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The second set of our Top List 2012 featuring Celebrity Transformations is populated by stars who had a little fun time at the salon and the dressing room.
These celebrities surprised us— in pleasant and dismal ways— with shocking makeovers that ranged from a simple haircut to a drastic image overhaul.
And whether or not we liked the outcome of these alterations, without a doubt they made an impact.
CHARICE. In March 2012, many fans were left jaw-dropped after seeing the simple, long-haired little girl from Laguna they all loved, gone.
Well, at least by way of style.
Internationally known singer Charice astonished the media and the public when she showed up at a press conference for her Infinity concert tour looking absolutely different.
The “Pyramid” singer, who had been based in the US during much of 2011, was wearing a hip-hop/urban style outfit— a far cry from the girly dresses she used to wear.
Her hair was cut short into a bob and dyed blonde. Her right forearm now bears a tattoo.
She wore sunglasses throughout the presscon, and when she answered questions, she spoke with an American accent.
It’s no longer a secret that people reacted quite negatively to this change in Charice’e image.
A photo of her taken from the set of X Factor Philippines has spawned many Internet memes comparing her curly blonde hair to a plate of pancit canton noodles.
Even Charice recognized these criticisms when she spoke with Boy Abunda in a December 2 interview aired on The Buzz.
She admitted sadly that she felt offended by the nasty comments thrown at her by the public, although she understood where they were coming from.
“Sabi nga nila, pag masaya ka, e, madaming kapalit,” Charice said with a smile, before Boy asked her to explain the rationale behind her makeover.
Though Charice did not cite specific reasons behind her style change, she did agree with Boy when he said that people go through changes and that this blonde phase of hers is all part of her evolution as a person.
“Naiintindihan ko iyong mga reaksiyon nila, but at the same time, I don’t think na kailangan ko pa pong ipaliwanag, kasi po alam ko po na lilipas din ‘to.
“Alam ko po… kasi maybe nasanay sila sa ‘kin na mahaba ang buhok…
“And iyon din po, hindi rin ako sanay kaya po hindi ko alam kung ano iyong ie-explain ko sa kanila.
“Pero para sa akin po, ito na iyong normal na ako. Masaya po ako, e,” Charice said.
MELAI CANTIVEROS. Unlike Charice, the transformation of Melai Cantiveros in Preview magazine’s October 2012 issue drew more praise than criticism.
The usually quirky comedienne from General Santos City surprised and impressed many people when she temporarily threw her “probinsyana” appeal out the window to pose for a glamorous photoshoot.
Like her fellow cover girls in that issue, Melai wore a white tank top and denim jeans. Her hair was styled in high-volume waves, with matching sultry eye makeup and burgundy lips.
Although this isn’t the first time that the Banana Split star graced the cover of a fashion glossy, she appeared on the January 2011 cover of Mega magazine wearing a rather “fierce” outfit. This particular cover was quite special for Melai as she got to work with her fellow Bench endorsers for the shoot.
Included in the triple-spread cover were Jessy Mendiola, Kathryn Bernardo, Georgina Wilson, Sarah Lahbati, Shaina Magdayao, Carla Abellana, Isabelle Daza, Iya Villania, Janine Gutierrez, Bela Padilla, Grace Lee and Angeline Quinto, who all sported a uniform look.
In September, Melai was all guts when she appeared in the Bench Universe underwear and denim fashion show.
She wore a sequined white bra top and skimpy yellow shorts, and teased Melason fans when she pulled her leg closer to partner Jason Francisco.
JAKE VARGAS. After announcing his decision to remove the letter “H” from his screen name, Kapuso actor Jake Vargas—formerly known as Jhake Vargas—also found the courage to switch up his look this year.
From a medium-length hairstyle with long, pointy bangs (similar to a younger Zac Efron and Justin Bieber), Jake now sports a cleaner, more mature-looking ‘do.
In an interview with PEP last July, the Cielo de Angelina star said that this was his way of telling people he’s ready to play mature characters.
“Baka kasi magkaroon na ako ng show na mas mature, hindi na iyong parang Tween Hearts na parang bata o teens, iyong gano’n.
“Parang mas pinaangat na mas mature ng konti,” he said.
Jake added that many of his fans were startled when he first posted a picture of his new hairstyle on Twitter.
“Actually, nagulat sila kasi kakaiba, hindi na daw ako iyong dating Jhake Vargas, parang ibang dimension naman, parang gano'n, parang ibang version ni Jake.
“Pero natuwa naman sila. Marami naman nagsasabi na, ‘Nice hair,’ mas bagay sa ‘kin.
“Mas okay daw iyong hitsura ko, mas naging fresh at, ano, mas mukha daw akong binata.”
Perhaps this would be the start of something new for Jake come 2013?
