If there’s an important aspect of her career that singer Jonalyn Viray is grateful for it’s GMA Network’s Pinoy TV. According to her, Pinoy TV was the reason she has done a number of shows abroad during the last quarter of 2006 and this year. The Pinoy Pop Superstar is at the moment in Honolulu , Hawaii for a show with Jennylyn Mercado today, Aug. 17.
“We received good feedback about our show. We have good ticket sales and I’m still amazed that I have supporters in the States,” she remarked in Filipino. “I’ve been to Turkey, Japan and Hawaii last year. They were so hospitable in Hawaii that they even toured us last year. And now these same people bought tickets again for our show. It’s very flattering!”
In her travels abroad, she has performed for an international convention. She has also visited Filipino communities to promote Pinoy TV with Ogie Alcasid and other GMA artists.
“It really feels good to travel. I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m very happy that I’m realizing my dreams of visiting these countries which I never expected to happen in my life before. I’m also happy to meet and mingle with different people,” she proudly related.
So how did her travels abroad help her as a performer?
“As a performer it helps to do shows abroad because you don’t only get a Filipino audience but foreigners too. You get to perform in such a way that they’ll understand what you’re singing even if it’s not their own language. I’ve learned how to share my talents well and I’ve become more confident when I do shows here,” she said.
She added that unlike the Manila crowd, her audience abroad are livelier and more animated in appreciating her performances. She related that in her shows in Manila , she has noticed that the crowd won’t applaude animatedly or show their appreciation unless she belts a song.
“I really get nervous when I don’t get a reaction from the audience. Until now I’m still nervous on stage especially if I have a song that I haven’t memorized well,” smiled Jonalyn.
She also shared that she would make time to see places whenever she’s abroad. She always enjoy shopping for souvenirs she could keep and display in her house. The downside of her travels is that she would immediately miss her family and Pinoy fans and a huge cellphone bill afterwards because she would keep on calling and texting her family and friends whenever she’s out of the country.
“One of my favorite souvenirs that I bought was from Turkey . It’s shaped as an eyes with a pupil it’s said to be a lucky charm. I bought a lot of it and gave it to my friends and family back here. I also like buying make-up abroad because sometimes tnat ones I like are not readily available here. So I buy a lot of my favorite make-up brands,” she expressed.
These positive aspects of Jonalyn are the things that keep her spirits up regarding her singing career. Since being crowned the Pinoy Pop Superstar winner in 2005, she has also received unfavorable comments about her as a “champion.” She shared that she came across negative comments in the Net and has seen her various performances with some unsavory write-ups in You Tube.
“I’ve been compared to other champions from the other station like Rachelle Ann Go, Sarah Geronimo and Sheryn Regis. They’d upload all the videos of our perfomances of a certain song together. Then they’ll comment line by line about the song on sing it the best way according to them. Sometimes they really ridicule you,” she said.
But she’s also thankful because those who upload these videos really took time to edit and compare her with other singers. And for that she is happy. Despite these all, Jonalyn’s still thankful for the wonderful opportunities she has received through her exposure in Pinoy TV and the projects that GMA Artist Center has given her.
“Before, I was hurt but now I just look forward to a better future. I’ll just keep on doing my job well and always sing better than before. I know I’ll prove them wrong someday that I’m not a loser. Because I read comments saying that I’m a loser which I’m not,” she lamented.
So far, her accomplishments were compared to the achievements of other young singers which has irked her before.
“I’ve stopped reading these comments because I just couldn’t take them sometimes. They make me cry. I know nothing good will come from reading these negative comments,” she sighed.
Jonalyn Viray is one of the few lucky teenagers to have already a house and lot and a car she calls her own. Aside from more projects to come, she is very contented with her career’s direction. What’s left to do now according to her is to always save her earnings.
“I have to learn to prioritize and save because I won’t be in this limelight forever. Whatever talent fee I get, I keep some and divide the rest for my family because I’m the bread winner too. That’s why I enjoy having shows abroad because I get more,” giggled Jonalyn.
At the moment, Jonalyn is trying to finish her high school through distance learning. She was first excited when she enrolled, but when the books arrived, she got nervous about studying at home.
“I’m not used to not having classmates. I felt it to be a disadvantage not to have any guidelines from a teacher and It’s a weird feeling studying on your own. But I really give time for studying so I could graduate already,” she explained.
Jonalyn Viray, whose contract with GMA Records already expired, is looking forward to working with another label. She’s very open to this because of the “new experiences” it possess for her singing career. Jonalyn’s latest song is the theme song for “Mahawi Man Ang Ulap,” GMA Network’s latest soap-opera version of the Sharon Cuneta movie with the same title.
She’s also eyeing a major concert soon in either the Araneta Coliseum or the Aliw Theater