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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 14, 2013

Lea Salonga Will Be The Mentor From Hell In 'The Voice Of The Philippines'

LEA SALONGA says there have been offers before for her to participate in singing contests but her hectic sked didn’t allow it. For TV5, she agreed to only sing the theme song of “Kanta Pilipinas”. Now, she has agreed to be one a mentor in ABS-CBN’s “The Voice of the Philippines”.

“I really love the format of this show. I’ve been helped by a lot of mentors when I was young and it now allows me to pay it forward in passing on whatever knowledge I gained through the years to the new singers who’ll join it. I really moved mountains for me to be a part of the show and I’m glad everything fell into place so it won’t conflict with my commitments in Japan and the U.S.”
She’s happy to be working with Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo and Apple de Ap as co-mentors. What can she say about Sarah doubting her own credibility as a mentor?

"I'd like to think that all of us are credible. Sarah started as a singer when she was 14 years old. So, she's been at this a long time and she's no neophyte. She's been at this longer than other people, so she should put her doubts away.”

As a coach, she’d be very candid in voicing her opinions. “Hindi ko aasukalin ang sasabihin ko. I’m not going to be insulting or purposefully hurt their feelings but I guess the one thing I can contribute is honesty to say the truth, yung katotohanan.”

In her Twits and her column, she’s always been very opinionated and she answers back to her bashers. “Some consider me a bitch kasi outspoken naman talaga ako. I don’t think bitchiness is the best approach in ‘The Voice’ but it really depends on what members of my team would need. But if someone’s getting to be too arrogant o mayabang, then they won’t like what I have to say as I’ll give it to them unfiltered. I don’t care if the audience would say I’m suplada. My priority naman is to help my team. It’s really about them. They’re the real stars here, not us mentors. I’d really push them hard as I believe it can help them when they go out into the real world, so they’d be strong enough to take whatever comes.”

At this point, someone wants to know if Sarah Geronimo would also be “mataray” as a mentor. “Curious ba kayo sa bitchy side ko?” she asks. To which Lea quips laughing: “She might out-bitch me!”

“Hindi naman ako mangongopya ng style ni Ms. Lea,” says Sarah. “Huwag naman. All I can offer is my sincerity, yung buong pusong pagtulong o pagbahagi ng anumang nalalaman ko that I got from my ten years in the business.”