experience helps. You can sing more about heart breaks and its pains when you have been through one.”

Meanwhile, the Michaela grand launch has power point backdrop showing Sarah modeling bags, shoes, pouches, umbrellas and other ladies accessories. “Another reason I agreed to be brand ambassador is that I am also promoting Filipino designers. Foreign brands are fine but it is also about time we promote everything Filipino. We owe it to ourselves not to forget Filipino ingenuity. By patronizing Filipino products, we help encourage our countrymen set up their own business.”

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