"Na-miss ko kayo. I'm so happy!" says Ciara Sotto as she faced the local entertainment media once again after living in Las Vegas, Nevada for more than a year.
Ciara, who is in the country for a two-week break, was able to meet her friends from the media during the press launch of her newest album, If You Love Me, yesterday afternoon, July 9, at Teatrino Promenade in Greenhills, San Juan City.
At the press conference, the youngest daughter of newly-appointed Dangerous Drug Board Chairman Tito Sotto and former actress-singer Helen Gamboa related why she decided to try her luck abroad.
Ciara left the country after receiving an offer to play a role in the musical production Fever.
"I told my parents na, ‘Yes, I wanna do it,'" said the young singer. "I was with Ate Lani's [Misalucha] show long time ago, I think in 2005. I watched her show and I talked to her after the show. Then she talked to the producer and said, ‘This girl can sing, she can dance, she can do it all.'"
When the producer, Jose Brothers Production, asked for a sample from her, Ciara gave a copy of her album.
"I gave them my album, The Way of Love. After that, I got an email that he sent to my dad saying that he loves all my songs and that he cried, and that he won't be using me for Lani Misalucha but he will come up with my own show," said Ciara.
However, it took a while before the producer went back to them to confirm about the show. In fact, Ciara said that she has never expected it, so she was surprised when the producer told her about it.
She narrated, "After a year, he sent a proposal na ito nga there's going to be a show, Fever, starring me and all the other girls, na musical show. Nakalagay doon na two year 'yong contract. So, sabi ko, ‘Mom, I wanna do it. I'm gonna give it a try.' Sabi lang ng daddy ko, ‘Kalaban mo lang doon lungkot, e.' Kalaban ko lang talaga lungkot, which is true noong nandoon ako."
Aside from the opportunity, Ciara explained that the reason she accepted the offer, "Because I want to grow as a performer and as a person."
Right now, according to Ciara, they are just waiting for the opening of the official venue of Fever, which is in Melanja located at The Strip in Las Vegas. While waiting, Ciara and the other cast—Filipino singer Karlyn Bayot and Rizza Navales and Americans Autumn Belanger, Harmony Moniz, and Emily Istre—are performing some excerpts to different places as part of their promotion.
"The venue is finished, pero marami pa siyang proseso—maraming kailangang permits, marami pang kailangang approval sa government. Siyempre inuuna nila 'yong mga bigger venues so natatagalan 'yong sa amin.
"What we've been doing is promoting the show in the States—in California, Reno, San Diego. Pine-perform na lang namin, kaming anim or sometimes may sarili akong show. Basta we're still under training," explained Ciara.
INDEPENDENT WOMAN. Ciara said that living independently has taught her many things about life. "I've learned a lot. I've learned how to budget my money. I learned how to clean the restroom, which I never did," the 28-year-old singer said.
She continued, "Noong ako na lang mag-isa, kailangan ko nang magluto, maglinis ng kuwarto, kailangan kong mag-laundry. It's a great learning experience and character building. It was so hard in a way kasi nasanay ako na every day may kasama ako, every day matutulog na lang ako, may kasama pa ako. So doon, I always have to use better judgment because every decisions I make, I'm accountable for it. I learned so much."
Ciara also mentioned that her father gave her a credit card, which she could use for emergency, but she never used it. She also saved some money but instead of buying unnecessary things, Ciara said that she was spending her savings wisely.
Although the singer-actress is slowly learning to live on her own, Ciara admitted that there were still times when she misses her life here in the Philippines, especially her bonding time with her family.
"Kasi walang ganun-ganun doon, kanya-kanya lang," said Ciara. "Walang susuporta sa'yo, walang magsasabi sa'yo, ‘Uy, ang ganda ng suot mo.' Na-miss ko talaga 'yong ugali ng Pinoy, 'yong pagkain, 'yong pamangkin ko, 'yon po talaga ang na-miss ko."
So, when Ciara was asked if she has plans to stay in the U.S., the young singer said that she might continue pursuing her career there. However, she said, "I'll probably be going back and forth kasi iba talaga 'yong Philippines, e. Iba pa rin talaga kapag nandito sa Pilipinas."