After every commercial break, these five ladies showed up in two-minute long ads, dancing and rapping to a catchy novelty beat—with a hook that would put even the most annoying Willie Revillame songs to shame.
At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss these girls as just another group of beautiful faces. As it turns out, these ladies offer more than that.
Cham, the group leader, looks at this opportunity as a chance to represent the country in their own little way. For them, they’re not just some girl group dancing their way to fame.
These girls take pride in being the country’s top cheerleaders and ambassadors not only of the brand that’s backing them, but for the team they’re rooting for as well.
“It’s a big privilege for us and it’s a big break for us kung mag-succeed ito,” Cham explains. “Hindi lang kami cheerleaders na maganda at sexy, we have to maintain a certain air of dignity. We need to take pride in everything that we say and do. We take all the pressure positively.”
The road to being a Chooks-to-Go Girl isn’t as easy it sounds. These ladies went through a rigorous three-day audition process that involved singing, dancing, and personality and psychological assessments.
When the dust settled, among the 150 ladies who tried out, these five were the last women standing. And these five girls, with different backgrounds and hailing from different places, all have stories to tell.
“After nung exam, ang tagal din bago lumabas nung result. Hindi kami makatulog kasi talagang sinasala nila. Hanggang sa tinext namin yung isa’t isa hanggang sa nakuha kami,” shares Mimi, a Star Magic talent who was discovered in Davao.
Lalaine from Cebu, who dreams of becoming a dermatologist someday, knows this is her chance to be part of something bigger than herself.
“On that day, sabi ko hindi puwedeng hindi ako makapasok dun kasi ito na yung big break na hinihintay ko,” she says. “Maraming maganda, maraming magaling, pero hindi lang pala yun ang tinitingnan nila. Buti na lang naitawid ko at nakapasok ako.”
With the limelight, however, comes the critics, bashers, and naysayers. Some found their jingle to be annoying and too bakya. People once again used social media as a platform for their dismay, criticizing the length of the ad, the lyrics, and even the girls themselves.
Kay, however, isn’t having any of it.
“Dumaan kami sa matinding screening at exams. Dun sa test, may question kung paano kami mag-handle ng ganung bagay. Nakikita ko naman na na-ha-handle namin ito,” Kay asserts, the “rapper” and singer of the group. “Sa amin okay lang dahil sila yung nagiging inspiration namin para tumatag. I don’t think magpapaapekto ng ganun-ganun lang.“
Adds Shotwell, the youngest among the group at 22: “Lahat ng mga tao may opinyon talaga. Iniisip na lang namin na baka may kulang. Binabasa namin yung mga at dun namin tinitignan kung ano yung kulang sa amin. Yung mga , part na lang yun ng ginagawa namin. Nagpapasalamat na rin kami dahil nakikilala kami.”
Now public personalities, these girls insist that they’re not yet satisified with where they are right now.
This stint as national cheerleaders has opened doors for them and it’s an opportunity that they aren’t willing to waste. “Kailangan willing ka talaga matuto,” Lalaine explains. “Hindi lang sa pagsayaw-sayaw, nagho-host na rin kami. Gusto pa namin matuto dahil kami na nga ang magiging cheerleaders ng bansa.”
Being watched by thousands of fans all over the Philippines has some downsides too, as they have to be wary of everything that they do as new ambassadors of the brand. They may need to adjust to certain demands and expectations, but their determination is enough to carry them through it all.
“Kailangan talaga maging maingat sa bawat galaw mo,” says Shotwell. “Yung daily life ko okay pa naman. Kailangan lang maging mas maingat sa actions namin.”
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