TAGS: #angtagpuan2019, jason marvin, moira dela torre. jason hernandez

Nearly two years after introducing himself on Twitter as Jake Zyrus, the artist formerly known as the world-famous singing sensation Charice Pempengco tells StarStudio.ph that he’s the same person, and he’s at peace with himself and his life now.

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

In an email interview arranged through his management team, headed by Carl Cabral, Jake takes us to his journey towards change, while facing challenges, becoming stronger, and finding a new love. (We publish his answers here with minor edits.)

Your life story is not a secret to many since it has been featured on Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) already and in numerous publications. In hindsight, what do you think had been the biggest changes and realizations in your life as to becoming Jake Zyrus?

“The biggest changes in my life are that most of the people I meet every day are aware of what I’ve been through. They are more understanding about what I really want to pursue when it comes to my career and personal life. Back then, I intended to fight my anxiety and depression alone because I didn’t want to talk about it. I cannot say it is now easy. Sometimes it still triggers me, but it feels good that I can share about it. Luckily I have people who support me.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

There are people who got curious, surprised, and intrigued by your transition into a man. Please take us through that journey.

“Let’s talk about honesty and reality.”

“Physically: I underwent mastectomy surgery in March 2017, and started taking testosterone for hormonal therapy in April that same year, up to present. I’ve undergone a lot of physical exams and general check-ups including psychological tests. It’s been 2 years since I started taking hormones and I know that it is still a long process. Bonus na lang ’yung change in the range ng voice which I enjoy today, since I like singing ballad and standard songs by male singers."

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

“Mentally: I’m at peace. When you love yourself it doesn’t mean you are being selfish. When you love yourself, everything follows. You cannot give things that you don’t have. You cannot give happiness if you’re not happy. It is a preparation for you to show love, care, and to help other people in all aspects.

“Emotionally: I am happy because I can go out of my house by being who I am without thinking what other people might say. I have to admit that this decision has a big impact especially for netizens in social media. Some people made fun of me. Of course it makes me feel sad and triggers me when they throw hurtful words. I am also human so I try not to read those negatives comments. Instead, focus on the people who love and support me.

“Spiritually: God knows my heart and the most important thing is I have a personal relationship with him.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral

How will you describe this journey? How do you feel about it?

“My life is about having ups and downs. I guess everybody does. I believe that one must experience the struggle/pain for us to appreciate success. Still, [I] have no regrets. It’s cliché but every experience, good or bad, had a pivotal role in my growth as a musician and as a person.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

Despite the criticism, there are still people who look up to you as an inspiration, especially those who’ve also gone through what you’ve experienced. What do you want to tell them?

“Be yourself. Don’t let others define you. It is better that they love you for who you are rather than the person you are not. You don’t need to accept other people but you can be kind to them. When there is love, everything will follow. So, let’s start with love.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

Did you, at some point, decide to lie low from the music scene? What kept you busy during those times?

“I still keep on making music. I keep on singing.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

Tell us about the making of your new album, Catharsis. What are the songs all about? The whole album? Also, tell us about the song, “Diamond.” You said in an interview that this is your survival song. Can you tell us the backstory? Where did you get the inspiration?

“Diamond is a song in the new album as Jake Zyrus that will be released in the first quarter of 2019. [I] collaborated with Trisha Denise, one of the promising young songwriters today. It is my survival song as I’ve discussed with my team. I told them I don’t want it to be a song where you tell them everything’s gonna be fine, that you will be soon ok. I want a song where you can feel the struggle, the pain, that it’s ok not to be ok. Inspiration of the song are my experiences in life.”

Photo courtesy of Carl Cabral.

What do we expect from Jake Zyrus this year?

“An album in the first quarter of 2019. More out-of-town and out-of-the-country shows.”

In November 2018, you got engaged to Shyre Aquino. How did you two meet? Where did you first meet? When did you officially become a couple?

“Shyre is a fan. I’m good na alam ng tao na we’re engaged but will keep details in private dahil

Na-e-enjoy namen na may mga bagay na kame lang may alam.”

How significant is Shyre to you? Is she the inspiration in some of your songs? How did you know that she was the one?

“Shyre makes me feel that she loves me for who I am. No buts and ifs. Upon my transitioning, she is the one who took care of me and makes me realize to be positive in life and to look on the bright side.”