GERALD ANDERSON. With the success he has already achieved in the past six years of his showbiz career, there's no doubt that Gerald Anderson has attained stardom.
The handsome 23-year-old, who got his lucky break after joining Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition in 2006, has proven himself a good actor who can charm an audience not only for his good looks.
Case in point: His portrayal of the title character in the now defunct ABS-CBN series Budoy.
In several interviews, Gerald admitted that while he enjoyed doing the show, he had to endure a lot to make the role perfect, like wearing dentures and undergoing prosthetics everyday on the set.
Then in 2012, Budoy’s story took a different turn and Gerald was forced to go bald for several weeks.
In an article posted on the entertainment website PUSH, Gerald revealed that it was his idea to shave his head for real.
He explained that he did not want to “cheap-shot” the scene just to keep his off-screen appearance intact.
It was a little sacrifice that reaped big rewards in the end, as fans and even colleagues lauded the actor for his dedication to his role.
MARIAN RIVERA. Like Gerald Anderson, Kapuso primetime queen Marian Rivera did a minor makeover for her new TV role.
In January, she wrapped up taping for her hit 2011 series Amaya, and geared up for her onscreen reunion with boyfriend Dingdong Dantes in My Beloved.
Marian surprised the media with her brand new look when she caught up with them at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on January 14, just as she was about to leave for a three-day vacation in Singapore.
In PEP’s interview with Dingdong, he said that he too was surprised by his lovely girlfriend’s transformation.
"Nung nakita ko siya kahapon e, akala ko ibang tao,” he quipped.
Marian even added that Dingdong’s initial reaction when he saw her was: “Ay, para akong may bagong boyfriend.”
The actress also explained why she wanted a new look for her role, "Para bagong show, bagong hitsura, 'tsaka bagong utak.
"Kasi tapos na ang Amaya, hindi naman sa gusto kong burahin [si Amaya]. Gusto ko naman paghandaan si Czarina sa My Beloved.”
The show aired from February to June this year.
Marian now stars in the local adaptation of Korean series Temptation of Wife where she usually sports a pony-tail.
BIANCA MANALO. Last February, Bianca Manalo was formally launched as an endorser of hair-styling product brand L’Oreal Matrix.
Back then, the former Miss International-Philippines candidate flaunted her long brown locks, all while gushing to the media about how happy her lovelife was with actor John Prats.
But in May, the happy smiles turned into a sad frown as the couple announced their split.
For a time, Bianca eluded the media, trying to evade questions about her breakup, until she came out again in August feeling more confident and sporting a different look.
Bianca’s hair is now a short asymmetric bob, dyed to a hush blonde.
Could this be what relationship experts call the “breakup haircut” or the “breakover”?
A love and relationship expert who writes for foreign website yourtango.com explains:
“When we break up a relationship, we want to change something because something hasn't worked. Our culture is very focused on externals, especially on looks, so it makes sense that the first thing we want to change is our looks— weight, hair, make-up, clothing. We want to convince ourselves that changing something external will make a difference next time around.”
Many speculated that her breakup with John drove Bianca to change her hairstyle, but the Aryana star was quick to quash that notion in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
She says the haircut and new hair color are all part of Matrix’s new regional campaign.
“Yes, not only in the Philippines, ako na din ang magiging image [model] nila sa Thailand. So very thankful ako.”
When asked to clarify if her breakup had anything to do with her hair, she answered, “Hindi naman. Siguro ngayon gusto ko lang yung bago lang at gusto ko lang mag-explore.”
EMPRESS. Like Bianca Manalo, Kapamilya star Empress— formerly known as Empress Schuck—also wanted to “explore.”
That is mainly the reason she decided to cut her waist-long tresses into a shoulder-length bob.
It came as a surprise to the 19-year-old actress’ fans, as they were used to seeing her with medium to long hair ever since she joined showbiz in 2000.
In an interview with PEP at the August 21 premiere of the movie Guni-Guni, wherein she starred with Lovi Poe and Benjamin Alves, Empress said, “Wala lang. Ano lang, siguro gusto ko lang iyong para maiba naman, para bago naman.
“Kasi matagal na rin, e, [na long hair ako]. So gusto ko ito, short naman at saka may color na medyo parang blonde para bongga, di ba?
“Atsaka para ano, para medyo mabago din ng konti iyong image ko.
“Kasi siyempre, di ba, tumatanda din tayo, hindi naman forever na parang pang-teens na lang iyong roles ko. So, gusto ko ipakita na kaya ko ring mag-iba ng look.”
Looking forward, Empress is set to portray a rather mature role in the indie movie Tuhog with Eugene Domingo and Enchong Dee.
The movie was originally intended as an entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival, but is now set to be released in 2013.