Sarah Geronimo's candid confession
It's been 10 years.
Ten years since a sprightly and talented 14-year-old girl took the stage and, unwittingly, entranced the entire nation.
But what makes Sarah Geronimo such a phenomenon?
Not just platinum records
No, it's not the numerous platinum records she collared through the years, or being part of the biggest Pinoy box office hits in history or even the top-rating shows she headlined. There have been other female artists who achieved similar feats yet have not reached her stature as a true-blue pop superstar.
Her streak of success, the continuing rise of her career despite the inevitable ups and downs of her journey and her so-called transformations bewilder entertainment journalists.
Is it her wholesome image, guarded fiercely her mommy Divine who has prevented her daughter from falling into snake pit of show business? Many singers and actresses have done that.
Talent and controversy
Is it her incredible talent, which she maintains at the highest level and with unwavering intensity after all these years? A lot of female singers, including international sensations, have remained at the top of their game year after year.
Is it surviving the controversies and intrigues, which draw admiration from colleagues and fans? Well, too many celebrities have treaded that path and under worse circumstances.
So what is Sarah Geronomo's secret?
Well, there is no secret.
The cliché of the same sweet girl
Call it clichéd but Sarah is just herself. She remains that same girl who first stood on that stage during the audition for IBC-13's "Star for a Night."
And that's pretty rare in showbiz.
It has fueled loyalty and allowed her star to rise, even if wannabes are trotted out every minute to "challenge" her "throne."
People, especially young female fans, identify with her struggles, thrill to the dreams she realizes, and emulate the way she walks, talks, smiles and reacts to situations.
She is Everywoman, just like any other person who wants to make a living, a loving daughter who would give anything to family, and a girl looking for, yes, love.
Sarah herself admitted that in her recent birthday concert at the Big Dome. While she wished her eternal wish—the welfare of her family—she also made a candid confession that electrified the crowd further: love and freedom.
It was a deafening admission of what have yet eluded her.
While people can read allusions to her failed romances and a family whose overprotectiveness is legend, the 24-year-old once again articulated hopes that seem universal to people her age.
"Puwede na," she told the audience. But then she followed it up with, "Puwede rin 25, 26…"
The backpedaling was pure Sarah. She remains, as always, the good daughter.
Her family is sure to love her for it. And for fans, who know what it is to struggle between familial duty and the desire to be free and to be romantically loved, it will resonate even more.