Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Bacolod’s Jalene G. Thomas: The Beauty and the Voice by: James U. Sy Jr.
Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) singing sensation Jalene G. Thomas of Bacolod City (James U. Sy Jr.photo).
Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) singing sensation Jalene G. Thomas of Bacolod City (Thomas family photo).
Jalene G. Thomas of Bacolod City at the Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) Cebu auditions (Thomas familyphoto).
Jalene G. Thomas of Bacolod City with Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) hosts Bill crawford and Luis Manzano (Thomas family photo).
Without a doubt Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) is today’s premier primetime talent show in the Philippines. It has showcased a wide assortment of talents across the archipelago from people representing different ethnolinguistic groups coming from all walks of life. In the pilot session of the show Negros did not shine that much. But in the next two editions, the Negrense talents started popping up. So far, Bacolod, Escalante, Hinigaran, San Carlos, and Talisay had been represented.
One such talent captured not only the ears of the viewers but also their hearts. With the beauty comes the voice that matches it. I had the chance to meet up with Jalene G. Thomas of Bacolod City last week for an interview. I’m grateful to Mrs. Brilla Ellery Yap Yu for linking us. What follows is the transcript of the interview.
JUSJ: Tell us a little about yourself.
JGT: I was born to Robert "Bob" Thomas and Jean Geriane Thomason July 2,1994 in Sacramento, California, USA. My dad is half Kapampangan, half American while my mom is a native of Brgy. Ma-ao, Bago City, Negros Occidental. I have a younger sister, Julia.
JUSJ: When did you start singing?
JGT: When I was 4 years old, I would grab a broom and stand on top of the table and sing. My grandma just loved it and she bought me a magic stick. From then on I was singing non-stop. However, I didn’t take formal voice lessons.
JUSJ: What prompted your family to go back to the Philippines?
JGT: I was going to get my high school education here. We arrived in 2007 and I was originally enrolled at Our Lady of Pillar Academy (OLPA) in Ma-ao. Later my mom made me transfer to Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod (CSA-B) because it was nearer to our residence in Bacolod and would save me lots of time traveling. I graduated last March 2011. This coming January 2012 I’m going back to the States to pursue a college degree, probably in business at the Sacramento State University. And hopefully once I graduate I plan to pursue studies in the performing arts in New York. After my education I plan to go back to Bacolod to establish my own business.
JUSJ: How do you find Negros?
JGT: Initially it was a culture shock for me. In Ma-ao almost everybody knows everybody, they being relatives to a certain degree. So when I started schooling at OLPA, it was always, “O, may Kana!” People would know I’m dayo lang. At times, somebody would approach me and say, “Hi, I’m your tita.” People there are close knit and warm. I also had to adjust to how things are done there. The Filipino subject was the hardest for me.
JUSJ: How did you enter Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT)? And how has it changed your life?
JGT: My dad saw it on TV and asked me if I wanted to join. I was hesitant at first but finally I joined the pre-audition at La Consolacion (LCC)-Bacolod. I sang Just Grenade. I was so happy when I was informed that I made it to the next round. I traveled to the Cebu auditions to represent Bacolod/Negros Occidental together with my cousin Wella Geriane Monville. There I sang Just the Way You Are and got a triple yes from the judges. I was so happy, way beyond words can describe. My family was very supportive. When I went back to Bacolod, people would recognize me, often times asking me if it’s really me. I would just smile and blush some. However, with so many good talents in the pool, I didn’t make it to the next round. I have to admit I felt bad at first but then life goes on. I’m just happy that people still give their support to me, even in FB. And I’ve proven that I have talent.
JUSJ: Aside from singing, what are your other interests?
JGT: I’m an emotional person but at times I become silent. In those times, I write a lot of poems, the free verse type. In fact I have loads of paper where I write them hehe. I blog. I also like reading, especially love stories and inspirational works like Chicken Soup. I did some Taekwondo (Chung Do Kwan) while in the US.
JUSJ: Last question. Do you have a BF?
JGT: Before I had but my parents wanted me to concentrate on my studies. But now that I’ve graduated from high school I have a special someone.