Singer Christian Bautista feels honored to be chosen by MTV (Music Television) Philippines to front and host a TV special aimed to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking.
"Well, right now, I'm very very proud, very, very honored to be part of this great effort. Also, as an entertainer, nakakabisita talaga ko, like sa Kuwait, Qatar, and I would see Filipinos running away from their abusive handlers," said Christian in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) earlier today, September 25, at Hard Rock Café in Makati City at the launching of MTV's Exit: End Exploitation and Trafficking campaign.
According to Christian, being a celebrity entails a lot of social responsibility, and being one puts him in a position to help and encourage young people to support worthwhile endeavors.
"As an entertainer, I want to reach out to them. I want to reach out to the Filipino people to be aware of what's happening. To be smart and realize that not all opportunities are good opportunities. Study them before you head off and hopefully this effort would really bring out that message," he continued.
The United Nations defines human trafficking as "the recruitment, transportation, and receipt of a person for sexual or economic exploitation by force, fraud, coercion, or deception in order to make a profit."
It is a billion-dollar worldwide problem, with the majority of victims coming from Asia and the Pacific. The Philippines is one of the many countries affected by the trafficking of its citizens who, in the first place, are victims of poverty.
Given the weight of the subject, Christian said that he was more honored than daunted when asked to host a TV special tackling this very sensitive issue.
"I think as an entertainer, you have to be ready for anything. But the most important thing is to really share to the people using all your influence. Hopefully, people will get more informed because of this event," explained the young balladeer who was seated beside United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney during the interview.
With this undertaking, Christian joins other well-known celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Tata Young, and Rain as voices against human trafficking.
NATIONAL ANTHEM BROUHAHA. Christian, who is scheduled to stage his second major concert this coming October 6 at the Cuneta Astrodome, confided that even though he was personally affected by his National Anthem blunder, he would rather put the incident behind and move on.
"Right now I want to encourage other people na kahit nagkaroon ka ng big mistake, you must not stay there, rise up and still be a good example. In the case of our National Anthem, if they ask me to sing, I will sing it with all of my heart. I won't be terrified," he bravely enthused with a straight face.
It can be recalled that Christian received a lot of flak for missing out on two lines during a performance of "Lupang Hinirang" last September 16 for an exhibition boxing match between Gerry Peñalosa and Concepcion Bernabe held in Alabang.
The young singer immediately issued an apology a day after the incident, explaining: "I was recovering from a cold and the adrenalin and excitement of the moment got me through it. Unfortunately, it was at the cost of a momentary lapse on my part."
Despite the mistake, Christian claimed that he tried his utmost best to deliver a good interpretation of "Lupang Hinirang."
"I really did my best during that night. Unfortunately, ang dami lang talagang pressure and I really, really regret what happened.
"Again, I really did not like what happened but what I like about what happened is [that] everyone became more aware of the National Anthem. So, if I will take the fall for everyone to memorize the National Anthem, that's fine. No problem with me," said Christian.
RACHELLE'S REACTION. So, what was girlfriend Rachelle Ann Go's reaction to the incident?
Christian simple smiled before saying, "Si Rachelle, sabi nga niya nung pinakanta siya before, kinakabahan din siya. Nagmamadali din siya ng sobra. Pero, of course, she expressed her love and support pa rin. And ‘it's gonna be okay,' 'yon ang sabi niya."