"I'm proud to say this is my house."
These are the words that Lyca Gainarod, 16, said when she welcomed Karen Davila to her childhood home in Tanza, Cavite.
Karen got to visit Lyca's childhood home, as seen in the latest YouTube vlog of the Kapamilya broadcast journalist.
Situated on the beach, the elevated house used to be the residence of Lyca before she won ABS-CBN's reality talent search The Voice Kids of the Philippines Season 1 in 2004.
It is now solely occupied by her grandmother, Ledesma Epe, who happily showed that she is still very agile as she climbed the two steps leading to the front door.
The studio-type room is made of plywood with uneven bamboo floors, where one can see the waves crashing on shore down below.
Lyca said her grandmother insisted on staying there even if the singer already bought a concrete house in the same neighborhood.
Confirming it herself, Lola Ledesma told Karen, "Aalis lang ako dito kung wala na ako."
Once all three of them were inside the house, Lola Ledesma showed an old and broken plastic cabinet that she still keeps for its sentimental value.
It was actually given to her by Lyca when the singer was only five years old.
"Iniingatan ko lahat ng mga bigay niya sa akin," Lyca's grandmother added.
LYCA RECALLS living in a house with NO TOILET
Lyca's childhood home was actually divided into two rooms with separate doors in front of the house.
"Si Lola lang po kasi mag-isa, so sabi niya liitan na lang. Binigay ko na lang po sa pinsan ko [yung isang room]," Lyca explained.
While showing the room occupied by her grandmother, Lyca recalled that the original house doesn't even have a toilet when she and her parents and siblings were still living there.
Where would they go when nature calls?
Lyca candidly replied, "Sa dagat po, kasi wala kaming CR dati.
"Talagang gabi kami magpu-poop para wala pong tao. Nakakahiya din po kasi. Minsan arinola para ihian namin."
There were also times, Lyca said, when she thought that the house would get destroyed by typhoons.
Referring to the bamboos holding up the elevated house, Lyca elaborated, "Tinalian lang po ito ni Papa sa bandang kahoy na malalayo.
"Tapos kinausap namin itong bahay na ito, 'Ikaw na bahala kung pababayaan mo kami. Ikaw na bahala kung aalisan mo kami ng tinitirhan.'
"Pero pagbalik namin, yung ibang bahay sira na, pero ito nakatayo pa rin."
lyca is PROUD OF HER ROOTS
Proud of her humble beginnings, Lyca said she wouldn't have it any other way.
If she didn't win in The Voice, Lyca pointed out that she would still gladly collect junk as a means of income.
"Same pa rin po. Nagtatrabaho pa rin ako. Nangangalakal pa rin ako. Gusto ko nakakatulong ako sa pamilya ko kahit papaano."
That she opted to sell the house and lot that she won from The Voice to purchase a house in the same neighborhood where she grew up in Cavite shows her contentment with whatever she has now.
Referring to the concrete house where she currently lives in, Lyca exclaimed, "Gusto ko ng ganitong life. Ayoko ng tahimik, yung walang naririnig na ingay."
While her singing career is admittedly not as flourishing as her contemporaries, Lyca remains grateful for the showbiz break that ABS-CBN gave her.
"Sobrang laki ng itinulong sa akin ng ABS. Yung The Voice, yung mga tao, lahat ng sumusuporta sa akin...
"Sobrang thankful ako kay God. Alam Niya kung ano pinaghirapan ko. Ang laki ng ipinalit Niyang blessings na sobrang pinahahalagahan ko ngayon."