Glaiza de Castro’s career enters noteworthy phase » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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Success has got Glaiza de Castro thinking she needs to do her part in uplifting the country’s poor and downtrodden.

Glaiza de Castro

“Oo, I’m here to entertain people primarily pero habang tumatagal ako sa industriya nare-realize ko na dapat may deeper meaning pa ’yung existence ko,” she said.

Glaiza added fans had a hand in this realization.

“Ang dami nilang sinasabi sa akin na salamat dahil natulungan mo ako, dahil sa role mo nagkaroon ako ng boses or nagkaroon ako ng inspiration. Parang du’n na-realize ko na, okay, parang meron pa pala akong ibang nako-contirbute sa bayan bukod sa pagbigay saya sa pagkanta at pag-arte.”

Then there are those who approach her for help in one way or the other.

“Kasi ’yung mga ibang taong lumalapit sabi, ‘Uy, baka pwede kang tumulong sa ganito,’ or ‘Baka pwede mo kaming tulungan sa ganyan.’”

To answer the call, the actress-singer established the Glaiza De Castro Foundation, which focuses on supporting children with special needs.

According to Glaiza, she was spurred to take on the task with her sister giving birth to a child with disability.

“Nakita ko po ’yung habang lumalaki siya, since nu’ng pinanganak siya nakita namin na meron siyang pangangailangan kaya nagkaroon ako ng desire to help. Pero siyempre hindi lang siya kun’di pati rin ’yung iba pang nandu’n din sa ganoong sitwasyon at nangangailangan ng tulong,” she explained.

Glaiza is also about women empowerment. She was, in fact, the face of the United Nation’s Safe Cities Metro Manila Program meant to highlight the need to increase awareness on harassment and sexual violence against women in public spaces.

As part of her continued effort to pay it forward, Glaiza held a benefit concert titled “#28: Goals. Dreams. Compassion” for her 28th birthday.

“Ang sa akin kasi, parang sobrang nakaka-overwhelm na ’yung blessings na dumarating sa buhay ko na parang ang dami ko ng natatanggap, ’yung iba nga doble-doble pa nga, kaya kako sa birthday ko gusto ko naman i-share sa mga tao kung ano ’yung binibigay sa akin.”

The fathers of her native Valenzuela have taken notice of her efforts. They’ve bestowed on Glaiza the Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela Award, the highest honor given by the city to outstanding constituents.

More, the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. (PCCAI) has tapped her as their Ambassadress of Goodwill.
Being the first celebrity ambassadress of the foundation, which runs the Chinese General Hospital and the Chinese Cemetery, among others, the 29-year-old actress admitted, “Sobrang excited ako talaga dahil alam ko dito mas marami pa akong matutulungang mga tao.”

According to PCCAI President and Chairman Emeritus, Dr. James G. Dy, they picked Glaiza for being a good example to the youth.

The undertaking is something Glaiza has been wanting to do for some time now.

“May mga bata kasi na alam na nila kung ano ’yung gusto nilang maging pero in the middle ng paglaki nila medyo nalo-lost sila. So, gusto kong tulungan silang i-figure out kung ano ’yung gusto nilang gawin compared sa kung ano ’yung kailangan nila – or at the very least somewhere along the way mapag-isa ’yun,” she said.

For her first activity as PCCAI ambassador, Glaiza will join members of the foundation at the opening of a photo exhibit on July 25 at Fisher Mall, Quezon City. She will return there for a mini-concert on July 29. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)

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